Automated dock loading and unloading systems are materials handling solutions that load or unload trucks and trailers automatically by using different kinds of conveyors, rollers, skates, docks and drives. Automated dock loading and unloading usually requires two systems: a system in the trailer and a system inside the dock. When the trailer is positioned at the dock, the entire load is loaded or unloaded automatically.
These systems are an essential component of a smooth and profitable logistics system and can be integrated into warehouse management systems, automated guided vehicles and production lines.
1. Eliminates the expense of running a forklift fleet
Forklift fleets are expensive to purchase and the ongoing maintenance and operation costs are significant. The fleet depreciates in value and ultimately has to be replaced with very little resale value. As an alternative, investment in capital infrastructure that replaces the need for a fleet of forklifts requires less maintenance and costs significantly less to operate. It also has a considerably longer lifespan than a forklift fleet and return on investment will be greater.
2. Optimises human resources and reduces labour costs
Automated dock loading and unloading systems eliminate double handling of materials and therefore require less human intervention to run. This enables human resources to be redeployed into higher value work. Furthermore, by eliminating the need for a forklift fleet this eradicates the expense of forklift operators.
3. The number of trucks required in the vehicle fleet is reduced
The speed of dock loading and unloading systems (3 minutes as opposed to 40 minutes) means that trucks are not idling for up to 40 minutes at each end. This ensures trucks are back on the road in a timely fashion, reducing the total number required in the fleet and aiding operational efficiency.
4. No demurrage charges
Demurrage charges are incurred when warehouse operators overstay the length of time allocated by a supplier to unload a container delivery. The high frequency of warehouse deliveries in today’s fast paced global economy mean that ongoing demurrage charges are significant.
5. Improves workplace safety
Forklifts are dangerous. By eliminating the need for a fleet of forklifts this increases workplace safety exponentially.
No forklifts = no accidents.
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