Software gives managers a wider picture of the shipping area

By Ahmed ElAmin

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Distribution centre Supply chain management

Unisto Electronic Seals has launched additions to its software
management system for trailers and tractors, using radio frequency
identification (RFID) to give managers a wider picture of what is
happening in the shipping area.

Warehouse and distribution centre management software is being used by companies to automate their logistics networks. The automation of manual processes significantly reduces associated errors and removes duplication of activities, ultimately helping to increase productivity and profitability, according to claims made by software companies.

YardTrakT and iTrakT, are the latest additions to the company's GateSuiteT system of vehicle security and logistics software. YardTrakT provides a real-time virtual view of the warehouse yard on screen. iTrakT allows managers to access all the data while they are on the move.

YardTrakT and iTrakT, are the latest additions to the company's GateSuiteT system of vehicle security and logistics software. The software allows users to manage their docks, goods in and goods out, tractors, trailers, maintenance schedules, drivers, shunter operations, and gatehouse security.

GateSuiteT helps manage all distribution centre activities outside the warehouse walls. The key to the system is the use of RFID on tractors and trailers, which allows managers to check their location at all times.

By using Unisto's optional electronic re-usable RFID electronic seals, the system can also display the security and status of all items.

The YardTrak software can operate either as a standalone system or as part of GateSuiteT. It integrates with RFID transponders on trailers and tractors using readers around the distribution centre's yard. It also integrates with handheld computers used on the docks and shunters that run the iTrak software, which links into GateSuite.

The software recreates the yard is recreated as a simulation on a computer screen giving managers a detailed look at activity within the yard, in real-time, with the status and location of trailers and tractor units.

"YardTrak ensures that trailers are on the right dock at the right time and then shunted to the correct waiting bay to maximise the efficient running of the distribution centre based on real time information,"​ the company stated.

By integrating Unisto's RFID-equipped electronic security seals with the system, managers get a higher level of information, including the security of the load and any unauthorised access or temperature fluctuation outside of preset boundaries. Once the preset limits are crossed, the software automatically activates an alarm.

The iTrak software is designed to be loaded on hand-held personal digital assistants (PDA), providing managers and other workers with access to all the information contained inGateSuite, while they are on the move.

Using Wi-Fi networks, it enables any mobile operative such as a dock loader, shunter or security guard to have up-to-the-minute information of everything that is going on in the loading year.

"This eliminates the need for multiple mobile radio instructions as loaders and shunters receive instructions directly on their PDA, which, being visual rather than verbal, also reduces the possibility of misunderstandings,"​ the company stated.

Unisto said its first customer for GateSuite with YardTrak and iTrak is Nisa-Today's, a UK's buying and distribution company for independent retailers and wholesalers.

Nisa-Today's is using the software mainly to increase the security of trailers when in transit, and when loaded and waiting for delivery at the company's new main depot in Scunthorpe.

The company is using GateSuite to improving the logistics of delivering 1.2 million cases every week to some of its 2,750 delivery points.

"We fitted seals to our fleet of 150 trailers,"​ Nisa-Today's director of logistics, Jeremy Blakey, is quoted as stating. "GateSuite has delivered both security and increased operational efficiency 24/7."

Unisto is based in Horn, Switzerland.

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