Periods of severe supply chain disruption in all corners of the world over the past year have highlighted logistics pressure points, one of which is the yard. Despite being ripe for process and efficiency enhancements, through digitization and automation, this key section of supply chains is often overlooked when it comes to investment. This is despite the significant potential for reducing costs associated with increased dwell time, lower driver detention fees and increased throughput.
The challenges facing yards
The yard operation is critical to moving freight in a timely manner, and a lack of operational visibility can lead to bottlenecks. Impacts are exacerbated when dealing with surges in demand caused by seasonality or unexpected events, as well as the market-wide acceleration in e-commerce over the past year, which has caused challenges in sustaining high levels of service for last-mile execution, for example. Additionally, a lack of integration between the separate systems of different teams or functions within a supply chain ecosystem can lead to discrepancies in data, causing confusion, inefficiencies and wasting time.