As companies have started investing in asset tracking technology, they’ve learned to use GPS tags to track their assets. GPS is one of the best-known asset tracking technologies since it’s been around the longest. Due to this high popularity, many companies looking to invest in asset tracking don’t evaluate the other technology options and. Don’t be surprised by the facts. Here’s what you need to know before investing.

History of GPS in Asset Tracking

GPS asset tracking is a technology that allows companies to monitor and manage their assets through the use of GPS technology. Companies use GPS tracking to improve efficiency, prevent theft, reduce overall operational costs, and more. 

GPS has come a long way since its introduction. The technology was originally developed in the 1970s and was initially used in military operations. The military used GPS to accurately locate their transportation vehicles globally. In the 1990s, GPS was released commercially for consumer use. It was introduced as a way for users to easily get directions toward intended destinations. Instead of printing out directions or using a map, you could simply install the GPS device in your vehicle, and it would tell you where you are, where you’re going, and how to get there. 

But as with many technologies, GPS quickly proved to have uses that could solve other problems. For instance, trailers and pallets are easily lost during logistics operations and are costly to replace. IoT innovators realized they could create a GPS asset tracking system to help address these challenges and optimize logistics operations altogether. They worked to make a GPS tag that could be attached to trailers, pallets, and other shipping containers to track their location in real time. And it worked. Instead of spending time searching for lost assets and dealing with the consequences that come with that loss, managers can now use these tags to maintain full visibility of their assets at all times.


Increase Your ROI by Investing in AirFinder Everywhere

  • Loss Prevention. Reduce the amount of loss that occurs during the supply chain process
  • Location Coverage. AirFinder Everywhere uses a combination of GPS, Cellular, and WiFi to determine location everywhere
  • Security Alerts. Know when a delay in shipment has occurred so the problem
    can be addressed immediately.


What People Don’t Talk About

Company decision makers are used to seeing GPS work successfully in their personal lives and often end up shocked when things work a little differently when using this technology to track their remote assets. GPS asset tracking and navigational GPS use similar methods of technology communication, but since both serve a different purpose, there are a few features and factors that most people don’t stop to consider.

Battery Life

When companies invest in a GPS asset tracker, they don’t always consider the battery life of their GPS devices. GPS technology drains battery life very quickly. In areas with poor service, the battery life is even shorter. This tends to be overlooked because the battery life of your typical consumer GPS devices is not usually noticeable. After all, most of these devices remain permanently connected to a power source so the battery never dies. Since they aren’t usually connected to an external power source, the more industrial GPS tracking tags used for tracking trailers and pallets have a noticeably shorter battery life.

A way to avoid this indeterminate battery life is to invest in an asset tracking solution that combines GPS with other technologies that are more power-efficient. With this strategy, GPS simply becomes a fallback if the other location tracking methods fail or cannot find connection in a given area, consuming less battery than a system that uses GPS alone.


Not everyone who is familiar with GPS tracking is familiar with all its capabilities, either. Geofencing is not a well-discussed feature of GPS asset trackers. This technique is used to designate virtual boundaries around a specific location. Then, when a device or asset equipped with a geofence-enabled GPS tag crosses the boundary, an alert is triggered. These real-time notifications are important to have, especially when tracking trailers and pallets. If you know that a trailer is supposed to remain at a given location, but you are then notified it has crossed the boundary and left the facility, you know that something is wrong and are able to retrieve it before it gets too far away.

Environmental Impact

Sustainability has been a major priority among companies across all industries. The move to more sustainable processes is especially important for logistics operations, which have a large amount of fuel consumption and waste resulting from disposable shipping pallets and containers. GPS tracking tags can be used to promote sustainability efforts. For instance, they enable companies to track returnable shipping containers and pallets to ensure they are returned and reused. These tags can also be used to track a trailer’s route history, which can then be evaluated for potential route changes to optimize fuel efficiency.

Telematics Integration

Regulations dictate that telematics systems are installed in every truck in order to retain compliance. When a truck is powered on, these telematics systems are able to track its location using GPS technology. But it’s just as important to know location information about the attached trailers and the shipping containers that they contain. Unfortunately, telematics systems can only track your powered assets - in this case, your trucks or a trailer that is currently attached. GPS asset tracking tags are able to track your non-powered assets like your disconnected trailers and shipping pallets. What’s even better is that GPS asset tracking systems can integrate with your existing telematics system, working together to provide full visibility of all logistics assets and activities.


Meeting compliance requirements is essential to the success of your company. A lack of compliance leads to high fines and in extreme cases, your company getting shut down. One such compliance concern has to do with the cold chain. When it comes to the transportation of perishable items, maintaining the proper temperature at a pallet level is essential. Without this monitoring, the temperature could change and cause the perishables to spoil before they reach their destination. With the monitoring that a GPS tracker provides, you can ensure that proper temperatures are maintained for the entire trip. And if the temperature does change, you will be alerted so that you can address the problem immediately.

Future of GPS Tracking

The Internet of Things (IoT) is enabling the integration of GPS asset tracking with other devices and systems to create a more comprehensive view of assets and operations. For example, by integrating GPS asset tracking with sensors that monitor equipment performance, companies can quickly identify when maintenance is required, reducing downtime and improving asset lifespan. GPS tracking systems are becoming more affordable and accessible, making them available to businesses of all sizes and industries. With these wider applications and expanded offerings, it’s safe to say that GPS asset tracking will continue to find new ways to provide value for companies everywhere.

Which Solution Will You Invest In?

Our AirFinder Everywhere asset tracking solution uses GPS technology to track and locate your remote assets in real time. Our team recognized the shortcomings of GPS surrounding battery life and responded by designing our solution to combine GPS with cellular and WiFi sniffing location technologies. This way, your batteries – and your tags – can last a whole lot longer. We even have a rechargeable tag option with the same capabilities. This option is even more environmentally friendly since you don’t have to dispose of batteries at all. Our solution also helps you ensure that you’re compliant with regulations and can integrate with your telematics system to provide full visibility of your logistics operations. 

GPS asset tracking has come a long way since its conception, and it certainly has the potential to revolutionize the way that logistics operators manage their assets. However, it is important to consider every factor that can impact the effectiveness of a GPS asset tracking solution, including battery life and environmental conditions. By understanding these factors and staying up-to-date with the latest advancements in GPS technology, organizations can leverage asset tracking to gain a competitive advantage and achieve their goals.

For more information about GPS tags and our asset tracking solution, book a demo with our team!

GPS Tags: What No One is Talking About

Written by Emily Saldivar

Emily Saldivar is a Marketing Specialist for Link Labs and has been with the company since 2020. She has a background in content writing and is furthering the Link Labs mission through social media and other platforms.

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