Logistics software provider FourKites Inc. has acquired a trio of yard solution software platforms, saying the technology will allow it to extend supply chain visibility data from in-transit routes into warehouse yards, taking advantage of the growing deployment of internet of things (IoT) sensors and drop trailers in freight yards.
Terms of the deal were not disclosed.
Chicago-based FourKites is acquiring TrackX Holdings Inc.’s yard management solutions—specifically its Yard Management, Dock Management, and Gate Control products—which collect data by building connections with enterprise resource planning (ERP) and warehouse management system (WMS) software, as well as radio frequency identification (RFID) and IoT sensors.
FourKites plans to integrate those products with its own real-time logistics data and predictive estimated time of arrival (ETA), creating a product called Dynamic Yard that will allow enterprises to proactively manage yards and warehouses based on real-time signals from trucks in-transit and trucks on-site.
“Today’s announcement represents a huge win for TrackX and FourKites customers,” Tim Harvie, the president and CEO of Denver, Colorado-based TrackX, said in a release. “The ability to proactively manage facilities based on what’s happening in real time on the road is the next logical step in extending actionable supply chain visibility to large enterprise customers and driving additional value within their yard environments.”
Following the deal, TrackX will continue to operate its enterprise asset tracking solution, while FourKites gains employees, customers, and intellectual property (IP) from the purchase.
The move will appear to be “business as usual” for current TrackX customers, who will only notice a change as FourKites takes over their day-to-day support and engages with them to develop their future roadmaps, FourKites CEO Mathew Elenjickal said in an email.
While the concepts of yard management, dock management, and gate control have been common supply chain tools for years, they have not yet incorporated what is happening outside the yard, he said. “Facilities have had needs for this solution for years, but if you look at facilities now, yard management in its current state is not solving the problem of reducing dwell time, increasing driver productivity, etc., because the yard has been separated from what is happening with the trucks. That's what we're looking to solve with Dynamic Yard,” Elenjickal said.
As more and more IOT devices are being introduced into the yard for managing gate, dock, and trailer moves, Elenjickal says it was a natural extension for FourKites to play a role in the IOT space to collect real-time data from yard-based IOT devices and expand visibility from in-transit to the yard. The move also allows FourKites to leverage an industry trend that has seen increasing numbers of shippers, brokers, and mega-carriers adopt drop trailers, he said.
For example, supply chain service provider J.B. Hunt Transport Services Inc. in 2019 launched a trailer pool service and drop-and-hook service called J.B. Hunt 360box. following Uber Freight’s 2018 launch of its own trailer pool mode, known as Powerloop.
Supply chain visibility is not just in transit, and doesn't end at the gate.— FourKites (@FourKites) March 25, 2020
That's why we're thrilled to announce our acquisition of TrackX's leading yard management solutions. Find out what this means for the future of visibility in our video below: