In a world with constantly evolving supply chain challenges, every second counts. Union Pacific is meeting that need for speed by rolling out Fast Gate, allowing truck drivers to bypass the check-in kiosk when entering the railroad’s intermodal terminals.
Designed by Union Pacific’s Tech team, Precision Gating Technology (PGT) scans the driver’s equipment and automatically begins the in-gate process when paired with another innovation – UPGo. UPGo is Union Pacific’s mobile app designed to expedite the intermodal terminal experience.
“Our goal is to help drivers get in and out of the terminal in a safe, efficient manner,” said Matt Wafer, senior manager-Capital Planning, Network Planning and Operations. “By eliminating the kiosk check-in, drivers can head directly to their assigned parking spot.”
Without the automated process, the in-gate process includes checking in the container or trailer, ensuring the container is at the correct facility and completing paperwork.
Many products we use every day – from cell phones to clothing to computers – ship in intermodal containers, and truck drivers are essential to keeping these items moving through the supply chain. Enhancing the driver experience is important, especially amid the nationwide trucker shortage. The American Trucking Associations estimated the U.S. ended 2021 with a shortage of 80,000 drivers.
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Union Pacific first installed PGT at its San Antonio Intermodal Ramp (SAIT) in July 2021.
Truckers appreciate the time savings.
“Union Pacific is doing an excellent job at SAIT,” said Eugene Contreras, driver with XPO Logistics. “It’s faster to get in and out. As long as you get the green light, you’re good and don’t have to stop.”
Union Pacific plans to install PGT at additional ramps this year, beginning in Dallas and Mesquite, Texas.