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What is a PRO Number and why is it important?
Why bother with PRO number tracking when you already have the BOL number? First, let us differentiate a BOL number from a PRO number.
When a shipment is booked, a BOL (Bill of Lading) is generated and it automatically comes with a BOL number. The BOL is usually prepared by the shipper or the Third Party (brokers or 3PLs) and given to the driver upon pick up. Carriers, on the other hand, assign a PRO number once a shipment is picked up. It is short for progressive number which is usually a 7 to 10-digit number used to track the movement of a shipment. This is paired with the Standard Carrier Alpha Code (SCAC) which is a unique four-character code set by the NMFTA. It helps identify a shipment as well as the carrier transporting it.
Why PRO number tracking is more beneficial than other forms of tracking in the freight industry?
It is standardized.
LTL carriers assign a single PRO number for each shipment which is stored in their database. This is usually a scannable code placed on pallet/s and all relevant paperwork. They simply scan the code and the movement or the location of a shipment gets updated in the carriers’ system.
It promotes transparency.
Since the status of a shipment is automatically updated, you and your customer can also get instant updates via email. This eliminates unnecessary anxiety and historic busy work calling around to find out where your shipment is. You and your customer will have an idea about the freight’s movement and location and when it may be expected to be delivered. Also if you are partner with a technology-forward freight carrier or 3PL freight brokerage much of this pro number tracking will be automated via email, SMS, or other means.
It allows for contingency planning.
In the event there are delays, for example, due to the weather, you can be notified ahead of time. Having an idea how long it will take before you get the shipment will help you come up with a backup plan. Or at the very least you can set proper expectations to your customer about the delay. Again much of this can be automated if you are using modern Transportation management software!
How does Pro Number Tracking Work?
In the past, calling carriers or your 3PL provider/broker was a must to get tracking information. Then here comes PRO number tracking bringing so much ease to tracing of shipments. This is how PRO Number Tracking works in an automated system. A barcode sticker which consists of the PRO number and the SCAC code of the carrier is placed on the pallets. Each time a PRO number is scanned as a shipment enters and exits service centers operated by the carrier, the status automatically gets updated and sent to the shipper or the 3PL/broker. Below are samples of what these updates look like.
Example of Easy to use automated Transportation Management Software and PRO number Tracking
Partner with Easy Logistics Management and get all the latest PRO Number Tracking Freight Automation!
You and your customer can also enjoy the convenience of getting automatic email updates about the status of your shipment. There is no need for you to log in to your account every single time or for your customer to email or call you to ask for some update. Partner with us and try our easy automated software with the ability to send all parties real-time tracking links plus a dedicated friendly team to stay on top of any pro number tracking issues in real-time. We are looking to grow and would be honored to show you how our Technology Forward Transportation Management Software and Dedicated team can make Pro Number Tracking a Breeze!