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Survey highlights need for better yard management systems

Nearly 3 in 4 yards burdened by manual processes that harm production, says FourKites report

“The State of Yard Management: Industry Report 2021” surveyed 375 supply chain professionals in consumer product goods, food and beverage, retail, and manufacturing industries. (Photo: Shutterstock)

Yard management represents a costly blind spot for many shippers and their supply chain partners, according to a survey released by FourKites.

“The State of Yard Management: Industry Report 2021” includes responses from 375 supply chain professionals across the consumer packaged goods (CPG), food and beverage, retail, and manufacturing industries about their unique pain points and how they manage their yards.

While nine in 10 respondents (92%) believe a yard management system (YMS) could add value to their organizations, only 25% currently use a YMS, according to the survey. 

Chicago-based FourKites offers a predictive supply chain visibility platform that calculates shipment arrival times and provides in-transit visibility. The platform covers all modes — truckload, less-than-truckload, ocean, rail, air, intermodal, courier and parcel — and is available in 176 countries.

Inefficiencies linked to yard management include time wasted locating equipment, and higher labor and operational costs, FourKites said.

Among the key findings: 


  • More than half of respondents cite manual processes as their biggest challenge when it comes to both yard and appointment management (55% and 52%, respectively).
  • After manual processes, 21% listed locating equipment as their biggest yard management pain point, followed by 15% citing excessive operational costs.
  • After manual processes, 20% of respondents cited poor dock door utilization as their biggest challenge with managing appointments, followed by 18% citing siloes between appointment management and TMS/WMS.
  • Twenty-seven percent of respondents do not maintain any kind of yard or appointment performance metrics.
  • More than one in five (22%) respondents are still managing gate processes on paper, and only 5% have taken steps to automate these processes.
  • Over 40% of retailers have adopted a YMS, representing the highest group of users among the industries surveyed.

In March, FourKites created Dynamic Yard, a supply chain visibility product that incorporates predictive estimated times of arrival (ETA) and yard and warehouse management tools. The company acquired the yard management solutions business from TrackX Holdings to make Dynamic Yard possible.

FourKites founder and CEO Matt Elenjickal said yard management is one of the keys to gaining total visibility in a digital supply chain.

“Companies need real-time visibility into every mile of a product’s journey,” Elenjickal said in a statement. 

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Noi Mahoney

Noi Mahoney is a Texas-based journalist who covers cross-border trade, logistics and supply chains for FreightWaves. He graduated from the University of Texas at Austin with a degree in English in 1998. Mahoney has more than 20 years experience as a journalist, working for newspapers in Florida, Maryland and Texas. Contact [email protected]