In a freight tracking and routing system, each individual package is provided with a tag physically attached thereto. The tag includes a radio or infrared transceiver, and a microprocessor. At important nodes at geographical locations within the distribution system, location transceivers broadcast signals representative of their locations. The microprocessor, in response to receiving a desired destination signal, emits a signal commanding external equipment to take the package so that it remains at the desired location. The tags are also capable of being electronically queried, or alternately can emit distress signals when they do not reach a particular location at a particular time.