Yard management represents a “blind spot” for shippers and their supply chain partners, many of whom say their operations are overburdened by manual processes that negatively affect product loss, detention, throughput, safety, and compliance, according to a report from supply chain visibility platform FourKites, released Tuesday.
In its The State of Yard Management: Industry Report 2021, the company highlights the pain points associated with yard management—including inefficient manual processes and difficulty locating equipment—and the need for advanced yard management systems (YMS) that integrate with other technology systems and provide greater visibility across supply chains. FourKites surveyed 375 supply chain professionals in consumer product goods (CPG), food and beverage, retail, and manufacturing industries for the report.
Key findings include:
More than half of respondents cite manual processes as their biggest challenge when it comes to both yard and appointment management (55% and 52%, respectively).
After manual processes, 21% listed locating equipment as their biggest yard management pain point, followed by 15% citing excessive operational costs.
After manual processes, just over 20% of respondents cited poor dock door utilization as their biggest challenge with managing appointments, followed by 18% citing siloes between appointment management and transportation management systems (TMS)/warehouse management systems (WMS).
27% of respondents said they do not maintain any kind of yard or appointment performance metrics.
22% of respondents said they are still managing gate processes on paper, and only 5% said they have taken steps to automate these processes.
More than 40% of retailers said they have adopted a YMS, representing the highest group of users among the industries surveyed.
A new generation of YMS that is better able to integrate with TMS, WMS, and real-time transportation visibility platforms can help solve those problems, the researchers said, noting that some modern systems can improve workforce efficiency by 25% to 30%, increase dock throughput by 20% to 40%, and reduce detention costs by 40% to 80%.
“Companies need real-time visibility into every mile of a product’s journey,” Matt Elenjickal, FourKites founder and CEO, said in a statement. “Now, a new generation of yard management systems, integrated with real-time in-transit visibility platforms and other key systems, can help facility managers optimize the yard—reducing dwell times and increasing operating margins in the process—and track a product from point of origin to destination.”
More on the report is available from FourKites.