Loading Dock Solutions

What’s the Big Deal about Loading Docks?

The loading dock. It’s not the most glamorous area of the warehouse… but that doesn’t mean it should be overlooked. With strategic loading dock procedures and processes in place, companies can experience significant productivity gains as well as energy savings and a reduction in workplace accidents. All of these factors can positively impact your bottom line. 

Even though the sole purpose of a loading dock is to load and unload freights, they aren’t always optimally designed for their purpose. For example, some loading docks are built without dock doors. This means that parcels will need to be lifted into or lowered from a trailer at approximately a 48-inch height. The height difference can cause inefficiencies in the distribution process costing logistics companies time and money.

Rather than investing time and resources into making costly upgrades, or finding a new warehouse altogether, there are solutions available that can help. Warehouse managers can take a step towards better loading dock efficiency by implementing ergonomic loading dock solutions to streamline loading and unloading processes. 

Loading Dock Solutions

Three Key Benefits of Dynamic Loading Dock Solutions:

Dynamic loading dock solutions provide warehouses with a variety of benefits.

These can include:

1. Increased throughput for higher productivity

With more efficient processes in place, workers will be able to load-and-unload more parcels in a given period. At each facility, loading dock workers would move a gravity conveyor onto the truck, place the product on the conveyor, and guide the product to the back of the truck. In addition to being an ergonomic improvement, it’s also more time efficient as well. This not only results in higher throughput, but it also means higher overall productivity and reduced labor costs as a result of increased loading dock efficiency.

2. Creates optimal loading-and-unloading sequences

When products are moved on permanent or portable gravity conveyors, the parcels are sequenced using First In, First Out (FIFO) best practices. This allows workers to stage products to be loaded onto a truck in a specific order. So, the first items loaded on the conveyor and truck would be the driver’s last stop and progress throughout their route. In addition to FIFO, flexible conveyors allow workers to quickly establish lines when they are needed. The ability to deploy equipment only when it is needed allows workers to re-purpose areas of your facility to ensure the use of loading dock space is maximized.

3. Improved ergonomics and worker happiness

When loading docks are not optimized for ergonomics, workplace injuries are more likely to affect parcel handlers. Employees can leverage flexible gravity conveyors to expand deeper into the trailer as they unload trucks. Flexible conveyors also allow workers to spend less time climbing and reaching into trucks to move packages. This ultimately improves ergonomics which increases productivity and makes flexible conveyors an ideal solution for enhancing worker safety as well. By leveraging gravity, employees are further protected from unnecessary strain-related workplace injuries.

Request a consultation to find the ideal loading dock solutions for your unique space.

UNEX Loading Dock Solutions

One of the best ways to optimize loading-and-unloading a truck with the quickest ROI would be a gravity-powered expandable conveyor. An improvement in the efficiency of the loading and unloading process can play a large role in saving companies an exorbitant amount of time, money, and headaches. Additionally, because it’s powered by gravity, not electricity, gravity conveyors can also save energy while still providing significant time and money.

Flexible Gravity Conveyor
Flexible Conveyor with Skatewheels

Flex Wheel Series Gravity Conveyor

UNEX flex wheel series gravity conveyor helps warehouses to quickly implement conveyor lines with limited installation time required. One of the major benefits of this solution is that it saves valuable space by expanding and contracting, so it can be stored and out of the way when you don’t need it and expanded when in use. Because it’s lightweight and flexible, this versatile and portable gravity conveyor integrates seamlessly into existing conveying systems so loading dock employees can load/unload trucks with greater efficiency.

Explore Flex Wheel Series Gravity Conveyor

Portable or Permanent Gravity Conveyor

Efficiently storing, staging, and sequencing packages for shipping can be achieved by implementing loading dock solutions like a UNEX portable or permanent gravity conveyor. To further improve loading dock efficiency, gravity conveyors allow workers to load on one end and let gravity do the work of moving the boxes to the end of the dock, allowing them to get more work done and move less.

Learn About Conveyors

Gravity Conveyor in Warehouse

How to Optimize Warehouse Space to Increase Pick Speed and Throughput

Download the Guide to Understanding Throughput for Fulfillment to identify space-saving strategies that reduce picker search time, labor costs, and travel time.

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