Cold Chain Solutions Major, USCS, Use Data Science to Improve Carrier Turn Times by 15%
About United States Cold Storage
United States Cold Storage, Inc. (USCS), is a premier provider of public refrigerated warehousing (PRW) and related logistics services in the USA.
With roots dating back to 1899, USCS has long served a diverse customer base with requirements ranging from primary storage to fully integrated third-party logistics. They offer more than 330 million cubic feet of temperature controlled warehouse and distribution space in 43 facilities located in 13 states (California, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Nebraska, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Texas, Utah and Virginia). USCS is the third largest PRW Logistics provider in North America. It is a subsidiary of the U.K.’s John Swire & Sons Ltd.
Partnership - USCS & Gramener Join Hands
Gramener partnered with US Cold Storage to design and develop a more intelligent scheduling system. As a design-led data science organization, Gramener rapidly builds custom data and AI solutions that improve business processes using their low-code platform Gramex.
Gramener partnered with USCS in creating a machine learning-based Intelligent Appointment Scheduler, also known as IAS, that enhanced the efficacy of the dock scheduling system.
US Cold Storage is a pioneer in cold chain logistics for the frozen goods industry. The cold chain solutions major has warehouses across the USA where carriers come in to pick up or drop off hundreds of pallets of temperature-controlled foods. At this point, the safety of carriers and the efficiency of the process are of primary significance.
Truck drivers log 70+ hours of drive time every eight days. US Cold Storage wanted to be as prepared as they can be for their arrival to unload the trailer quickly and maximize their service time. Secondly, the safety of the customer’s refrigerated food products is critical as well. Timely transfer of products from the truck to the warehouse is therefore essential. Thirdly, when 18-wheeler trucks are idling, it consumes one gallon of fuel – which is terrible for the environment. Finally, large retailers like Walmart impose hefty fines on carriers who do not arrive on time or with their full order.
The above scenario made it necessary to accurately predict the arrival time and the time taken to service a carrier while scheduling an appointment. But challenges such as mechanical issues, fluctuating weather, previous pick-up delays, and traffic can make accurate scheduling and staff planning a complex guessing game, causing long turn times and increased costs for the facility due to over-staffing and fines.
There was a need for an evolved data-driven system that could schedule carrier appointments with high precision.
USCS approached Gramener to come up with a smart and predictive solution to their challenge. Gramener developed the Intelligent Appointment Scheduler that uses historical data and automates the carrier appointments with sufficient staffing and precision in scheduling. The Intelligent Appointment Scheduler (IAS) is an intuitive data-driven solution that has revolutionized the carrier appointment scheduling for US Cold Storage.
This solution uses predictive data to recommend and automatically schedule appointments. It evaluates various parameters such as order complexity, warehouse load, pallets and case-picks, and the expected delay at the carrier’s end. With such intuitive information and machine learning capabilities, IAS analyzes heaps of data to make smart and predictive recommendations.
The solution is also scalable as it can survey any other data metrics and be readily deployed across various US Cold Storage facilities. Because of its flexibility, the application helps US Cold Storage in effectively planning for the specific needs of every carrier and serve them effectively.
Built With the Power of Low Code
The Intelligent Appointment Scheduler (IAS) is built on Gramex, Gramener’s flagship low-code platform.
Gramex is a PaaS (Platform as a Service) data platform that rapidly builds customized data applications using over 200 pre-built components and microservices. The platform has zero learning curve because of its easy drag-and-drop visual features that allow even non-developers to build and create enterprise-grade data applications.