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April 17, 2019 | White Papers

Which Shunting Model is Right for Your Operation?

April 17, 2019 | White Papers

Yard management is a key component of the supply chain, playing a crucial role in either driving its efficiency or hindering its effectiveness. Any operation with a yard will benefit from a professional, deliberate approach to yard management, regardless of the size of the organization. Engaging a specialist to manage your yard operations can allow you to keep your focus on other aspects of the business that may have more impact on strategic priorities.


A Few Key Benefits of Professional Yard Management



  • Safety. Minimize risk by eliminating excess equipment in the yard and over the road. With yard management software (YMS), the increased visibility stemming from the generated data allows equipment to be streamlined. Drivers who specialize in shunting are less likely to be involved in an accident, and with processes for equipment safety checks, you can rest assured that everything is documented along the way.


  • Fuel savings & environmental impact. Using tractor-trailers for moves in the yard is, unfortunately, still a common practice. By utilizing shunt vehicles to move containers, it will use less fuel (saving you money) and reduce your carbon footprint (saving the environment).
  • Visibility & insights. With a YMS that can layer on top of existing software you may have in place, you gain access to data that helps identify further areas of opportunity in your yard. YMS allows your team to plan moves more effectively so that drivers spend less time waiting around and more time making moves.
  • Cost savings. With a YMS, you can avoid detention and demurrage costs by receiving reporting that demonstrates how long each trailer has spent on the yard. Also, you minimize wasted labor dollars by avoiding having drivers waiting around for their next move.




It’s easy to see how yard management services could benefit organizations of all sizes, but it’s certainly not a one-size-fits-all solution. So, what are the approaches to consider, and which one is best for your organization?


Approach #1: Dedicated On-Site Yard Management


Most larger operations can benefit from dedicated, on-site yard management that includes a comprehensive set of services and round-the-clock support. These are the components of a dedicated, on-site solution:



  • Shunting. Having dedicated drivers making moves in the yard keeps product flowing from the warehouse to the gatehouse and vice versa. Professionally trained drivers who have made shunting a career are the best equipped to make moves quickly, safely, and efficiently.


  • Gatehouse Operations. The gatehouse team adds a layer of security to your yard operations, and keeps this important juncture flowing smoothly, preventing any bottlenecks.
  • Field Operations. With a dedicated field operations professional helping analyze your data, you gain a collaborative partner who can brainstorm and advise solutions to improve the efficiency of your operation.
  • Shuntware. Shuntware is NSSL’s proprietary YMS that can layer over and integrate with any existing YMS or WMS you may have in place. Shuntware was designed by yard management professionals to give you the data that matters to your operation, so you can make smart decisions for continuous improvement.




Approach #2: On-Demand Shunting


For smaller organizations with lower or irregular volume, a dedicated on-site solution may not be cost-effective. However, without a professional approach to shunting, growth can come with challenges without the ability to control how moves are made in the yard and without data. On-demand shunting is a new model designed with these types of organizations in mind. These are the components of an on-demand shunting solution:



  • Flexibility. Need drivers to make moves? Getting them to your facility is as simple as ordering an Uber. No need for drivers? Just don’t summon them—it’s that simple.=
  • Shuntware. When on-demand drivers are active at your facility, you will receive the same software package as a yard that uses a dedicated on-site solution, giving you the insights you need to improve operations.
  • Cost-Effective. Only pay for moves when you need them, not when you don’t.






No matter which solution you might choose, at NSSL all of our clients are valued and receive the same quality, dedication, and accountability through trained drivers, customized setups, technology, and support…every day.


Let’s talk about how we can strengthen your supply chain—call NSSL today.

Yard management is a key component of the supply chain, playing a crucial role in either driving its efficiency or hindering its effectiveness. Engaging a specialist to manage your yard operations can allow you to keep your focus on other aspects of the business....

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