Trailer Technology: Geofences, Solar-Powered GPS Tags, and Yard Management
How do the thousands of vehicles operating in the FedEx Ground network get to where they need to be at the proper time so packages move most efficiently across the country?
It’s complicated and much like a high-tech jigsaw puzzle, where each piece affects another, but with the right blend of people and technology, it is possible.
Each package entering the FedEx Ground network has a label with a unique identifier, containing the weight, dimensions and destination address. Packages headed to the same general destination travel there on the same trailer.
When a trailer is unloaded at one of the 500+ FedEx Ground facilities throughout the United States and Canada, each package is sorted through an automated system of conveyor belts to ensure it gets to its targeted destination.
Larger facilities can have hundreds of trailers enter and leave every day. So how is each trailer directed to the right door to be loaded and unloaded?
In the past, yard management — the movement of trailers around a sorting center’s yard and dock area – was a labor intensive, manual process coordinated through walkie-talkies and clipboards.
Today, through the enterprise Yard Management System (eYMS), which integrates technologies such as apps, tablets and GPS, packages are able to be moved through the network more quickly and efficiently than ever before.
The system interacts with GPS tags on each trailer and creates geofences around each FedEx Ground facility, automatically notifying the control center when a trailer arrives and departs. It also directs switchers to specific doors in real-time.
eYMS has converted a formerly manual process into a fast, efficient and accurate automated system. As important, it helps maintain the security and integrity of the yard. The touch screen tablet app is intuitive, and has been quickly adopted by FedEx Ground facilities across the country to ensure packages reach their final destinations quickly, efficiently and safely.