I strongly believe that any courier company can drastically improve operational efficiency by taking the time to optimise their loading bay/dock. This is a key area of the entire operation and helps courier jobs get off to a great start, so it is worth assessing how you can streamline the dock and keep things running smoothly. Not just this, but streamlining the area is also a great way to eliminate any potential dangers and implement important safety procedures for everybody onsite. |
If you were to visit the warehouse of any successful courier company, you would notice that their loading bay works like a well-oiled machine. This is the warehouse bottleneck where you are dealing with a high volume of goods and vehicles; when this runs smoothly, it can prevent delivery back-ups, eliminate bottlenecks from occurring and minimise the chance of injury and/or damage to property and goods. Additionally, it can also potentially increase warehouse capacity and speed of delivery during busy periods for courier jobs (such as Christmas).
Tips for Streamlining the Bay
The importance of a streamlined operation where you are “loading bay ready” is obvious, but how can you enhance the operational efficiency and safety of this crucial area? Fortunately, there are many procedures, safety aids and technology that can be utilised. Here are a few of the best:
Digital signage – Digital signage is a fantastic way to increase productivity amongst dock workers. These boards can light up with contents of both incoming and outgoing shipments, ETA of arrivals and other information required by those working in the area.
Dock bumpers – Dock bumpers are, essentially, brightly coloured curbs that are placed along the outside of loading bay. They create a clear pathway for the driver to reverse into so that they get the perfect fit first time. This can speed up loading times and increase safety by creating a clear pathway.
Increased signage – It can be particularly challenging and unsafe when new drivers or employees are onsite, so it is crucial that driving procedures are very clear. Increasing signage is a succinct, easy and low-cost way to educate on loading and unloading practices.
Traffic lights – Congestion can become a real problem in a warehouse around busy periods and a great way to control this is through traffic lights. Much like on the roads, they promote safety and everybody knows when to go and when not to go.
High visibility jackets – It may be obvious, but high visibility jackets are essential onsite. Reversing is one of the most common reasons for warehouse accidents, so high visibility jackets will reduce the chance of injury as the driver will clearly see each staff member.
Fixed mirrors – Fixed mirrors can promote safety when reversing and speed up the process by eliminating blind spots. This can, in turn, improve efficiency, particularly when used with dock bumpers.
These are just a few ways that you can increase operational efficiency and safety at your loading dock. The success and speed of courier jobs will depend on how streamlined this area of the operation is, so it is worth analysing your current situation and identifying any potential hazards or times where regular bottlenecks occur. You may find a few simple changes can be made to streamline the bay, but I also highly recommend incorporating the above methods too.
Norman Dulwich is a correspondent for Courier Exchange, the world's largest neutral trading hub for same day courier jobs in the express freight exchange industry. Over 4,000 transport exchange businesses are networked together through their website, trading jobs and capacity in a safe 'wholesale' environment.
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