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A YMS Can Improve Your Freight Shuttle Service and Efficiency Throughout Your Supply Chain

How do you handle yard management and dock scheduling at your facilities for freight shuttle or other trucking service? Trailer yards with trucks entering and departing and spotters moving trailers to and from your loading docks hum with activity. Busy yards often become chaotic with so much activity and few if any breaks in the action.

Keeping track of all the movement, knowing where every trailer is located and knowing the status of the valuable inventory contained in each of those trailers is a challenging (some might say daunting) task. Maximizing the throughput capacity of your trailer yard(s) is vital to maintaining velocity throughout your supply chain and/or distribution channel network. Reducing or eliminating container demurrage and trailer detention costs should be a part of your cost control efforts. And, with the recent changes to the FMCSA’s hours of service regulations reducing the number of hours that truck drivers can work, it’s critical for your freight shuttle providers and other carriers that their drivers can make their pick-ups and deliveries as quickly as possible and get in and out of your facilities and back on the road in as short a time as possible. Delays mean lost revenue, longer transit times (sometime significantly longer with the new HOS rules) and increased costs all around for freight shuttle, container transport or OTR service.

“It’s in My Head” Yard Management

The smallest operations may be able to function adequately by relying on the memory and notes of the inbound or outbound dock supervisor (in some cases the same person) to prioritize loads and direct traffic based on what is hot that day or maybe which drivers he/she likes the most. This approach to yard management provides no visibility to inventory in the yard, no information on the status of the trailers in the yard and no ability to prioritize based on what goods are in the trailers to be unloaded or what goods are waiting on the dock to be loaded. It is a very limited, first-in-first-out (FIFO) solution at best.

Spreadsheet Yard Management

Using manually created spreadsheet reports for yard management can expand the number of variables used in the decision making process (priority level, arrival time, date/time detention or demurrage fees start, etc.). However, using a manual reporting method such as this is a labor intensive process, especially if it is updated multiple times daily in an effort to have more current data with which to work. In addition, spreadsheet-based yard management does not provide visibility to inventory, fast-changing reprioritizations, driver and equipment productivity or yard status.