Self-Service & Contactless Visits: Yard Automation for Inbound, Outbound, and In-Yard Movements

Written by: 
Nate Harris
Posted on: 
October 27, 2023

Image of a line of trucks checking into a gated yard For logistics companies, yard management can be complex with many variables to account for— but appointments shouldn’t be one of them. Self-service and fully contactless visits can drastically enhance the inbound, outbound, and in-yard movement experience through yard automation.From real-time trailer visibility to streamlined yard driver guidance, here’s how full-service YMS software can significantly improve appointment processing and overall yard performance.

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Self-Service & Contactless Visits: Why Yard Automation is Worth the Investment

According to Supply Chain 24/7, implementing a yard management system can reduce expenses by at least 5 percent. Self-service and contactless visits can eliminate time and money wasted from back-and-forth manual appointment setting and check-in paperwork when carriers can schedule themselves.


Fully contactless visits allow drivers to sign necessary paperwork online before arriving at your gate and check in via a mobile device or text message. Carriers can easily locate dock doors without staff guidance through access to real-time yard parking information. Checking out is also a breeze with alerts when their load is dropped off.

Without trailer yard management, setting appointments via phone calls and emails can take up valuable productive time, while manual gate operations are more prone to errors.

There’s no need to guide your yard visitors when they can be guided by YMS software instead.

How Checking-In and Out Flows Without Yard Management Software

Image of different loading docks with Yardview YMS Lot Check software

Upgrading your check-in and check-out workflows is one of the most critical components of enhancing labor productivity and yard efficiency.To paint a better picture of how operations can be streamlined, here’s what appointments typically look like without yard workflows :

• Manual check-in for carrier appointments at the gate, including paperwork signing and logging vehicle details.

• Security check and verification processes.

• Guard/gate staff notifies the yard manager or dock team of the carrier’s arrival.

• Spotter sends the yard driver instructions to fetch the trailer and bring it to the dock door.

• The yard driver moves the trailer and contacts the dock staff to prepare it for loading.

• Dock staff begins trailer loading and contacts the spotter once complete.

• Spotter moves the loaded trailer to prepare for shipment and contacts yard managers upon completion.

• Carrier truck manually checks out with gate staff.


While this may seem like standard yard procedures, any minor delay or error can cause a chain reaction of issues. And manually processing yard visitors is lengthy enough.

If carriers are late to their appointments or yard drivers fail to confirm if a trailer was moved verbally, it can delay processing times significantly— potentially spoiling inventory with raw goods and damaging your business’s reputation.  

Simple to Use YMS Software Integration to Improve Yard Operations

New business software may seem daunting. But it’s actually a simple five-step integration with the right yard management system. When employees, cargo, and carriers are all managed in one easy-to-use platform, it can improve your yard operations significantly.

Additional Logistical Benefits of Yard Automation

Image of a yard with different trucks coming/going

In addition to streamlining carrier visits and appointments, yard management systems can benefit the bottom line by improving the following:

Real-Time Visibility

Remove common blind spots, such as trailer asset location and yard drivers not knowing the dock doors that trailers are moving to through 24/7 monitoring.

Gate Management

Assist gate staff by accurately capturing cargo information in a few clicks from check-in to check-out instead of manual processing.

Dock Management

Integrate dock management with yard management to see the exact number of Empties, waiting trailers, and incoming goods for optimized processing.

Enhanced Dock Scheduling

Minimize dock waiting times and yard congestion when carriers know when to arrive and which dock door to pull into.

Appointment Scheduling

Automate carrier-booked appointments for scheduling, check-ins, drop-offs, and pickups in one centralized location. Allowing carriers to self-schedule results in improved truck turnaround times, business relationships, and yard workflows.

Improved Inventory Management

Prevent lost trailers and spoiled inventory by tracking their movements from the gate, across the yard, and during loading/unloading. By bridging the gap between inventory and operations, you can reduce inventory bottlenecks from stalling yard operations and never lose trailer visibility again.

Cost Savings

Reduce detention and demurrage fees by ensuring your cargo doesn’t overstay its time through continuous yard monitoring.

Reporting & Analytics

Measure yard performance through key metrics like shipment unloading/loading rates, monthly appointments, and gate throughput to improve operational inefficiencies and business opportunities.  

Boost Yard Performance Efficiency with YardView YMS Software

As business digital landscapes continuously evolve, logistics companies must adapt to new technologies to maintain yard efficiency. Providing a seamless experience for yard visitors can reduce costs related to operational inefficiencies and increase productivity. At YardView, we don’t just offer software, but also yard automation services to ensure your self-service and/or contactless visits bring a better experience for everyone. Learn more about the benefits of our YMS software by requesting a demo or contact us for questions on boosting your yard’s efficiency today!

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