February 15, 2019

Geofencing: A Treasured Tool for Yard Management and Monitoring

Written by Garret Weigel | Pharmacy Safety, Food Safety, FSMA

Consider the thousands of fleet assets that operate within a logistics network. To keep order in the fleet, geofencing solutions has enabled yard management, or the management of trailers and assets within a yard. For the fleet assets that transport goods and get them to their destination, yard monitoring is required to ensure proper asset utilization.

 

Parcels and shipments are tagged with unique identifiers that contain pertinent information about the shipment. This may entail a detailed cargo manifest or bill of lading that includes weight, quantities, dimensions, and destination address. Geofencing utilizes geo targeting and geo filters: the location attributes of any asset, or a human being for that matter, are incorporated and used for other digital purposes. For example, shoppers in a store may be subject to geofencing that will depend on their location, in addition to other information that might be stored about them.

 

In another instance, car shoppers who enter a car lot with an interest of purchasing a vehicle might be subject to geofencing when the auto retailer knows where there are and who they are, and can link the two together to personalize an offer. But for transportation purposes, geofencing is a way of tagging the many moving parts of the transportation pipeline that includes trailers, trucks, rail cars, ships, containers, and other components of an extended supply chain. Using RFID tags and GPS technology, such assets can communicate their location with other data about what those transportation assets contain, so that they can be better controlled and managed from a remote location.

 

Yard Management

Yard management is a transportation management technique that may employ geofencing to effectively track cargo and shipments within a boundary, such as a "yard." A transportation yard may be synonymous with a warehouse, distribution center, or fulfillment center. Cargo is tracked and monitored from the time it enters to the time it leaves. Yard management is a means of running a safe, efficient, and productive transportation operation.

 

For example, an inbound trailer load or container arrives at a terminal yard and is tracked via RFID tags. That information is subsequently relayed to an automated system that can schedule dock loading assignments within the yard. In addition, yard management techniques and using accompanying GPS technology enables supply chain managers to be vigilant of what is in the rail car, container, or other shipment. Knowing the cargo, or the cargo manifest of the particular transportation asset, enables workers to know what the shipment and cargo is that they are directing and managing.

 

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Geofencing and the inherent technology of the physical transportation asset enables supply chain managers to improve their ability to unload and store the shipments as they're needed, with real-time visibility of the cargo manifest, as well as the larger warehouse management system that keeps tabs on what goods are located within a warehouse or terminal environment.

 

Yard Monitoring

Yard monitoring incorporates a comprehensive yard management solution. It helps avoid the cumbersome task of manually monitoring the traffic and the logistical details of all the cargo and shipments that are within the yard.

 

Put simply, the yard monitoring system, when combined with geo-fencing, enables supply chain managers to be more efficient with directing trailer usage. It allows them to closely monitor trailer turns and truck movements, and avoid bottlenecks or other problems common in a transportation environment. With a robust program of yard monitoring and management, today's supply chain managers will know, very accurately, what's loaded and unloaded as well as other parameters needed, such as the climate control of shipping containers or other assets required for the cargo that's being shipped.

 

Geofencing, Yard Management, and Yard Monitoring: Bringing It All Together

All this information is often fed into a remote dashboard or platform for monitoring purposes and provides visibility and control to make quick decisions and identify trends as they occur. It also allows supply chain managers to capitalize on geofencing technology for better yard managing and monitoring. In this way, they can trend data and more efficiently manage their transportation assets and resources.

 

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