Speaking in broad terms, there is really no huge mystery to how time and money can be saved in any industrial operation — it all boils down to boosting the efficiency of equipment and labour.

Saving Money At The Shipping Dock

There is much practical wisdom in the saying “Time is money.” It simply means that we need to automate as much as possible, install innovative machines, keep equipment maintenance up-to-date, and organize the work flow and work environment for optimum worker performance.

But, as they say, the devil is in the details. Here are just a few specific tips for saving time and money at your shipping dock:

    1. Proper airflow.

Proper airflow is very important to make workers feel comfortable, which in turn raises morale and productivity. Consider installing iFan and automating your HVLS fan network. It will not only provide your dock with good, work-inducing airflow, but it will also save on labor hours wasted on constantly adjusting settings of various fans.

    1. Wrapping.

Much time and labor is involved in hand wrapping a load. Make the switch from hand wrapping to an automatic or semi-automatic stretch wrapping machine – it will not only save many work hours, but also money spent on film supply.

    1. Hydraulic levelers.

Mechanical levelers involve manual activation, and that takes time and labour. Consider hydraulic which are controlled through a touch of a button, and are lower-maintenance.

    1. Sequencing.

A well-managed dock depends on a timely and orderly operation of all equipment. Faulty sequencing may result in worker injury and/or equipment damage. Think about installing a control panel – it will operate the whole loading system from just one location. This change will generate many savings by increasing productivity, lowering electrical costs, and improving safety.

    1. Loading ramps.

The right loading ramp or dock board is crucial not only for safety, but also for expediency of the loading and unloading process. It may be time for you to switch them out for one of today’s more technologically advanced models, which are lighter weight but can hold greater load capacity.

    1. Vertical storing levelers.

Vertical storing levelers enable truck drivers to back right up to dock bumpers without getting out. These levelers will maximize the efficiency of loading/unloading, and save energy.

    1. Trailer restraints.

Wheel chocks do work, but are often time-consuming to position properly, and leave room for human error in alignment. Powered vehicle restraints do this at the touch of a button, and are much more error-free.

    1. Digital signage.

Is your crew leader still manually monitoring the loading/unloading traffic? Take that clip board away from him/her, and install digital signage. This system consists of large boards that light up with the timing of arrivals and contents of incoming and outgoing shipments for all to see, improving efficiency.

    1. Logistical scheduling.

Dock scheduling can be a logistical challenge. There are many scheduling software applications on the market today to help you manage inboundand outbound shipments from one easy place. An online scheduling will boost employee efficiency by reducing dispatcher calls and enhancing communications.

    1. Even small changes can make a difference.
      • With super bright LED lights, work at the loading dock can proceed day or night.
      • Lighting the inside of the trailer will improve dock productivity.
      • Dock equipment is often stored outdoors and is exposed to the elements. Regular maintenance can ensure the productivity and safety of operations at the dock.
    2. Labour.

Invest in your people through training. A well-trained, happy employee equals higher productivity and less employee turnover, so invest a little to gain a lot. Training should always include regular safety instruction and testing. To ensure an accident-free site you can install dock levelers with roll off stop lips to help protect your employees from workplace hazards.