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How poor scheduling and communication cost logistics industry

How poor scheduling and communication cost logistics industry
How poor scheduling and communication cost logistics industry

Yard traffic or congestion has the potential to slow down operations in a world where speed is everything in the logistics industry. Trucks idling while waiting to be off-loaded or loaded can have a domino effect on many legs of logistics and supply chain planning. 

In his latest post about this controversial topic, Joel Norris, head of sales at YMX Logistics, writes, “Smooth operation of yard activities is paramount.”

He believes yard congestion impacts the economy, operations, environment, and safety of those involved.

But what is the real problem with yard traffic/congestion? Trucks idling in the designated loading zones, slurping petrol, and spitting out toxic gasses are the real problem. Think about money being flashed away with movement, and the clock is ticking.  

Norris believes this results from a deeper “modern logistics” problem hidden in conflicting schedules and inadequate management systems. 

Here’s what’s wrong with the picture: 

  • Several trucks arrive at the same time at the yard, “causing bottlenecks at loading docks.”
  • No real-time data to control and prepare for the arrival of trucks, ensuring there are no bottlenecks. 

The domino effect 

One misstep when trucks arrive and the impact can last throughout the supply chain process. Norris says this “delays the immediate loading” and impacts several “downstream processes in the supply chain.”

No one likes waiting, but flushing money down the drain while the clock ticks is an expensive mistake. Not only does it hurt companies’ pockets and budgets, but it also has a wider impact on the economy. Norris refers to labor costs, penalties for delivery delays, and other hidden costs.

Solving a problem in logistics

Improving scheduling systems to ensure trucks arrive on time can reduce most of the congestion. But surely, at the heart of the problem is poor communication. If the companies communicate better, the problem can be sidestepped without having a ripple effect on other parts of the supply chain. 

YMX Logistics suggests yard layout optimization. “Reevaluating the yard layout to improve flow and efficiency could involve redesigning entry and exit points, as well as loading docks and parking areas,” says Norris. 

Regarding safety protocols for drives, Norris also suggests staff training to ensure order and safety of drivers during the waiting period. He believes “keeping drivers informed about the status can manage expectations and reduce stress-induced behavior.”

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About the author

Mia is a multi-award-winning journalist. She has more than 14 years of experience in mainstream media. She's covered many historic moments that happened in Africa and internationally. She has a strong focus on human interest stories, to bring her readers and viewers closer to the topics at hand.

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