AN Australian company has developed and implemented a web-based truck appointment and visibility system that aims to solve myriad problems at logistics facilities and boost efficiency.

The system, called Inbound, connects a community of warehouses and other logistics facilities that use the application. The company that designed and developed the system said it enables managers of logistics facilities to see arriving delivery vehicles. At the same time, Inbound allows transport operators to see capacity and conditions at the logistics facilities before arriving.

Inbound CEO and founder Luke Duffy said the application connects logistics facilities with transport operators and drivers directly.

He said a problem the platform aims to solve is that many warehouses and other logistics facilities have large numbers of vehicles arriving at random every day.

“Trying to deal with that occupies a lot of time and is a drain on resources. Despite all the technology in the world, very large swathes of the supply chain don’t have the tools to deal with this problem properly, which makes planning impossible and inefficiency common,” he said.

“We designed Inbound to solve several specific problems; we aren’t trying to change the world. Inbound is designed to be simple in concept and simple to use.”

Mr Duffy said there are systems that exist to address these problems at container ports and empty container parks. However, the rest of the supply chain – including warehouses; airfreight terminals; rail and intermodal hubs; construction sites; recycling depots; grain packing terminals; and more –  haven’t had such a community platform available.

He said the platform solves several problems beyond truck queuing and congestion, including eliminating the need for physical paper documents, and pre-advising transport operators of potential problems rather than waiting for a vehicle to arrive to deal with those problems.

“Ports and empty container parks have mostly eliminated the need for physical paper documents using technology, but huge parts of the rest of the supply chain have not – yet,” Mr Duffy said.

“In the broader supply chain, physical paperwork and manual processes are still endemic. And, eliminating the need to physically exchange pieces of paper between the driver and the logistics facility makes transactions more COVID-safe by reducing in-person interactions.

“Nobody wants a truck driver in their office handing pieces of paper to anybody these days, and you can be sure nobody wants their truck sitting in a queue when Chain of Responsibility legislation is now so important.”

One of the sites using the Inbound platform, Trojan Bond in Port Botany, has seen huge improvements in vehicle turnaround times and the elimination of futile trips caused by trucks being unable to be serviced due to problems such as incorrect documentation.

Trojan Bond managing director Paul Downey said, “Inbound has enabled us to move from being reactive in the way that we handled trucks arriving to pick up freight at our bonded warehouse, to being much more proactive – this helps us and our clients produce a much better, safer result for all parties”.

Inbound has been live since July 2020 and now has logistics facilities in Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane using the platform. Recently, a major national logistics operator has committed to roll Inbound out nationally in the coming months.