As the bottleneck of the warehouse, a loading bay needs to maintain efficient, safe and speed. Keeping up to date with the latest procedures and technology of this crucial area means the entire enterprise can run smoother, increasing the speed and ease of the loading and unloading processes, and potentially increasing warehouse capacity.
Improving your warehouses’ efficiency
To start off with, there’s some quick and common sense solutions that’ll make your warehouse run safer and smoother. Installing dock bumpers will help drivers to reverse into that perfect fit, providing ideal guidelines for new drivers. These bright curbs can be positioned along the outside of the loading bay, creating a clearer path for vehicles. Wheel chocks are simple ways of ensuring a stable unloading and loading platform, making the process much safer. Dock lights are another great way of making a loading bay area easier to use. Confusion over driving procedures on a site is a common problem, particularly with new drivers and locations, and increased signage is another low-cost high-effect way of easing loading and unloading practices around a loading bay.
At this hectic part of the business, an accident can be a devastating financial burden, and it may surprise companies to learn that often the most common bumps in a warehouse’s productivity happen everyday in the loading bay. All good managers know the importance of a healthy and happy team, and long-term absenteeism can greatly damage a loading bay’s capabilities. Forklift operators are the backbone of the unloading and loading process, and integral to keeping everything running on time. But over time, the continuous jolts and shudders of driving the machine over the loading bay floor and the harsh bumps of the dock levellers can have a serious impact on an operator’s spine, resulting in valued team members being lost for long periods of recovery time. The solution is simple. Investment in smoother dock levellers and vibration limiting forklift components can ease much of the damage, leaving a workforce disruption free and continuously able to deliver a safe and efficient service.
A straightforward, but more costly and lengthy improvement can be made to the exact connection being made to the loading bay and the vehicle. Traditionally warehouses are equipped with a range of different doors and docks to match the size and height of popular haulage vehicles. This complicates any future configuration changes that may be necessary as business trends shift. Combidock’s new technology eliminates the need for different bays, and through retracting and extending parts, it’s able to alter the shape of the lip bridging the bay and vehicle. This means all loading bays can remain flexible as to what type of vehicles they can receive, eliminating idle time and going a long way in optimising the loading bay procedure.
Catching up with the latest growth in e-commerce is a challenge many warehouses face, and it’s critical that the loading bay is not overlooked in a warehouses’ optimisation strategy. With more vehicles to cater for, the warehouse needs to ensure its loading bays are ready to deal both with busy times inside the structure, and increased traffic outside.