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Outrider launches automated trailer inventory management platform

Outrider, a developer of autonomous yard operations for logistics hubs, has released its system for trailer inventory management at distribution yards.

Part of the Outrider System, this patent-pending trailer inventory feature provides real-time tracking of the semi-trailers and containers in yards. This constantly updated intelligence about asset and freight locations enables large, logistics-dependent enterprises to increase the efficiency of their yard operations.

Today’s yard operations require employees to patrol the distribution yard – either on foot or by driving a vehicle – to manually update the locations of trailers in dock spots, parking spots, and storage areas. This data collection process is tedious, error-prone, and quickly outdated, causing frequent shipping delays.

Andrew Smith, founder and CEO of Outrider, says: “Misplaced trailers, containers, and chassis are a universal pain point of yard operations.

“This new technology will be celebrated by logistics center operators and the 3.5 million over-the-road semi-truck drivers in North America who waste hours each day looking for trailers. Our trailer inventory solution brings much-needed visibility and insight to maximize productivity and yard throughput.”

Outrider uses technology already installed on its autonomous electric yard trucks to collect the locations of parked trailers while moving trailers during routine operations or as a dedicated function.

Sophisticated sensors and proprietary computer vision algorithms enabled by deep learning detect vacant or occupied parking spots and capture trailer identification numbers, standard carrier alpha codes (SCAC codes), and multiple other trailer characteristics.

Trailer inventory is enabled, managed, and recorded in Outrider’s cloud-based management software, which helps yard dispatchers, warehouse operators, and transportation managers improve decision-making and overall efficiency.

Outrider shares this real-time inventory with customers’ warehouse, yard, or transportation systems via its application programming interface (API).

Since its founding, Outrider has focused exclusively on automating the manual, repetitive tasks involved in yard operations. Trailer inventory management, a core piece of Outrider’s intellectual property, enables Outrider to deliver network-wide benefits to its customers, including optimizing traffic flows in and out of the yard and reducing dwell time of over-the-road semi-trucks.

The commercial release of trailer inventory follows the announcement of multiple advanced yard technologies, including computer vision and deep-learning based robotic brake line connections, high-precision articulated backing, and autonomous hitching for diverse trailer weights and orientations.

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