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GPS Asset Tracking: Finding Hidden Revenue in Common Places

Find out how GPS asset tracking has evolved from regular observation into active monitoring of the safety, quality, and availability of critical assets

Updated: August 28, 2023 7 mins read Published: November 24, 2021

Asset tracking has evolved from a common check-in procedure for items in stock and a table used to share information with colleagues or customers. Logistics company employees and customers now demand transparent and recent information on the movements and conditions of critical assets. Unclear locations, lack of insights on asset use, and limited accessibility can result in scheduling conflicts, stock inconsistencies, and even asset losses.

If logistics companies and their customers lose track of critical assets, it becomes challenging to forecast the inventory needed to satisfy customer demand, flexibly meet transportation needs, and make sure assets are ready for use.

In addition, a lack of asset monitoring capabilities leads to a higher risk of failing to comply with industry regulations, which often require a proven record of asset origins and quality.

GPS asset tracking paves the way to achieve a higher return on investment (ROI), improve planning, and ensure compliance with industry regulations. Most importantly, GPS asset tracking software provides real-time traceability that’s critical for fleet managers, retailers, and logistics service companies.

GPS Asset Tracking: Finding Hidden Revenue in Common Places
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GPS asset tracking goes far beyond the location

The global asset tracking market is maturing, and with 14.8% yearly growth in investments, it’s expected to be worth $27.1 billion by 2023. What’s remarkable is that GPS asset tracking has evolved into a real-time ecosystem of data measurements, analytics, and automated decision-making. Fleet managers don’t need to switch between countless apps, spreadsheets, and enterprise resource planning systems to capture the complete picture of asset conditions, movements, and availability. GPS asset tracking systems can unite the most critical information in a single convenient dashboard to track an exact asset, find it wherever it currently is, and check present and past cargo conditions.

It’s not just about the tractor, it’s about the driver, it’s about the freight, it’s about the total visibility … it’s the people out in the yards, on the dock. All those people can get value out of this overall solution. That’s how you improve the overall supply chain by taking the holistic approach.

Chris Wolfe, President of Asset Tracking Vendor I.D. Systems

Types of assets to track

Movable assets

Fleet management comes to mind first when we talk about tracking movable assets. Vehicle fleets rely on advanced use of telematics data coming from sensors to track down trucks with valuable cargoes. Relying on real-time telematics, fleet managers can increase fleet efficiency and save money by cutting fuel consumption and time losses.

Another reason for implementing a GPS asset tracking solution is to prevent vehicles from being stolen and to aid in their recovery when they are through an alarm system that connects directly to police when a truck deviates from the route or a driver does not respond.

High-value items

Apart from tracking the fleet itself, a GPS asset tracking system can monitor cargo and container conditions to ensure safe transportation. A producer or customer who needs to transport high-value items can require secure containers that comply with strict temperature, humidity, and ventilation requirements. Logistics providers, in turn, can offer convenient and transparent monitoring of cargo with smart sensors installed throughout these containers.

In addition, to plan even more accurate transportation conditions in advance, logistics providers increasingly rely on digital twins technology to create virtual models of containers and entire supply chains. These models give customers a clear look at how their goods will be carried even before they pack them and send them down the road.

Regulated environments

Apart from tracking assets on the road, GPS asset tracking software can be used for monitoring items in places like warehouses, manufacturing facilities, and strictly regulated zones. Manufacturers can leverage GPS asset tracking to rapidly find and utilize equipment in mission-critical areas.

Another use case is the monitoring of life-critical equipment and medicines. Asset tracking provides visibility and control over the conditions and journeys of drugs, laboratory samples, and fragile items within medical and manufacturing facilities.

Heavy equipment

GPS asset tracking is not limited to protecting small things. Industries like agriculture, construction, and aerospace can use GPS tracking solutions to optimize routes for irregularly sized cargo (including heavy equipment) and protect it from hazards during transportation and installation. A built-in alarm system can send notifications in case transportation vehicles take an inappropriate road or machinery is in potential danger due to a truck issue.

Asset tracking for logistics and transportation

Implement GPS asset tracking to maintain visibility, track shipments, and monitor conditions

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How does a GPS asset tracking system work?

A common GPS asset tracking system consists of hardware and software parts. The hardware required depends on the type of asset being tracked. Basically, the choice is between GPS trackers, barcodes, Bluetooth low energy devices, QR codes, and RFID tags. These devices, codes, and tags include information about the shipment such as properties, origins, required transportation conditions, and delivery location. After installing hardware in or on a traceable asset, you need software to communicate with this hardware via a remote connection or code scanner. Location data can be acquired through direct tracking of the device or by receiving location properties during a scan.

The software architecture of a GPS asset tracking system can differ. What’s consistent is the purpose of the system and its integration with other solutions for data collection, analytics, and smart decision-making.

High-level asset tracking system architecture

GPS Asset Tracking: Finding Hidden Revenue in Common Places

By building a custom GPS tracking solution, you can track thousands of assets in a single web-based interface that allows you to distinguish between assets and gives you fast search and filtering capabilities on custom map layers.

With GPS tracking software integrated with tracking devices and by extracting the necessary data from code scans, you can track the exact locations of assets, their recent statuses, and usage history across the entire supply chain.

GPS tracking software can be integrated with a mobile app to allow drivers, fleet managers, and customers to access all information on a specific asset without needing to transfer data from the tracking device itself. Giving the edge to constant connectivity throughout the supply chain with the use of 5G, LoRA, and cloud technology, asset tracking becomes a natural process for implementing technology into logistics to drive value and increase profitability.

Learn how a Fortune 500 manufacturer implemented vehicle tracking for fleet management via a mobile app

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Why real-time GPS tracking is so important

In order to efficiently use vehicle fleets and cover increased demand for products and services by planning loads and optimizing pick-ups, fleet managers have to know precisely where their vehicles are. A high-quality GPS asset tracking solution should be designed specifically for your requirements and the demands of your customers, employees, and the environment. Only in this way can GPS asset tracking software provide reliable tracking, monitoring, and reporting to guarantee you get the data you need when you need it to assist in your decision-making.

Benefits of a GPS asset tracking system

Proactive maintenance

Tracking assets means not only following them on a map. It also means monitoring engine hours and driver logs as well as providing maintenance reminders. Tracking fleet assets allows you to run proactive and predictive maintenance thanks to AI algorithms that determine the best times for repairs or regular checks.

Availability of critical assets

Knowing exactly where the necessary equipment, vehicle, or device is gives you accurate on-demand availability. You may request a nearby asset by choosing it on a map, access its transportation history, and monitor its conditions to make sure it will come to you in full working order.

Enriched maps

GPS asset tracking comes along with digital mapping, as it allows you to fuel maps with accurate and recent data to build custom layers and increase the value of maps. After being placed as a moving point on your map, a GPS device accumulates road data that can be used for monitoring traffic, increasing road safety, and planning construction.

Enhanced security

While tracking a particular asset, a GPS system that connects to cloud software may improve overall fleet security, guarding against unauthorized access to critical assets and data. GPS tracking software can recognize geofenced areas and notify if an asset has entered a particular zone or deviated from the planned route. Even after potential fraud is committed, GPS tracking technology can accelerate the recovery of the vehicle. It also stores all data on the server while encrypting local device data to guard it from potential cyberattacks.

Proven records

Proven records are becoming a priority for supply chains. Customers want to know product origins, how products were transported, and when they’ll arrive safely. Using the blockchain for tracking assets is now a reality thanks to distributed ledger technology and smart contracts that allow you to store and prove all events happening with an asset. A blockchain can provide transparency from asset production through delivery.


The market for asset tracking solutions is saturated with off-the-shelf products that include hardware devices and preinstalled software. Still, ready-made products may lack advanced functionality, specific settings needed by customers, and features required to comply with local regulations. In addition, as the number of assets under management grows, you may experience server-side limitations with a licensed product.

By developing your own GPS asset tracking software, you can rely on proven engineers, technology consultants, and designers who provide end-to-end development and recommendations to meet your unique business needs. Whether you want to replace a legacy system or step up to the new era of logistics technology, contact Intellias. We’ll give you advice and back you up so you can allow your customers to control every asset wherever it goes.

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