With More Pressure On Cold Chain Compliance Than Ever, Don’t Let The Yard Be A Blind Spot

Written by: 
Nate Harris
Posted on: 
July 19, 2023

Image of refrigerated trucks parkedIf you handle temperature-sensitive commodities like food, chemicals, or pharmaceuticals, you’re no stranger to the mission-critical nature of monitoring the product to prevent spoilage. Diligently keeping track of temperatures from the moment the commodity 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 checked?

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Visibility Matters with Your Inventory

The gap in visibility leads to millions of dollars in spoiled inventory every year, contributing to 14% of food that spoils between harvest and retail every year. For warehouses and distribution centers experiencing record volumes, finding time to do thorough yard checks can lead to trailers going unmonitored for a lengthy period. If a reefer unit runs out of fuel or fails to cool while in the yard, it is unlikely your team will know in time unless you have a Yard Management Software system.

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 by the wayside.

How a Full-Service Software System Can Directly Impact Your Yard

Image of a man on a laptop checking information inside a cold storage facility

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.

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 lost inventory.

A Logistics Force to be Reckoned With

Image of the back of a white refrigerator truck

Tools like YardView Pro allow yard managers to know which trailers to check and when. The goal here is simple: prevent spoilage in the yard. This prescriptive task assignment keeps each trailer in check while digitizing the audit trail for the inventory’s entire stay.  YardView Pro can also monitor trailers equipped with reefers by tapping into the unit directly, eliminating the need to manually monitor each unit. This not only helps ensure compliance, but it also comes in handy when determining liability for shipments that may spoil along the cargo journey.

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 thousands of cubic feet of space, leveraging the yard capacity you’re already paying for while diligently monitoring equipment with a digital solution.

Our YMS is Here to Help You

If you’re looking to shine a light on blind spots in your cold chain, YardView is here to help. YardView provides a single pane of glass for all activities across the yard, helping you keep your teams aligned with what is most important. Learn how YardView Pro can manage your Reefer units here and get in touch to find out how we can solve your unique yard management needs at (303)-781-3430 or try a free demo today!