2020 State Of Yard Management report: Identifying a truckload of savings across your network

yard management report

For many companies, the most important limiting factor in their supply chains today—especially in their logistics operations—is yard management. Here’s why it’s not too late to bring yours into the 21st Century.

Did you know that if a carrier were to whittle its average pickup and delivery times down by just one hour it would be able to lower its trucking rates by $0.21 per mile and still generate the same volume of annual revenues?

This is just one of many points highlighted in a new market study with Adelante SCM analyst Adrian Gonzalez, who says many carrier detention problems and other disruptive forces could be solved with an enterprise yard management (YMS) deployment. According to Gonzalez, 51% of executives and managers recently surveyed say that deploying YMS across the enterprise could help companies reduce their transportation costs by 5% or more.

The problem is that 58% of companies consider their yard management capabilities “average” or worse, a recent Adelante SCM survey found, and about 30% have no visibility over their detention fees. And while most companies recognize the broader benefits of YMS, with yard inventory visibility being the top-selling point for such systems (according to 88% of survey respondents), many are unsure how to go about making a business case for such an investment.

A Perfect Storm

Market uncertainty, the global pandemic, and changing customer expectations are just a few of the high-level issues impacting transportation right now. Digging down deeper, unstable freight capacity and ever-evolving guidance from governments and public health authorities are also keeping many logistics and transportation managers up at night right now.

“Trailer yards are playing a vital role as extensions of warehouses, distribution centers (DCs), and manufacturing plants,” Gonzalez says, “and are also the mechanisms for expediting shipments, supporting corporate sustainability goals, and reducing transportation costs.”

The current COVID-19 pandemic is making agility, flexibility, and responsiveness even more critical for success, he adds, and all companies must quickly adapt their supply chain networks and processes in response to these new market realities.

Additionally, DCs and manufacturing plants also want to optimize driver and truck turnaround times and reduce costs while becoming “Shippers of Choice” as hours of service (HoS) constraints push carriers to be more selective. “Companies are looking to do even more to provide a better experience for drivers while they’re onsite,” Gonzalez says.

At the enterprise level, executives need ways to automatically optimize the flow of goods in and out of their facilities. They also want to efficiently manage yard capacities, trailer pool availability, yard service providers, transportation contracts, and accessorial charges from an enterprise perspective. 

For many companies, the most important limiting factor in their supply chains today—especially in their logistics operations—is yard management,” Gonzalez points out, noting that while companies have invested in transportation management systems (TMS) and warehouse management systems (WMS), just 8% are using YMS (according to a recent Logistics Management survey).

By the Numbers

Detention Charges - yard management

A significant line item in the profit and loss (P&L) statements of most companies, transportation costs have been on CEOs’ and CFOs’ radar screens since 2018, when capacity crunches and driver shortages began taking a bigger bite out of their bottom lines. Limits on the number of hours a driver can be behind the wheel also came into play, with driver detention becoming a major issue for most yard owners.

According to the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association (OOIDA), drivers who comply with the 60-hour Hours of Service rule spend approximately 18% to 33% of their possible compensated drive time in detention, while those complying with the 70-hour rule spend 16% to 29% of their compensated drive time in detention.

“Inefficient yard management processes are a key contributor to driver detention,” Gonzalez says. “Although carriers can charge companies detention fees, which generally range between $25 to $100 per hour, this doesn’t fully cover the costs incurred by the carrier. In addition, many carriers do not even bother to collect the fees because they believe that they will not receive it anyway.”

Delivering Value Across The Enterprise Network

The good news is that it’s not too late for the rest of the world to catch up and start reaping the benefits of YMS. Historically, Gonzalez says the business case for such systems focused on reducing the direct and indirect costs associated with yard operations (e.g., yard jockey wages, detention/demurrage fees, food spoilage, etc.).

“What many companies and senior executives fail to recognize is how big of a constraint (limiting factor) their yard operations are in achieving their overall business objectives,” says Gonzalez, “as well as the true and total financial impact that extends beyond the yard’s four fences.”

S&D Coffee and Tea Roasts Logistics and Transportation Costs With PINC

Using PINC Yard Management System (YMS), America’s largest custom coffee roaster has reduced detention costs and eliminated yard inefficiencies while improving visibility and productivity across the supply chain.

S&D Coffee - Yard Management

Since 1927, S&D Coffee & Tea has been making delicious beverages for consumers worldwide. Made from top-quality ingredients, its coffees and teas are not only tasty, but they’re also produced in a very sustainable, eco-friendly manner. S&D’s sustainable sourcing, for example, relates specifically to resilient supply chains for coffee and tea.

“A sustainable supply chain is critical to the future of these global markets,” the company’s website states. “That’s why Raíz Sustainability, S&D’s sustainable sourcing platform, is rooted in impact – in fact, the Spanish word raíz (pronounced rah-ease) literally translates to ‘root.’”

Managing with Spreadsheets

From the beginning, S&D’s founders realized the need to bring coffee to the local area through grocery store delivery. Today, as the largest custom coffee roaster in America, S&D’s capabilities extend into the evolving world of extracts and ingredients — creating new possibilities for culinary applications and exciting new beverage choices for customers.

To support this mission, the company’s drivers used to spend an hour or more physically checking on the location of roughly 150 different trailers. Located at S&D’s five warehouses and manufacturing locations, these trailers provide the vital link between the company’s operations and its customers.

Once gathered, all of the information was entered into a spreadsheet that hardly supported S&D’s dynamic shipping environment. “By 6:30, the information had changed because the trailers had moved,” S&D’s J.T. Hinson told Inbound Logistics.

YMS Wanted

For help managing its yard activities, S&D began shopping around for a yard management system (YMS) that would help it reduce detention costs and inefficiencies while improving visibility and productivity (among other things). It found what it was looking for in the PINC YMS.

“With a yard management system (YMS) from PINC, that job went away,” Hinson told Inbound Logistics. The YMS gathers data related to every trailer move and also captures information on the type of coffee bean stored in each trailer. As a result, the company has reduced to 15 minutes (from a previous 45 minutes) how much time it takes to move a trailer to the roasting area. “It was a big win,” Hinson said.

Meeting Customer Demand

From its YMS, S&D wanted a solution that fit its specific needs and not the other way around. It also liked PINC’s RTLS (real-time location system) tracking, whereby small, magnetic passive RFID tags are affixed to each trailer and then automatically scanned by an RTLS tracker located on the switcher. “The location and other information associated with the trailer are consistently updated in real-time,” Inbound Logistics points out.

Thanks to its YMS, S&D also has reporting capabilities that can be tailored to the needs of each department (i.e., finance, commodities, manufacturing, etc.). That means it can create pick lists based on coffee bean types, as well as by finished product or raw materials—all without having to work with IT developers. “The reports give visibility and detail to the assets and what’s on them,” Hinson told the publication.

And, when S&D Coffee added another facility and yard, the YMS allowed Hinson’s team to manage it without the need for additional yard spotters, tractors, or drivers. “S&D Coffee is better able to optimize equipment and drivers,” Hinson added, “while still meeting customer demand.”

Accel-KKR Completes Carve-Out Acquisition of Shipper TMS

Acquisition Marks Second AKKR Investment in Supply Chain Software Space in Two Months After PINC, A Leader in Yard Management Software Solutions

AKKR PINC ShipXpress

Menlo Park, CA & Union City, CA – September 15, 2020Accel-KKR, a leading technology-focused investment firm, today announced that it has closed on a carve-out acquisition of the Shipper TMS portion of the Supply Chain Optimization (SCO) software business portfolio owned by Wabtec Corporation. The Shipper TMS business provides cloud-based multi-modal shipment management applications to customers in the United States, Canada, and Mexico. Industrial shippers, carriers, logistics providers, and bulk terminal operators know the Shipper TMS business by two leading product brands, ShipperConnect and ShipXpress.

This is a strategic acquisition to Accel-KKR’s platform investment in PINC, a Gartner “Best of Breed” digital yard management software solution leader. Accel-KKR completed a significant growth equity investment in PINC on June 16, 2020. Multi-modal TMS and analytics solutions such as those offered by this Shipper TMS business is one of several growth strategies in support of PINC’s goal to expand its digital yard management and transportation management solutions to help clients optimize complex supply chains.

Shippers, such as those moving bulk commodities in the energy, mining, agricultural, metals and chemical verticals, turn to multi-modal shipments (e.g. rail and truck) due to the reliability, cost efficiency and sustainability afforded by the mix of modality as opposed to a single form of transportation. Among its key capabilities, Shipper TMS provides yard management, shipment visibility, rate management and bulk inventory management that allow for an accurate and timely flow of information to all parties from origin to the final destination.

The combined businesses will serve as a foundation for a Supply Chain Execution (SCE) platform focused on comprehensive transportation management software solutions for shippers. The platform will prioritize offerings that serve the origin and termination points in the supply chain with a specific focus on rail, truck, and terminal yard management. Combined with real-time visibility, electronic documentation, analytics, billing, rating and carrier management functionalities, the platform is well positioned to solve multiple transportation challenges in the supply chain industry.

About PINC:
PINC provides scalable software, hardware, and services that enable companies to identify, locate, and orchestrate inventory throughout the supply chain predictably and cost-effectively. The company’s cloud-based real-time tracking platform, powered by an Internet of Things (IoT) sensor network that includes passive RFID, GPS, computer vision, cellular, and other sensors, provides actionable insights and connected expert guidance that allow organizations to optimize their supply chain execution. Visit PINC at www.pinc.com.

About Accel-KKR:
Accel-KKR is a technology-focused investment firm with over $9 billion in capital commitments. The firm focuses on software and IT-enabled businesses, well-positioned for top-line and bottom-line growth. At the core of Accel-KKR’s investment strategy is a commitment to developing strong partnerships with the management teams of its portfolio companies and a focus on building value alongside management by leveraging the significant resources available through the Accel-KKR network. Accel-KKR focuses on middle-market companies and provides a broad range of capital solutions including buyout capital, minority-growth investments, and credit alternatives. Accel-KKR also invests across a wide range of transaction types including private company recapitalizations, divisional carve-outs and going-private transactions. Accel-KKR is headquartered in Menlo Park with additional offices in Atlanta and London. Visit accel-kkr.com to learn more.

Media Contact:


Rafael Granato, Vice President of Marketing
+1 (510) 474-7509

For Accel-KKR:

Todd Fogarty
Kekst CNC
+1 (212) 521-4854

5 Factors that Impact Carrier Lane Pricing


Ever wonder how your carriers come up with their lane pricing? Here’s a quick primer on some of the key factors that go into these decisions.

Also referred to as a “freight lane,” a carrier lane is simply a route that’s routinely served by a specific carrier. By establishing lanes to operate in, carriers, independent operators, and large trucking operations can run more efficiently and effectively (versus trying to serve “everyone everywhere”).

Many less-than-truckload (LTL) carriers operate within a fixed region of the country where they have established lanes, while national LTL carriers operate both within defined regions and via long-haul lanes that carry freight through those regions. Finally, independent operators manage both full and partial truckloads within their established lanes.

5 Points to Remember

Here are five determining factors that carriers use when developing their lane pricing:

  • Current freight volume. Much like any industry that fluctuates according to supply and demand, freight usually costs more to move when everyone is vying for space on trucks. When that demand wanes, lane pricing usually retreats along with it. “Rates are elevated right now and the supply-demand dynamic suggests they will remain so for some time,” Freightwaves “Carriers are rejecting loads at a high rate and volumes are flowing at historic levels. Carriers have options and they are exercising them in search of margins.”
  • Fuel costs. As fuel prices go up, carriers typically adjust their costs to offset their own increased cost in this realm. When fuel costs go down, the savings are often passed along to the shipper via a fuel cost component that carriers build into their own pricing models. These fluctuations can directly impact carrier lane pricing.
  • Head-hauls, backhauls, and deadhead miles. When truck drivers are competing to reduce empty miles, rates will be lower. When shippers are competing to find capacity, rates will be higher. Key factors that carriers look at include the chances of getting reloaded after delivery; and the load-to-truck ratio at the pickup and delivery locations. They also factor in deadhead miles or the number of “empty” miles that have to be driven between pickup and delivery locations (for the next load).
  • Driver pay and labor availability. These two go hand-in-hand: when there are ample drivers to choose from, and when those drivers aren’t commanding higher wages, carrier lane pricing tends to remain steady. However, when driver shortages begin to drive up wages, those increases are usually reflected in higher transportation costs for shippers. Coming off a year when labor availability was an issue for most organizations—and then moving right into the 2020 pandemic (which took a different toll on workforce availability)—this point remains a major hurdle for carriers and trucking companies.
  • Government regulations. Hours of service (HOS) rules, the electronic logging device (ELD) mandate, and other government regulations can all directly impact carrier lane pricing. For example, the HOS rules—which have since been integrated into carriers’ business models—had an initial impact by reducing the number of hours that a driver could be behind the wheel before stopping for a break. That meant no more waiting out in the yard for two hours for a dock door to open up (during which time the driver’s hours could run out). By deploying digital yard management systems (YMS) like PINC, companies have been able to eliminate these detention issues and keep drivers safe and operating (and subsequently, transportation costs affordable).

Keep these points in mind as you plan out your next load, knowing that most of the issues can be worked around if you attack them well in advance (versus waiting until it’s too late to do anything about it). Talk to your carriers about your options and use your YMS and transportation management system (TMS) to come up with a plan to provides the best value at the right price.

PINC and project44 partner to deliver the next generation of yard automation and predictability


The world’s number one enterprise yard management system and the leader in supply chain visibility combine forces to provide highly efficient automation and real-time visibility to manage in-transit and on-site shipments.

UNION CITY, Calif. – Aug. 25, 2020 — PINC, the number one digital yard™ management solution provider, today announced a partnership with project44®, the global leader in supply chain visibility for shippers and logistics service providers.

The new partnership aims to empower industry-leading shippers and carriers with end to end real-time shipment visibility and yard management automation capabilities for an enhanced supply chain experience.

Distribution centers, warehouses, and manufacturing plants are looking to improve gate velocity, optimize driver turnaround times, and reduce costs while becoming Shippers-of-Choice. project44’s shipment and ETA data in concert with PINC Yard Management System‘s real-time asset and load data will accelerate the check-in process and provide customers with actionable dynamic load scheduling visibility. Organizations will also gain real-time insights into critical yard asset and load lifecycle transitions through project44’s Advanced Visibility Platform™.

At the enterprise level, the data exchange between PINC and project44 will enable shippers to improve shipment velocity, enhance sustainability, reduce accessorial charges, and manage carrier contracts and transportation budgets more effectively.

“PINC enables enterprises to find and assign trailer assets and associated loads automatically through their life cycle, and optimize their movement between gates, yard, and docks,” said Matt Yearling, CEO of PINC. “Combining project44’s advanced visibility and predictive tracking and ETAs with our yard orchestration engine will enhance the shippers’ ability to meet on time in full (OTIF) requirements, maximize the productivity of warehouse labor and assets, achieve real-time visibility to available inventory, compete on providing an enhanced customer experience, while significantly reduce costs.”

“As businesses face the increasing demand for faster delivery, our partnership is here to fix the existing supply chain gaps, whether shipment is in transit, in the yard, or in the warehouse,” said Jett McCandless, CEO and Founder of project44. “With project44’s robust API integration capabilities and real-time ETA tracking, we are excited to drive additional value to mutual customers. By having real-time insights into inbound load ETA and shipment details, all players within the transportation ecosystem can increase operational efficiencies and exceed their customers’ expectations.”

On September 3rd, Matt Yearling and Jett McCandless will join Gartner’s VP, Bart De Muynck, and other thought leaders and industry experts on the panel discussion entitled “Re-evaluating The Supply Chain:  Transportation Execution Driven By Innovation in Uncertain Times”. The online event is hosted by UC Berkeley’s Sutardja Center For Entrepreneurship and Technology and will be moderated by Dr. Aleks Gollu. For more information, please visit: https://innox.berkeley.edu/event/9-3-re-evaluating-supply-chain/

About PINC:

PINC provides scalable software, hardware, and services that enable companies to identify, locate, and orchestrate inventory throughout the supply chain predictably and cost-effectively. The company’s cloud-based real-time tracking platform, powered by an Internet of Things (IoT) sensor network that includes passive RFID, GPS, computer vision, cellular, and other sensors, provides actionable insights and connected expert guidance that allow organizations to optimize their supply chain execution. Visit PINC at www.pinc.com.

About project44:

project44 is the world’s leading advanced visibility platform for shippers and logistics service providers. project44 connects, automates, and provides visibility into key transportation processes to accelerate insights and shorten the time it takes to turn those insights into actions. Leveraging the power of the project44 cloud-based platform, organizations increase operational efficiencies, reduce costs, improve shipping performance, and deliver an exceptional Amazon-like experience to their customers. Connected to thousands of carriers worldwide and having comprehensive coverage for all ELD and telematics devices on the market, project44 supports all transportation modes and shipping types, including Air, Parcel, Final-Mile, Less-than-Truckload, Volume Less-than-Truckload, Groupage, Truckload, Rail, Intermodal, and Ocean. project44 has placed second, behind only Amazon, on FreightWaves’ 2020 Freight Tech 25, a list of the most innovative companies across the freight industry, and received the 2020 SAP® Pinnacle Award as the Cloud Partner Integration of the Year. To learn more, visit https://www.project44.com/.

Media Contact:
Rafael Granato, Vice President of Marketing, PINC

Mariya Barnes, Director of Communications, project44

7 Ways to Reduce Carrier Detention Fees and How Digital Yard Management Can Help

Yard management detention charges

If you’ve been paying higher and higher driver detention fees lately, you’re not alone. According to a new report from C.H. Robinson and Iowa State University, favored shippers are receiving better pricing and service. Those that don’t fall into the “shipper of choice” category are bearing the brunt of the driver detention and related fees.

In Do Favored Shippers Really Receive Better Pricing and Service? the report’s authors set out to better understand the voice of U.S. truckload carriers and quantitatively measure the effects of “favored shipper” characteristics on transportation costs. Through this process, they found that the top three characteristics impacting these costs include:

  1. Dwell time/asset utilization. Carriers most frequently commented on shipper and consignee dwell time and the influence shippers have on the carrier’s ability to utilize their drivers and assets (trucks and trailers), the report notes. Comments included concerns about shipper location (e.g., congestion and distance from the highway), drop trailer opportunities, appointment setting, and load/unload times.
  2. Contract terms and liability. All carriers mentioned liability concerns related to either the freight or the drivers who are on shipper/consignee property, according to the report. Payment terms, actual payment time, and detention (driver and trailer) were also commonly discussed.
  3. Driver experience. Several carriers mentioned concerns related to the driver’s experience at the shipper and consignee. These ranged from the check-in process—which can be facilitated by a digital  (YMS)—and parking, to driver lounges and restrooms. “In general, smaller carriers were more likely to discuss driver issues than larger carriers.”

Using shipment data and econometric modeling, Iowa State University’s researchers quantitatively measured the effects of these characteristics on transportation costs. With a 2-hour dwell time at origin increasing the freight rate for every load shipped by an average of $9.83 (along with any detention charges), that cost multiplied across many loads can add up quickly.

7 Steps to Take Now

To keep carrier dwell time to a minimum and reduce the related charges, C.H. Robinson and Iowa State University tell shippers to start using these strategies:

  • Leverage live load flexibility. Freight may be ready early for pickup. If a dock door is open and the shipper can proactively communicate this to their live load provider, they can obtain a truck before a scheduled appointment. “Live loading provides the flexibility to deal with fluctuations in demand,” the report’s authors state. “It enables coordination between manufacturing, shipping, and the carrier to accommodate freight when manufacturing is ahead of schedule, or when shipping falls behind.” Using your YMS, you can designate a dock door (or a percent of time for multiple doors) for live load activity or combined drop trailer/live load freight. This strategy enables the shipper or consignee to dramatically reduce the amount of time the driver is on their property.
  • Pre-stage freight on shipping dock. Proactively prepare for carrier arrivals so they can get in and out faster. This is another process that your digital YMS can handle for you.
  • Offer appointments for loading and unloading. Put an appointment or notification scheduling process in place to maximize the use of dock doors and people and to increase efficiency. “Stay as close to designated times as possible,” the report’s authors advise. “Also monitor the receivers’ facility characteristics and what the carrier encounters on the delivery end.”
  • Palletize freight. Palletized freight can be loaded and unloaded faster than loose boxes and pieces.
  • Maintain adequate staff for loading and unloading. “A cascading effect quickly occurs on dwell time when dock staff is insufficient to handle scheduled appointments,” the report notes. “Shippers should ensure that adequate staff is on hand at all times.”
  • For large facilities, provide a good map or directions to the appropriate dock door. To reduce frustration and enable faster loading/unloading times, provide carriers with a map and directions to the appropriate dock door or their shipment.
  • Use drop trailers. Shippers can load drop trailers according to their timing and schedules. “The carrier arrives, hooks up the trailer, and goes, with a minimum of wait time,” the report states, “This is easily the best solution in high-volume facilities.”

What does ‘on-time, in-full’ (OTIF) mean in the consumer sector?

McKinsey & Co., and Trading Partner Alliance outline some of the key considerations that should go into developing and using the on-time and in-full delivery metric.

Dock Doors - Yard Management Software OTIF

Supply chain complexity is increasing as customers demand a wider selection of products, a broader choice of channels, and more promotional offers. With expectations of higher on-shelf availability and lower inventory costs, the pressure on delivery performance has intensified—as has the need for manufacturers, retailers, and carriers to work together to create efficient, reliable, and responsive supply chains.

The global pandemic has accelerated this trend, and along the way unveiled some major gaps in the world’s supply chains. To fill these gaps, a growing number of companies operating in the consumer sector have adopted the “on-time in-full” (OTIF) delivery metric.

What is OTIF?

According to McKinsey & Co., OTIF measures the extent to which shipments are delivered to their destination according to both the quantity and schedule specified on the order. “In theory, OTIF should be the ideal mechanism to align the objectives of retailers and manufacturers,” the global consultancy points out.

The problem is that there is no standard definition for OTIF. Because of this, supply-chain participants may interpret the metric differently. For example:

  • Does “on-time” mean on the date requested by the retailer, or the date promised by the manufacturer?
  • Does it mean within the specific delivery slot allocated to the shipment, or any time inside a broader, agreed-upon time window?
  • Should “in-full” be measured at the level of complete orders, line-items, or individual cases?

“These differences matter,” McKinsey says in its report, noting that effective supply-chain collaboration depends upon a precise, common understanding of delivery-performance expectations. “Today’s diversity of approaches means partners waste time arguing over the figures, rather than addressing the root causes of delivery issues.”

Survey Says…

To get industry perspectives on OTIF, the Trading Partner Alliance (TPA) and McKinsey surveyed major retailers and manufacturers of North American consumer packaged goods (CPG). Ninety-two percent of those companies agreed that an industry standard for OTIF would create value.

“They noted that a standard definition would significantly reduce discrepancies and confusion and promote collaboration among trading partners,” McKinsey states. “Collaboration would help partners resolve supply problems more efficiently and effectively—creating value for all supply-chain participants as well as for consumers.”

A common definition for OTIF would also:

  • Create a common view. A common view of supply-chain performance would support consumer-goods supply chains by aligning service expectations; enabling joint performance management; and supporting performance benchmarking.
  • Streamline data complexity. “Retailers and manufacturers end up devoting significant time to explaining and reconciling differences in reported data,” McKinsey points out. “Carriers are often caught in the middle, as both retailers and manufacturers push them for improved performance based on inconsistent data and requirements.”
  • Reduce supply chain complexity. Because each retailer has a different definition of OTIF, manufacturers must meet a variety of different delivery standards and keep up with each retailer’s changes to its individual definition. “Even the major retailers use different definitions, and their definitions keep evolving,” McKinsey notes.

So what’s the solution? A viable working definition of OTIF, which McKinsey says would look like this:  “Case quantity that is delivered to the destination by the requested delivery date, calculated as a percentage of the ordered quantity.”

The other parameters would include:

  • Any overdelivered quantity or inaccurate product shall be disregarded.
  • Arrival at the destination facility (rather than when checked in or unloaded, which may be subject to delays outside the manufacturer’s control).
  • The requested delivery window should be the delivery date requested at the time of order placement, adjusted for any retailer-caused appointment delay, measured to the end of the working day and with a one-day early allowance.

$15-$20 Billion in Lost Sales

As the industry works toward a common definition for OTIF, the complexities of running the world’s supply chains will increase exponentially. “Consumers expect products to be on the shelf,” McKinsey points out, noting that the U.S. food retail industry loses an estimated

$15-$20 billion in sales (2%-3% of its total sales) every year due to out-of-stock or unsaleable merchandise.

“The main operational challenge for the consumer sector is to achieve high levels of on-shelf availability,” it adds, “while keeping supply chain costs down and inventories under control.”

PINC named Top Supply Chain Projects for 2020 by Supply & Demand Chain Executive

TOP 100 SDCE Yard Management Solution

Union City, CA – July 29th, 2020 –  Supply & Demand Chain Executive, the executive’s user manual for successful supply and demand chain transformation, has selected PINC, the leader in digital yard™ solutions, as a recipient of an SDCE 100 Award for 2020.

The SDCE 100 spotlights successful and innovative projects that deliver bottom-line value to small, medium and large enterprises across the range of supply chain functions. These projects can serve as a map for supply chain executives looking for new opportunities to drive improvement in their own operations. These initiatives also show how supply chain solution and service providers help their customers and clients achieve supply chain excellence and prepare their supply chains for success.

Since its founding in 2004, PINC has been a pioneer in providing real-time visibility and workflow orchestration to yard operations across distribution centers and manufacturing plants worldwide. PINC’s platform is currently utilized by an array of Fortune 1000 enterprises and gives companies a cost-effective way to move inventory faster and optimize their supply chain.

“Innovation is essential in driving the supply chain industry forward, and thanks to these valuable partnerships, companies of all sizes are able to achieve success in projects that matter,” says Marina Mayer, editor for Supply & Demand Chain Executive. “From business intelligence systems and supply and demand planning to inventory reduction and procurement solutions, the SDCE 100 offers proof-of-concept that with the right planning and execution, anything is possible.”

“We are very grateful for this award during one of the most challenging years of this century,” said Rafael Granato, Vice President of Marketing at PINC. “Given the uncertainties and increased customer expectations placed upon trailer yards, we are playing a more vital role at the termination points of transportation networks, by expediting shipments and reducing transportation costs.”

About PINC:

PINC provides scalable software, hardware, and services that enable companies to identify, locate, and orchestrate inventory throughout the supply chain predictably and cost-effectively. The company’s cloud-based real-time tracking platform, powered by an Internet of Things (IoT) sensor network that includes passive RFID, GPS, computer vision, cellular, and other sensors, provides actionable insights and connected expert guidance that allow organizations to optimize their supply chain execution. Visit PINC at www.pinc.com. 

About Supply & Demand Chain Executive:

Supply & Demand Chain Executive is the executive’s user manual for successful supply and demand chain transformation, utilizing hard-hitting analysis, viewpoints and unbiased case studies to steer executives and supply management professionals through the complicated, yet critical, world of supply and demand chain enablement to gain competitive advantage. Visit us at www.SDCExec.com.

KEARNEY & CSCMP: 6 Technologies Driving Logistics and Supply Chain Forward in 2020

New insights from Kearney and CSCMP show how technology is helping the logistics industry work smarter, better, and faster in today’s challenging business environment.


In 2019, organizations around the world were dealing with trade wars, electronics component shortages, labor crunches, and geopolitical issues like Brexit. By early-2020, the entire world’s attention shifted over to fighting a global pandemic and coping with the steep toll it took on human life, livelihoods, businesses, and industries.

In response, the logistics industry has spent the past few months dealing with crises. Now, it’s carving out a path forward in a VUCA (volatility, uncertainty, complexity, and ambiguity) world, where new challenges continue to surface daily.

Some signs are optimistic, according to Kearney and CSCMP’s 31st Annual Council of Supply Chain Management Professionals (CSCMP) State of Logistics Report. For example, e-commerce continues to boom, amplified by the online shopping of those sheltering at home. Some carriers maintained profits despite declining volumes in 2019, suggesting a commitment to pricing discipline that may help them survive the bigger drops of 2020.

“An economic slowdown damaged most sectors of the economy, including logistics,” Kearney points out in its report, which covers the macroeconomic factors affecting logistics, insights from industry leaders, discussion of important trends, detailed analysis of each major logistics sector, and a strategic assessment of the industry.

6 Ways Tech is Making a Difference

In its report, Kearney discusses how the implications of the COVID-19 crisis have reemphasized the value of technology in logistics. Here are six advanced technologies that it says will continue to positively impact the industry for the near term:

1) Artificial intelligence and machine learning: Artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) are broad categories, which companies across all stages of logistics are already using to make smarter and quicker decisions. AI and ML directly address the data challenge, helping companies turn existing data into better insights and competitive advantage. “Their importance to the industry is why 20 percent of the AI-100 are in logistics,” Kearney points out, noting that companies can use AI and ML to:

  • Anticipate market changes to make better planning decisions
  • Predict high-demand products, so that warehouses can move them to easy-to-access locations
  • Optimize delivery routes based on real-time traffic and weather conditions
  • Recognize damaged goods before they get delivered
  • Automate simple, repetitive back-office tasks to reduce paperwork, improve productivity, and reduce errors

Calling AI and ML “dominant disruptive forces in logistics,” Kearney says the value they bring is clear. “Barriers to entry are lowering, computing power continues to grow, and ever more data is ever more widely available.

2) Robotics and automation: Kearney breaks robotics and automation technologies down into two categories: moving goods and handling goods.

  • Autonomous trucks are likely to develop in stages: first platooning, then driverless platooning, then full-blown autonomous vehicles operating at scale without drivers all the way from loading to delivery. Similar, but lower-impact, effects can be expected in rail, air, and warehouse drones.
  • In warehouses, robotic shelves can move goods to picking stations, picking systems can use robotic arms with sensors to effectively grasp many shapes of objects, and autonomous palletizers can robotically build pallets from units and cases.

Noting that autonomous vehicles still need to make significant headway on safety and regulatory issues, Kearney says stakeholders need to come together to build the vision of a driverless world, which is likely still years away. “Platooning will come first, in three to five years, and fully autonomous vehicles will become a reality in about 10 years,” it concludes. “However, the handling technologies focused on picking, sorting, and palletizing are already in full swing.”

3) Augmented reality and virtual reality: Augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) can make processes more efficient, thus improving productivity, especially in warehousing and delivery. The earliest examples have focused on aiding warehouse product picking by displaying instructions on smart glasses for items in the field of vision. Glasses can also provide instructions for employees performing maintenance tasks.

“Eventually they could even help employees find the right pallets when loading or unloading a truck,” Kearney adds. “The approach can reduce lead times, error rates, and job training requirements.” Similar approaches on vehicle windshields could aid delivery people, perhaps even by showing a picture of the package’s intended recipient.

“In the near term, AR and VR will likely remain limited to existing use cases in warehouse product picking and training,” Kearney predicts, “although it will likely expand from early adopters to other competitors in those areas.”

4) 5G and the Industrial Internet of Things: Companies can use the new 5G wireless standards in three key ways:

  • End-to-end visibility. 5G will enable companies to deploy many more devices, creating an Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) that can provide real-time data for container-, truck-, and SKU-level tracking.
  • Enhanced routes and schedules. Better tracking will help organizations avoid delays, eliminate unnecessary trips, and optimize routes and schedules in real time.
  • Improved maintenance. The 5G network will support VR and AI technologies to improve on- and off-road maintenance.

“5G networks will soon be ubiquitous,” Kearney predicts. “However, beyond the 5G-powered infrastructure on which copious devices can communicate, achieving full IIoT benefits also requires easily available low-cost devices and the emergence of standards for their communication across the network.”

5) Renewable energy: Logistics companies can benefit from renewables through savings in fuel and power, reducing emissions to meet consumer preferences, and potentially increasing delivery windows through quieter electric fleets. Kearney sees three clear innovation areas within the logistics space:

  • Electric trucks rely on battery innovations that reduce costs and charging times (for example, swappable batteries).
  • Electrified last-mile vehicles may include handcarts, tricycles, or medium-sized vans.

Green warehouses reduce carbon footprints through rooftop solar panels, smart motion sensors to reduce illumination requirements, and forklift charging in off-peak hours.

6) Blockchain: Kearney says that while blockchain’s decentralized nature and transparency can improve tracking and reduce inefficiencies in logistics, advocates often overlook the foundation of digitization needed to extract the full potential of the technology. “There are also technical issues,” it points out. For example, a smart contract won’t self-execute without connectivity at the point of delivery to log the fact that the goods were delivered.

Before blockchain can become ubiquitous in the supply chain, Kearney says there are also trust issues to work through. “Making all data in a network transparent to all users can undermine trade secrets. These and other issues surrounding blockchain in logistics are certainly solvable,” it explains. “But it may take years for the solutions—and the changes in a wider ecosystem that they require—to be ready to live up to the hype.”

Stepping up to the Plate

The COVID-19 crisis serves as a reminder of the world’s reliance on logistics to deliver regardless of circumstances. It also accentuates some of the industry’s challenges, especially in meeting increased e-commerce demand from customers. “It highlights the need for modernization and technological advances,” Kearney states.

Do you agree? Please let us know.

Digital Yard Management Proves Essential During COVID-19 Disruptive Times

New Gartner Market Guide for Yard Management shows the role that YMS plays in helping companies automate processes and offset the impacts of the global pandemic and other supply chain disruptions. 

Gartner Yard Management Market Guide

It didn’t take long for global supply chains to take center stage during the worldwide pandemic, what with the many shipping delays, supply disruptions, and related issues that made the world’s headlines. A critical juncture that sits between the warehouses where goods are stored and the end destination for those supplies, the yard quickly became a focal point for companies that scrambled to develop more streamlined, frictionless supply chain strategies.

Some of the world’s largest brands would agree that yards are the most significant opportunities for digitization and optimization in the supply chain. As inventory often goes through multiple yards during their shipment lifecycle, any inefficiencies or errors in the yard are propagated through the entire supply chain. Additionally, 80% of transportation delays happen when trailers and containers are at distribution centers and manufacturing plants, costing organizations millions of dollars in inefficient operations and excessive accessorial charges and transportation contracts.

Driving Greater Yard Efficiency

To drive greater efficiency for the yard and better collaboration with carriers, vendors are focusing more on yard orchestrated automation capabilities as part of their offerings. “Companies have put considerable effort into optimizing their processes in the warehouse and transportation,” Gartner analysts Bart De Muynck and Simon Tunstall point out in the new Gartner Market Guide for Yard Management (subscription required.)

“However, operations in the yard that connect transportation and, specifically, the truck to the warehouse, for both inbound and outbound operations, have in many cases been left behind or ignored,” they continue. “Often, the yard operations operate in a very manual and non-technology-driven way. The need for more automation and digitization caused by the recent disruptions and concerns around social distancing has created more visibility of the gaps that exist in many yard operations.”

The 2020 Market Guide for Yard Management, which identifies PINC as a Representative Vendor, says  “shorter transportation lead times and increasing transportation costs push companies to increase their efficiencies in the yard, as time spent on a yard can be unproductive and costly. More regulated hours of service and an increasing driver shortage have a negative impact on the total number of hours trucks are on the road at any given point. Consequently, it becomes even more critical for shippers to find time savings elsewhere in their supply chains. Boosting throughput by using a YMS means trucks spend more minutes with their wheels turning.

More Enterprise YMS Wanted 

The report further states, “in 2020, Gartner saw an increase in inquiries from clients in this area and has seen additional developments from both WMS vendors and niche providers” and “companies are looking into YMS solutions to help close the supply chain gaps that exist in their own backyards such as long trailer wait times, unproductive personnel numbers, poorly synchronized movement of goods and ineffective dock planning.”

Based on PINC customer data, here’s how shippers can close those gaps and deliver value across the network:

  • Finding and assigning trailer assets and associated loads automatically through their life cycle, and optimizing their movement between gates, yard, and docks.
  • Minimizing the operational footprint (people & assets) required to operate the facility effectively.
  • Improving sustainability by reducing truck idling time, eliminating excessive reefer trailer and yard spotters fuel consumption, and reducing empty miles.
  • Supporting the management of transportation contracts and accessorial charges from a site and enterprise level.
  • Optimizing driver turnaround times while becoming a Shipper-of-Choice.
  • Taking advantage of all available data exchanges between the TMS, YMS, and other transportation system data sources.
  • Enhancing operational capabilities by promoting social distancing during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Gartner, Market Guide For Yard Management, Simon Tunstall, Bart De Muynck, 25 June 2020.

Gartner Disclaimer

Gartner does not endorse any vendor, product or service depicted in its research publications, and does not advise technology users to select only those vendors with the highest ratings or other designation. Gartner research publications consist of the opinions of Gartner’s Research & Advisory organization and should not be construed as statements of fact. Gartner disclaims all warranties, expressed or implied, with respect to this research, including any warranties of merchantability or fitness for a particular purpose.