Why You Might Have a Hole in Your Cold Chain
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With more pressure on cold chain compliance than ever, don’t let the yard be a blindspot
If you handle temperature-sensitive commodities like food, chemicals or pharmaceuticals, you’re no stranger to the mission-critical nature of compliance. Diligently keeping track of temperature from the moment it leaves your facility until it reaches the end-consumer is an imperative part of daily operations. Teams might be hyper-focused on checking warehouse and in-transit trailer temperatures, but how focused are they on ensuring that inventory waiting in the yard is adequately monitored?
This gap in visibility leads to millions of euro in spoiled inventory every year, contributing to the 14% of food that spoils between harvest and retail every year. For warehouses and distribution centres experiencing record volumes, finding time to do thorough yard checks can lead to trailers going unmonitored for a lengthy period of time. If a reefer unit runs out of fuel or fails to cool while in the yard, how likely is it that your team would know in time?
Juggling More Players than Ever
A recent survey conducted by Forbes shows that 3PLs are entering the cold chain market at neck breaking speeds. 90% of 3PLs polled intend to expand their capabilities and fleets to better serve cold chain customers. Shippers have a reason to celebrate the glut of capacity; but with the addition of new players, integrations and tracking can sometimes fall to the wayside.
In an existing yard, manual checks are usually done by an associate who goes trailer-by-trailer to check fuel, temperature set-point and ambient temperature. Making notes on a clipboard, they are usually at the mercy of hoping that a trailer is in the right spot, that each trailer was checked recently, and that if a load is in jeopardy of being lost it’s not too late to do something about it. Entrusting the company’s reputation and compliance to a paper-based process is risky – especially when sophisticated technology to track compliance in a warehouse and in the supply chain can also be used in the yard.
Being a Master in Your Own Yard
Digital process management is all but required as your yard matures. As mandates like the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) in the United States signal a continued pattern towards stricter compliance guidelines for cold chain shippers, having a process that intelligently schedules trailer checks can help mitigate safety concerns, compliance gaps and solve for lost inventory.
Tools like FourKites’ Dynamic Yard help yard managers know which trailers to check and when. In the second half of 2021 alone, Dynamic Yard saved 127 loads in customers’ yards from spoilage. This prescriptive task assignment keeps each trailer in-check, while digitising the audit trail for the inventory’s entire stay in the yard. This not only helps ensure compliance, it comes in handy when determining liability for shipments that may spoil along the cargo journey.
But Wait, There’s More (Capacity)
If you’re like the thousands of shippers who are dealing with warehouse space issues, the idea of storing sensitive cargo in the yard may feel like a last resort. Rather than paying premiums to overflow into temporary locations, using a yard management system with product protection features transforms idle capacity in the yard into warehouses on wheels. This opens up thousands of cubic feet of space, leveraging yard capacity you’re already paying for while diligently monitoring them with a digital solution.
If you’re looking to shine light on blindspots in your cold chain, FourKites is here to help. Dynamic Yard provides a single pane of glass for all activities across the yard, helping you keep your teams aligned to what is most important. Learn how Dynamic Yard generates 3X ROI for its users and get in touch to find out how we can solve your unique yard management needs.