NYK Logistics Uses WhereNet and Yard Management Software to Optimize Operations

Sept. 1, 2003
SANTA CLARA, Calif.-- Sept. 9, 2003 -- WhereNet Corp., the leader of wireless solutions for tracking and managing enterprise assets, announced today that

SANTA CLARA, Calif.-- Sept. 9, 2003 -- WhereNet Corp., the leader of wireless solutions for tracking and managing enterprise assets, announced today that NYK Logistics, Inc., a leading third-party logistics (3PL) provider, has deployed the WhereNet real-time locating system and WhereNet yard management solution to help manage more than 50,000 inbound ocean freight containers and 30,000 outbound trailers at its Long Beach, California facility. Leveraging the WhereNet wireless system that provides 100 percent accurate location information for every container, trailer, and hostler tractor within its 70-acre yard, NYK Logistics automated many of its yard operations, which has increased dock door utilization, reduced yard congestion, and increased yard throughput.

"We have traded in our golf carts and walkie-talkies for one of the most advanced yard management solutions in the country --- a completely wireless system that automates time-sensitive yard moves and provides unprecedented ocean-to-road turn times," said Rick Pople, general manager, NYK Logistics. "As an extension of our Fortune 500 customers, we are engaged in an ongoing pursuit to find the best people, processes and technologies to maintain our leadership position and to further the growth of our business. WhereNet has already helped us achieve giant efficiency gains that will result in a quick return on investment."

"In order to achieve significant productivity gains in high-velocity, high-volume distribution centers, intermodal facilities and marine terminals, shippers and 3PL's must embrace emerging technologies that automate manual-intensive processes and provide accurate real-time data capture," said Robert Goodwin, vice president for Gartner. "Wireless location technologies are already enabling breakthrough productivity gains in industrial manufacturing and transportation and logistics environments. As more companies deploy such solutions, the value of these location-based applications will multiply across the supply chain as this real-time data and status information is shared across multiple business partners."

Automated System Offers Complete Yard Visibility and Mobile Communications

In addition to taking advantage of the latest features of the WhereNet yard management system, NYK Logistics is also benefiting from the complete functionality of the WhereNet wireless infrastructure, which combines both location and mobile communication capabilities in a single integrated system. With an array of 35 WhereNet wireless locating access points mounted around the yard, NYK Logistics has complete coverage of its entire facility, which includes more than 1,100 parking slots and 250 dock doors.

Upon arrival at the gate, every container or trailer gets "tagged" with a small, active radio transmitter called a WhereTag. From this point forward, NYK Logistics personnel have constant connectivity to their yard assets wherever they move about the facility. What's more, NYK Logistics leverages this same industry standards-based wireless local area network (LAN) for mobile communications, allowing yard workers to use handheld devices to transmit data via the WhereNet infrastructure.

"NYK Logistics is a 'poster child' customer in the sense that it is realizing the full potential of WhereNet's single integrated wireless system for location-based applications and mobile data communications," said Dan Doles, president and CEO, WhereNet. "However, NYK Logistics' ultimate business value is derived through our yard management solution, which provides automated, real-time yard inventory, 100 percent accurate asset visibility, and optimized dock door utilization. In short, WhereNet is the command and control center of the NYK Logistics yard -- a yard operation that is processing more shipments with fewer resources than ever before."

Sophisticated Yard Management System Saves Time and Money

WhereNet deployed its single, integrated yard management system at NYK Logistics in less than 75 days. This latest software release of the WhereNet yard solution, WhereSoft Yard 4.0, includes the following new features:

WhereNet Yard Rule Manager -- This configurable rules engine controls the movement of trailers and containers to dock doors, assigns parking spots within the yard, and verifies that trailers and containers being checked out are allowed to leave the yard. For example, when the WhereNet location system detects that a door is available, the rules engine automatically scans the yard for trailers that are eligible for that door and generates a trailer move request for the hostler drivers. The rules can be configured to select units based on a combination of criteria including shipment destination, unit status, unit type, unit age, commodity, carrier, hot load and more. NYK uses the rules to ensure that the lowest cost carriers are selected first for particular routes and to minimize detention by processing older containers first. The only human intervention in this process takes place when the hostler driver receives the request via a wireless tablet PC device, 'maps' the location of the requested trailer via the touch screen, and pulls the trailer to the designated door.

Fast Gate Process -- Gate check-ins and check-outs are performed using mobile handheld devices and software designed by WhereNet. During the check-in process, a user enters information about the unit and driver, and then attaches a WhereTag to the container or trailer that is about to enter the facility. The system automatically attempts to find a matching Automatic Shipping Notice (ASN) and prints a ticket for the driver with instructions on where to park the unit and which unit (if any) to pick up. The ticket serves as a gate pass for the driver. Driver information is obtained by swiping the driver's license on a magnetic card reader integrated with the mobile printer. This data is transmitted via the wireless LAN and captured in the WhereNet database so that NYK Logistics has accurate, automated records of everyone who enters its facility. Based on driver feedback, this fast gate process has resulted in a 50 percent reduction in time spent on site to complete a double transaction.

NYK Logistics, Inc. is a leading provider of global supply chain and logistics services. For more information, visit the NYK Logistics Web site at www.nyklogistics.com.

WhereNet delivers a single wireless location and communication infrastructure that reliably and cost-effectively manages valuable mobile resources. For more information, visit the WhereNet Web site at www.wherenet.com.