Reducing Dwell Time with Visibility Buoyed by Automated Polygon Geofencing

As supply chains grow and the global demand for goods and services continues to advance steadily, logistics and trucking companies face increasing optimization challenges with their routes, deliveries, and overall return on investment.

While there are seemingly endless possibilities for optimizations that can improve transportation routes, driver effectiveness, and incurred costs, many transportation enterprises overlook a simple improvement that can provide transformative business results – dwell time.

We’ll explore how you can reduce dwell time in your business by using automated polygon geofencing rather than outdated circular geofencing. When your geofencing is optimized, you’ll immediately begin to collect more accurate data and, as a result, have actionable data points with fewer errors and outliers that allow you to make business decisions with a solid foundation.

These techniques can significantly boost the bottom line of transportation and logistics companies that have lagged in implementing today’s new technologies. If your business has put off making these changes and wants to begin thriving in the marketplace, read on to learn more about automated polygon geofencing and the importance of increased visibility into your dwell times.

What is Dwell Time in Logistics?

Dwell time in the trucking and shipping industry is when a container sits in its respective bay, port, or railyard, awaiting either drop-off or pickup.

For stakeholders across the supply chain, this is one of the more vexing challenges they must face daily. Dwell time directly impacts all levels of the supply chain, causing carrier arrival delays, imbalanced load volumes, inefficient operations on-site, and many more compounding problems.

Depending on the method of transportation used, dwell time can be a truck driver standing at a loading dock, a train waiting at the railroad station, or even a container ship waiting for unloading crews at the shipping port or harbor. Most of the goods being loaded or unloaded at these stops have not yet reached their destination, meaning that dwell time delays in the middle of their journey can quickly compound into major schedule hits.

Certain ports or shipping transfer points might charge dwell fees daily, adding to the complexity and increasing per container stored. If dwell times are too long, the shipping, logistics, and freight companies experience a hit to their profitability when the dwell fees stack up.

Complex loads and orders are two common causes of increasing dwell times. For example, mixed-pallet loads can complicate the pickup and delivery process. High load volumes can impact arrival times, and complicated check-in procedures at various shipping or transportation facilities can quickly result in a long line of containers waiting their turn, resulting in bottlenecks and painful dwell times.

In the following few sections, we’ll discuss the impacts increasing dwell times have and how using modern technology, such as automated polygon geofencing, can reduce them.

The Impact of Dwell Time & Lack of Visibility on Shippers & 3PLs

When dwell times rise, shippers and third-party logistics providers (3PLs) tend to see detention costs and congestion at facilities, border crossings, and ports.

Furthermore, a shipping facility experiencing increasing dwell times tends to spread “contagion” to other parts of the industry due to the lack of available capacity. With bottlenecks during loading and unloading, all other containers entering the port or shipping facility must wait until all of the containers in front of them have been taken care of, resulting in long lines and often significant shipping delays for consumers. This lack of capacity can directly affect an entire industry rather than just a few local shipping or transportation companies.

If companies want to minimize the negative impacts of dwell time, they must first understand dwell time logistics and what it entails at its core.

Some ideas for improvements that can immediately improve dwell times and provide instant optimizations in the trucking and logistics space include:

  • Allow drivers to build their ideal schedule to balance their time and availability. Rather than micromanaging drivers and reducing the time truckers spend idling in the cab, it would be prudent to allow drivers to set their own schedules and give them ideas for optimized routes to accept.
  • Increase warehouse visibility to know exactly when containers arrive. If nobody knows when the container arrived at the docking bay, how do you know how many additional minutes or hours were spent waiting on instructions or helping unload?

While these are just two suggestions of many, technologies like automated polygon geofencing are already showing incredibly positive results in improving and optimizing dwell times.

How Technology Can Reduce Dwell Time with Accurate, Automated Polygon Geofencing at Scale

While dwell time is a challenging transportation and logistics problem, emerging innovations in automated geofencing technology can help companies reduce dwell time through an accurate and automatic geofencing system that can scale with demand.

Imagine if your enterprise was to implement this technology today – you would be able to see immediate improvements, such as:

  1. Increased visibility into your daily operations, knowing exactly where your drivers are and how long they spend at each point of their journey.
  2. Improve turnaround times by using dwell time and GPS/RFID data to optimize routes on a much more granular scale. You’ll be able to streamline operations when you know exactly where every single container is on its journey and how long it takes until they arrive at its destination.
  3. Track lost assets and retrieve them much faster than alternative methods. The more insight you have into each asset, the better you’ll be able to manage them all daily.
  4. Reduce detention times by understanding when or under what circumstances increased dwell times occur. Analyze your dwell time data to detect patterns and confidently make informed decisions that drive appropriate changes.
  5. Save time and money on geofencing by combining automation with accurate polygon geofencing solutions. No more using a wildly inaccurate circular geofence – now you can automatically generate precise boundaries.

Automated polygon geofencing is the future of transportation and logistics. Your company will not only experience the benefits and improvements seen above, but you’ll also be able to use this data in real-time to make decisions and analyze your entire supply chain from the ground up.

Reduce Your Dwell Time & Level Up with Kestrel Insights

If your business wants to learn more about reducing dwell time and what automated polygon geofencing can do for you, reach out to Kestrel Insights today and schedule a demo – we’ll get back to you immediately.

It’s time to leverage today’s technologies to take your business to the next level and improve your profitability, productivity, and return on investment (ROI) in the long run. Investing in your business and taking the time to make these improvements will pay dividends in the long run, both with the reductions in dwell time you’ll be able to achieve and the economic and growth benefits that come with the territory. Improve your container dwell time data today with automated polygon geofencing.