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Yard Management



The implementation of a yard management system (YMS) must result in operational excellence and bring value to the operation. The major segments of the yard and discusses key points that should be considered when making a YMS decision are reviewed here. The application of Real-Time Locating System (RTLS) and RFID technology is supported by some YMS products, which enhances YMS solutions for larger and more complex yard operations. When active RTLS technology is used, the location of equipment and switch tractors is always known, eliminating the need for manual yard checks. Regardless whether or not location technology is used, an effective YMS provides planning, management and execution in the yard, facilitating increased flow velocity of goods through the supply chain.

The life cycle of a trailer in a yard includes the following key processes: gate functions, switcher or jockey dispatch, yard inventory, and dock management. The differentiation between YMS solutions depends on the operational excellence, desired goals and objectives of optimisation achieved by each stage of the yard management process.

Value Creation and ROI

The selection and subsequent rollout of a yard management solution is determined by the expected value resulting from increased yard optimization, including a fast return on the investment (ROI).

The Zebra YMS is designed to optimise all four stages of yard operations based on your particular goals. It accomplishes this through powerful configuration options, planning tools, execution tools, alerts, reporting, and system interfaces. The Renovotec / Zebra YMS is an effective operations tool for medium to large size yards. The system accepts pre-arrival information, which accelerates the check-in process. The gate process supports mobile handheld devices and stationary desk top computers. If desired, the YMS can be configured to produce paper gate tickets that direct drivers where to park in the yard. The YMS then governs the movements of trailers to and from dock doors using a combination of business rules and manual moves for exception processing. Trailers departing from and arriving at docks are directed by the Renovotec / Zebra YMS Door Manager module. Organising trailers within the yard is optimised by the business rules. For example the inbound loads can be placed closest to the docks, and once emptied the Zebra YMS can assign parking locations that are closer to the exit gate.

In high velocity yards where shipping dock doors are assigned to set truck routes, yard parking assignments may be laid out by carrier with empties and loads side by side. This latter type of setup allows switchers to quickly plug dock doors while minimising travel in the yard to obtain the next trailer. Drop and pull carriers also benefit with quick turnarounds. The Zebra YMS yard rules afford an operator to lay out a yard parking scheme that is tailored to their operations, creating efficiencies of a greater throughput of trailers over the same amount of real estate.

The Renovotec / Zebra YMS ROI is accomplished in less than one year. Optimised processes will continue to create value over several years.

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ROI – Renovotec / Zebra YMS software hard savings are contributed by the following:

  • 30% – Reduced switcher cost (number of units, fuel and labour).
  • 70% – Elimination of manual yard checks.
  • 25% – Reduction of dock labor costs.
  • 20% – Increased yard utilisation / throughput.
  • 50% – Time reduction at gates to process drivers.

Additional savings above can be realised by using active RTLS technology with the Renovotec / Zebra YMS.

Yard operations and resulting high levels of service (soft gains) also include:

  • Event-driven transaction recording in the Zebra YMS provides outstanding reporting, and hence an analytical tool to optimize planning and execution of yard processes.
  • Better load security due to driver detail information capture at gates in addition to seal verification and recording upon arrival and departure.
  • Commands to switchers are no longer issued with radios. With the Zebra YMS
  • Door Manager module, there is no lag time in executing trailer moves.
  • Data integrity and system interfaces with TMS and WMS minimize errors.
  • Drive down transportation costs by fast turn times in yard.
  • Significant reduction of demurrage expenses.
  • Improved level of service.
  • Able to handle trailer surges more effectively.

The Zebra YMS is cost effective and optimizes yard processes. The implementation of Zebra YMS has a direct and measurable positive impact on expediting goods movement across the supply chain.


Gate Management

The Gate presents the first of many challenges a trailer faces when arriving at a yard. This is the point of initial interaction and communications between the carrier…



Yard Operations

The functions for planning, managing and executing activities of a yard determine the amount of value that a YMS solution brings to an operation. Yard software…



Switcher Productivity

In higher functioning YMS solutions, trailer move commands are issued wirelessly to switchers using ruggedised computers mounted inside the switcher cabs…



Dock Door Management

YMS solutions can have a significant impact on the cost of labour working the dock doors at supply chain facilities of up to 25% of the labour cost. This is accomplished primarily…


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