Yard Spot Case Study
Yard Visibility Solution
Integrated Tools to Increase Throughput and Efficiencies
Service Transfer, Inc. (STI) had seen its business spike. The trucking and drayage provider serving ports on the U.S. East Coast was in high demand as container imports surged in 2021. At its facility in Chesapeake, Virginia, the number of containers in its yard reached previously unthought levels. The location, made up of four separate yards and almost 16 acres, was bursting at the seams.
High volumes posed several problems that threatened STI’s competitive position and risked losing market share.
Shuttle and Truck Drivers
Trucks could not easily maneuver within the yard. In a fast-changing yard with little excess room, the trucks would waste time navigating their way through the yard.
Containers were getting lost and the operations team needed greater control as velocity of trucks and cargo accelerated faster than their systems could manage.
Drivers were frustrated by imprecise directions on where to drop and pick up containers. A container was taking too long to find, and one poorly dropped container could block access to many others.
Reconciling the movement of containers in and out of the yards was too slow. Slow reconciliation put STI at risk of per diem fees.
Yard checks were taking too long. Yard checks using pen and paper or a laptop with a spreadsheet consumed the morning, leaving dispatch in the dark.
STI needed visibility, data management and controls, and importantly a faster and automated yard check process.
STI was looking for better information management tools, and Yard Spot showed immediate promise to resolve its key operational problems.
Yard Spot layers multiple types and sources of data into a common operating picture. Yard Spot combines location data, GPS and ELD systems with operational data from terminal management systems and any other data source. Yard Spot maps all this information into an easy to navigate and mobile-ready application. It provides a simple way to capture the geolocation of intermodal containers using a mobile phone. The ID, date, time and position is pushed to any enterprise ledger, like an Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP), Transportation Management System (TMS), or even a spreadsheet. The software reads container numbers and marks the geoposition, transmitting them to Yard Spot to map.
Decreased Truck Turn-Times
Drivers are able to find a container in about 10 minutes, a significant reduction from the previous 45-60 minutes. A common operating picture and accurate container locations keep trucks moving and create greater effective capacity through increased throughput.
Faster Yard Checks
Yard checks are now completed in less than 1 hour when previously they took 3 hours, covering about 275 containers daily at a 98% accuracy rate.
Less Administrative Time & More Timely Data
Each day office personnel save about 3 hours because of the combined Yard Spot-SiteTrax solution. This is equivalent to one-third of an FTE.