The future for freight tracking, as the term has come to mean, may be closer than ever.
It has been a long time coming, with the advent of automated technology and an increasing number of countries relying on a mix of human and robotic operators.
But that may soon change.
A number of international freight tracking organisations have come together to set out their goals and what it would take to achieve them.
In an open letter published on Tuesday, the Association of the International Association of Freight Tracking Operators (IATAO) said its goal is to eliminate the need for human operators by 2020.
It has already announced its 2020 targets for freight transport.
The industry group has been lobbying for automation for years, but has faced a series of hurdles in its attempts to achieve its goal.
One of the biggest hurdles is the issue of the need to pay for automation equipment.
A recent report from the United States government found that, while freight costs have fallen by almost 70 per cent since 2012, the cost of automation equipment remains high.
The industry group said it was working with the government to create a national framework for the transition to automated tracking systems.
It said it would work with governments to set up a global framework for automated tracking to provide clarity and transparency, and to improve security.
But there are also hurdles.
Currently, only two of the 40,000 registered freight trackers operate in the US, and most of them rely on the old-fashioned way of paying for their work.
The IATAO is also looking to develop its own automated tracking platform, which could cost hundreds of millions of dollars.