Week 6: Yard Management

Yard operations are one of the major potential bottlenecks in supply chains, and optimising them is key to ensuring low costs and on-time deliveries. Luckily, real-time visibility can help out here in a couple of ways.

Space constraints at loading docks can easily lead to congestion and delays. This is one of the core problems our predictive ETAs help our customers out with. When incoming trucks are delayed, our ETAs enable the warehouse team to reprioritise tasks and optimize their load preparation processes

Using the predictive ETAs of incoming trucks to organise the yard’s work means that rather than idly waiting for a truck that’s stuck in traffic, the warehouse team can adapt to the real-time situation and instead prepare for and then load or unload other transports. As a result, dwell times of trucks go down, meaning higher asset utilisation rates for carriers and the avoidance of surcharges or detention fees for customers.

The yard management capabilities that are powered by Sixfold’s real-time visibility let the customer both see the trucks loading or waiting at a site at any given moment, as well as to see the ordered list of incoming trucks. Furthermore, our system even shows the customer predictions on who will be at the site in e.g. 2 hours from now, predicting future problems such as overloaded parking lots and longer-than-agreed dwell times. Having this information available ahead of time thanks to predictions allows for the yard to reallocate resources, reschedule arrivals and more.

Finally, after a truck has left the site, our real-time visibility data allows for an after-the-fact analysis of the movement patterns of trucks at the site, as well as quantifying things like overloaded parking lots, times spent at those parking lots, at each individual dock or gate, and much more.

Since the start of the RTV journey, the percentage of trucks who spent more than  2h at the site has already fallen by 43% when looking at weekly median numbers.

Week 5: ETA

We are entering the second month of our visibility journey with Varel and Schoellershammer. Our carriers are onboarded and the majority of our tours are ready for tracking. Now it’s time to take a deeper look at one of our key services: our machine-learning ETA

In recent years, thanks to the proliferation of ride-hailing and food delivery services, supplying customers with a real-time estimated time of arrival (ETA) of shipments has become the norm. In the logistics industry, however, use of ETAs extends far beyond increased customer satisfaction. Knowledge of a cargo's accurate arrival time can help distribution centres and warehouses to better allocate their resources and enables customer service staff to discuss with customers how they can plan changes in late deliveries before they cause any serious problems.

Getting to perfect ETA’s is as much of a journey as the other parts of real time visibility. Let's face it — reality is complicated and a lot of unexpected things can happen during a transport. In the real world, there’s never a complete set of high quality data across all ETA calculation building blocks. However, our customers dont have to walk this journey alone.

Sixfold has a dedicated team of domain and machine learning experts that have lots of experience in making ETA’s work for you. Usually, after a few iterations, the issues go away and the customer can start improving their existing processes while being confident that their ETAs are accurate.

"Things are looking good for our #followmyprogress customers! We have calculated more than 100k ETAs for them within the first month and they realized a working accuracy level of more than 95%!"
— Maksim, Sixfold Lead Data-Scientist.

To read more on our famous machine learning ETA and the magic behind its calculation, read our ETA whitepapers.

    Read more herE     

Things are looking good for Varel!

The ETA is working for 87% of their tours and they are almost ready to start exploring all the exiting possibilities that are being offered by real-time accurate ETAs.

Week 4: Transport Visibility

After a few weeks into a real-time visibility project the majority of our customers’ carrier base is usually onboarded. At this point of time we are then jointly shifting from scaling to fine tuning. In order to do so we enable our customers to utilize RTV performance reporting. The main feature of this report is the visibility index. It provides insight on what share of the transport was monitored in real-time. A visibility index of 100% indicates that real-time visibility was provided over the entire course of the transpor, while 0% means that no part of the transport was visible.

The index itself consists of three main parameters which determine the result for each transport.

Visibility

Ensuring trackability of a transport by providing all necessary information is key and the first step to a great visibility index score.

Visibility Time

The visibility time defines the timeframe for which real-time visibility was provided. Starting to provide visibility after half of the transport route equals a visibility time of 50%.

Visibility Quality

This parameter is determined by the frequency of GPS signals we receive. Dedicated quality standards have to be met in order to provide full visibility quality.

Varel’s visibility has almost doubled over the past week. 60% of their tours had high visibility scores (>80%). The reason for the other 40% lacking high visibility are late transmissions of license plate information for the respective transports.

We strive to provide as much REAL-time visibility as possible. It's not enough to simply track to completion, but to provide seamless and issue-free tracking across all transports. Therefore, we created the visibility index in order to:

  • enable all stakeholders to understand what level of real-time visibility their transports currently receive;
  • point out detailed actions and recommendations on how to increase the level of real-time visibility.

 

Week 3: Addresses and Geofences

One of the prerequisites for tracking a transport successfully is accurately determining the location of the stops and further detecting arrivals and departures. In order to do so, the first step is to transform stop addresses into geo coordinates. This process is called geocoding. 

Apart from the accurate location, it is crucial to define the optimal area where a trucks’ arrival is expected. Those areas are represented by virtual perimeters, so-called geofences. Based on geofences, arrivals and departures are detected. 

Sixfold’s geofencing approach is unique in many ways. First of all, we focus on automation and self-learning technologies. All geofences are set up automatically based on address data - depending on address quality the size of the geofence is adjusted automatically to make sure that no truck movement is missed due to master data inconsistencies. However, automation is not enough - accuracy plays a key role in detecting actual arrival and departure times. By applying behavioural analyses within geofences, we make sure that arrivals and departures are not triggered by simply entering and leaving the geofence but rather when trucks stop for loading and unloading.

Even though we do make sure that bad data does not lead to bad tracking, we provide detailed reports about data inconsistencies. This enables our customers to adjust master data in their systems.

Varel is doing great with addresses - so far we could only point out two slightly incorrect addresses. Of course tracking quality was not affected. However, our smart geofence is showcased on a regular basis for Varel as we do not trigger arrivals as trucks visit a nearby gas station.

Week 2: Onboarding

Carrier onboarding is the first focus topic of our journey and the key to success in every real-time visibility project. By getting all carriers onboard we enable our customers to get full transparency over their operations. A fully onboarded carrier base is necessary to make data driven decisions and leverage gathered data when eventually combining RTV and execution.

By operating the most powerful real-time visibility network in the world, we do provide a starting advantage to our customers. On average we start RTV projects with over 50% of the carrier base already onboarded and ready to provide real-time visibility.

In addition to a powerful network, clear communication towards carriers is an important part to guarantee an efficient ramp-up. Pointing out expectations and goals does support the onboarding process and often times leads to utilized synergies on both carrier and shipper side.

2019, we joined the Sixfold Network, and since then we at GTI Logistik Sp. z.o.o. were able to provide to multiple shippers, the Real Time Visibility service.

Our customer Varel also recognized the benefits of real time visibility, and are kicking off this week with Sixfold and Transproeon. Without any additional efforts for us, we can contribute to the success of the project right from the beginning, delivering customer satisfaction."

Maciej Góralski, CEO at GTI Logistik

A good start with a significant share of the carriers connected is essential. However, also the remaining carriers need to get connected as soon as possible. For those cases our success formula has proven invaluable - by adding the human factor to our automated onboarding process we do make sure to get all carriers on board. 

Right from the start, all carriers can be found within Sixfold - thanks to the integration to Transporeon. Customers can then decide whether to invite all of their carriers via an efficient bulk invite or rather focus on dedicated carrier groups. Selected carriers will then be invited to our fully automated onboarding flow. Without the need of any IT knowledge, carriers are enabled to connect their telematics systems - thank’s to our great FMS partnerships literally with one click.

20% of carriers manage to walk through the flow and eventually get onboarded within under five minutes. Already 45% of carriers do it within under 10 minutes and 75% of them within one day.

Even though our onboarding flow is highly automated we do not ignore the fact that sometimes human interaction is key to success. The combination of technology and a dedicated support team has proven invaluable. The topics where our team assists are very broad and reach from technical integrations, data security to sometimes just the need to hear a friendly voice that explains what to do. 

Our support organization consists of local teams across all major geographies. In order to make sure that all requests can be dealt with the necessary level of detail, our colleagues cover over 25 languages. 

After Papier- und Kartonfabrik Varel GmbH & Co. KG informed us about their real-time visibility project, we immediately registered with Sixfold. I was able to establish the GPS connection of our fleet myself in a few minutes – it was very little effort to establish the connection between our telematics system and Sixfold.

We are currently working on implementing the assignment interface between our internal software and Sixfold. With the help of this interface, we will be able to send our dispatched transport orders directly to Sixfold. At Sixfold, the corresponding customer orders can then be assigned directly to the correct vehicle. Like this, the transports can then be tracked in real time in the background without any additional need for manual allocation."

Jörg Hinrichs,  
Managing Director NWL Speditionsgesellschaft mbH

Week 1: Project Kick-off

Paper and cardboard manufacturer Varel just kicked off their real-time visibility journey together with the Transporeon and Sixfold teams. Helge Hinrichs, Head of Logistics Services Procurement, will lead the project for Varel.

In our first meeting we discussed the current pain points Varel is facing and how RTV can mitigate those. One of them is the lack of transparency for inbound transports. Without real-time information about arrival times, efficient resource allocation is only possible through immense manual effort. In order to provide that transparency, the majority of transport volume needs to be tracked.

Learn how our customers benefit from our network and seamless onboarding processes to receive a high degree of real-time visibility right from project kickoff.

We are thrilled to start our real-time visibility journey with Transporeon and Sixfold. We expect a quick process and efficiency improvement by receiving transparency over our inbound transports. Moreover, understanding how to leverage and combine RTV data with Transporeon’s execution capabilities is of great interest for us.”

Helge Hinrichs, Head of Logistics Services Procurement at VAREL

Papier- u. Kartonfabrik Varel was founded in 1938 and remains a family-run, medium-sized business. With more than 580 employees, they produce high-quality paper and board grades in Varel for further processing by the packaging industry.

Today they have a capacity of 925,000 tons of paper and cardboard annually. Papier- u. Kartonfabrik Varel’s motivated and qualified staff ensure they consistently provide high quality and reliable service to their customers.