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SMARTER SEAPORTS • SMARTER ZEBRA
SMARTER SEAPORTS • SMARTER ZEBRA

Gate Management

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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 and the facility. The objective is to expedite inbound processing while avoiding congestion at the gate, minimizing the queue so that trailers do not spill onto public streets exposing them to tickets from the local law enforcement. Actions at the gate concurrently should direct trailers to proper locations in the yard. In a drop and pull environment, the driver should be directed to a specif¬ic yard location or to a specific dock door for a live load. When done correctly, intelligent parking assignments minimize travel distances between trailers and dock doors, resulting in faster door turns, decreased switcher fuel consumption, and increased switcher productivity.


For many operations, the use of mobile handheld devices can further accelerate inbound and outbound pro¬cessing compared with using stationary computers that impose time delays from walking back and forth between the driver’s cab and the guard shack. Prior receipt of trailer details in the form of an advance shipper notice (ASN) is critical to avoid congestion at gates. With the ASN loaded into the YMS, the gate process is simplified to updating the actual arrival of the unit and obtaining driver information. At this point “the hand¬shake” between the facility and carrier takes place. The gate verifies and confirms the seal number on the trailer and any equipment issues can be noted prior to entry. Driver identification details may also be loaded into the YMS in advance of the truck arrival. The gate transaction is accelerated, as now the process becomes one of verification of the identity of the driver, rather than data capture exercise, further eliminating gate delays.

The challenges for departing trailers from a yard are different from the concerns of the inbound process. The most important function during departure is verification that the proper trailer is taken by the correct and autho¬rized carrier, and has the matching paperwork. The ability to perform a duel transaction on the inbound leg can increase overall yard throughput. In a drop and pull transaction, the verification of the pick-up details are per¬formed when the driver checks in. A gate ticket is generated, indicating where to park the inbound trailer and pick up the outbound load. On the outbound leg, the operator verifies the load against the gate ticket, which should also be systematically verified in the YMS. Paperwork is provided to the driver, completing the cycle. This duel transaction results in reducing the time a driver spends in a facility, which ultimately results in lower transportation costs. Studies have shown that a duel transaction at large sites (e.g. over 70 acres) can be ac¬complished on average of 16.4 minutes from the time the driver arrives until he departs the yard.

When considering a YMS, it is essential to understand its gate capabilities with respect to your operational needs, since no two gates are identical. In most cases, however, a good YMS will support mobile devices, accept pre-arrival and pre-departure information about trailers and drivers, route inbound drivers to the right locations in the yard, block unauthorized trailers from checking out, and support an inspection process.

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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…

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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…

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Switcher Productivity

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

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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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