Maintaining the Yard: Guide to Yard Management Systems

Maintaining the Yard: Guide to Yard Management Systems

The right YMS can manage the comings and goings of assets to provide visibility and control over yard operations. Ready to choose a YMS solution? Here’s how.

Yard management systems (YMS) are software solutions that monitor the movement of trailers, containers, and other assets in the yard and dock of a facility, distribution center, or warehouse. By tracking the location, status, and contents of individual assets in real time, shippers gain visibility and control over yard operations and optimize yard activities including trailer moves, loading and unloading, and inventory management. The benefits of using a YMS include improved yard efficiency, reduced wait times, and minimized detention charges.

YMS solutions can be standalone or integrated into a larger supply chain management system. The most effective systems improve communication between supply chain stakeholders by automating workflows and fostering information sharing.

Critical supply chain pain points in the yard are driving shipper interest in YMS solutions. The Gartner Market Guide for Yard Management identifies these challenges:

  • Shorter transportation lead times and increasing transportation costs—accelerated by higher fuel costs—push companies to increase efficiencies in the yard, as time spent in a yard can be unproductive and costly.
  • The transportation and warehouse functions meet in the yard, which is often a “black hole,” where companies lack visibility to activities, inventory, and equipment.
  • Companies are considering YMS solutions to help close the supply chain gaps that exist in their own yards, such as long trailer wait times, labor issues, poorly synchronized movement of goods, and ineffective dock planning.

Finding the Right Fit

Choosing the right yard management system for your business is a critical decision that directly impacts yard operations as well as the bottom line. Here are some factors to consider when selecting a YMS:

Size and complexity: A large yard with multiple assets to manage may require a more advanced YMS to help keep up with complex workflows and provide real-time visibility.

System integration: Integrating with existing systems, including a transportation management system or warehouse management system, can help to smooth any operational rough edges.

Customization and scalability: Look for a YMS that can be customized to fit specific needs and can scale with your business as it grows.

Ease of use: A YMS with an intuitive user interface can make it easier for a team to learn and use the system effectively.

Reporting and analytics: The right YMS for your business should be able to provide real-time data and analytics to help make informed decisions concerning yard operations.

Support: Ongoing support and maintenance ensures smooth system operation. When hiccups happen, make sure the vendor can promptly address the problem.

Cost: Analyze the true cost of the YMS, including implementation, training, and ongoing maintenance fees. Make sure it lines up with the benefits it will provide to the business.

Choosing the right YMS requires careful consideration of your supply chain needs and a thorough evaluation of available options. Inbound Logistics’ YMS Guide is a perfect starting point, but also consider working your network before making any final decision. It also may be helpful to consult with a third-party provider or seek references to make an informed decision.

2023 YMS Guide

Begin your search for the YMS that fits your Needs by Getting to know the Solutions Providers.

Blue Yonder | 833-532-4764

PRODUCT: Blue Yonder Yard Management
DESCRIPTION: Blue Yonder’s warehouse management-integrated Yard Management is purpose built and innovative, increasing yard efficiencies and decreasing detention and frustration through cameras, OCR, and machine learning.

C3 Solutions | 514-315-3139

DESCRIPTION: Empowers yard managers by providing visibility to both yard assets and shipments, increasing gate throughput, reducing dock congestion, optimizing door utilization, and automating yard driver task assignment.

Cypress Inland Corporation | 303-781-3430

PRODUCT: YardViewPro
DESCRIPTION: Augments yard management by accounting for specific industry, cataloging container contents and locations, assigning dock scheduling and yard driver tasks, performing recorded gate control, and enhancing visibility for all users.

Descartes Systems Group | 800-419-8495

PRODUCT: Descartes Yard Management
DESCRIPTION: Helps operators track the movement of trailers and contents across multiple locations. Tracks driver and yard activity.

Exotrac | 212-989-0171

PRODUCT: YardTrac Pro and Lite
DESCRIPTION: Real-time YMS delivers comprehensive functionality and speed while minimizing detention costs. Web and mobile applications suited to any vertical in the supply chain.

FourKites | 888-466-6958

PRODUCT: FourKites Dynamic Yard
DESCRIPTION: Enables businesses to use real-time transportation visibility to manage daily operations throughout the yard, including gate operations, task assignment, and trailer inventory management.

IntelliTrans | 800-603-9175

PRODUCT: Yard Runner
DESCRIPTION: Manages rail yards with increased levels of visibility. Features interactive virtualization maps, bills of lading, railcar loading optimization, and detention/demurrage charge calculations.

Koërber | 800-328-3271

DESCRIPTION: Enables users to track yard inventory and trailers to increase visibility of assets. Addresses dock door scheduling for faster trailer turns and strategic staging by trailer type.

One Network Enterprises | 866-302-1936

PRODUCT: One Network Yard Management System
DESCRIPTION: Provides real-time, gate-dock-gate visibility of equipment and inventory. Schedules, executes, and audits loads synchronized to warehouse, dock-door scheduling, and demand priorities.

Made4net | 201-645-4345

PRODUCT: YardExpert
DESCRIPTION: Provides the tools to track and manage a yard for better decision making regarding when, where, and how assets are moved and handled.

Sentier Systems | 866-503-4823

PRODUCT: Yard Commander
DESCRIPTION: A fully functional, easy-to-use YMS that offers full visibility to assets in the yard and at docks, reports, history of transactions, and alerts.

Splice | 757-530-5300

PRODUCT: Yard Spot
DESCRIPTION: Creates a common operating picture by combining mobile/fixed camera, GPS tracking, TMS, and any relevant data to prioritize and streamline yard operations.

Yard Management Solutions | 800-766-6197

PRODUCT: Yard Management Solutions
DESCRIPTION: Designed as an easy-to-learn, simple-to-use YMS for organizations that have outgrown manual processes. The scalable solution delivers visibility to streamline yard processes.

Zebra Technologies | 262-960-6108

PRODUCT: MotionWorks Yard
DESCRIPTION: Tracks and monitors assets through the yard to synchronize yard operations, loading docks, and gate check-in and check-out. Uses automation along with barcoding and RFID to ensure a safe, secure, and efficient yard.