Increasing Efficiency at Your Loading Dock

Not too long ago, we wrote about why warehouse efficiency starts at the loading dock. It’s a concept that, when executed properly, will have your supply chain moving faster than ever.

A lot goes into loading dock procedures. Trucks need to be directed, forklift ramps secured, inventory accounted for and much more. If you narrow this process down to a simple system that flows smoothly, you will have have a warehouse that is efficient, safe and running nearly on autopilot. Trucks will be moving in and out at a rapid clip, and freight will be stored and shipped off faster than before.

How can this be achieved? Read on for a few tips that will get you closer to your goal.

Guide Trucks to the Dock

Warehouse efficiency starts with getting the truck lined up properly with the loading dock. It seems like a simple task, but sometimes you will see it go terribly wrong. Maybe the driver was new, in a rush or just having a bad day, but we’ve all seen a truck have to pull forward and backward several times to line up with the dock.

You can eliminate this risk altogether by painting guidelines outside of your loading dock. This will allow drivers to guide the truck into the right position. If you can afford it, place a worker outside to guide trucks in and out of the area, especially if your yard is small or cramped.

Install Some Lights

Workers can’t move freight quickly if they can’t see what they are doing. We’ve seen some pretty poorly lit warehouses in our time, and it not only gums up the works, it also creates hazards for your workers.

If your warehouse isn’t very well lit, you can place a few portable lights around the docks to make it easier to load and unload trucks.

Embrace RFID

Why stop and scan every pallet that comes in and out of the warehouse if you don’t have to? There are a lot of benefits to implementing RFID tracking, but one of the most important among them is efficiency.

Since it is automatically scanned into the system, freight that is tagged with radio-frequency identification technology can proceed in and out of the warehouse quickly and without stopping.

Get Rid of Bottlenecks

If the confines of your warehouse are tight, consider stacking freight upwards in order to save on space and reduce tight working conditions. You should aim to have enough space in your aisles for at least two pallets, one moving in each direction, to pass one another. This will cut down on waiting times when workers are trying to move freight on or off of trucks.

Get Some New Equipment

You can’t have warehouse efficiency without properly working equipment. In order to maintain an efficient warehouse, you need everything from loading dock equipment to shelving and more. Let us know what your needs are and Murray Materials Handling will provide you with the solution.

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