How Loading Dock Efficiency Cuts Logistics Cost

How Loading Dock Efficiency Cuts Logistics Cost

Many of the costs associated with moving materials and products are out of your control—except for those connected to the efficiency and safety of your yard and dock operations.

Facility managers and warehouse executives are facing unique challenges as logistics costs continue to increase worldwide. While many of the costs associated with moving materials and products are out of your control, you can make a big difference by increasing the efficiency and safety of your yard and dock operations.

Yard and dock management systems can help managers use the operational data available to them to improve loading dock visibility, coordinate live and staged trailers and manage turn times. These systems integrate loading dock equipment with intelligent software to monitor, communicate and manage loading dock status. This can help companies avoid detention charges, spoilage costs and employee accidents.

Start Beyond the Dock

Yard and dock management systems help identify problems outside the facility before they enter the warehouse. Many use radio frequency identification (RFID), sensor technologies and GPS tracking to record the movement of every trailer. This results in real-time performance reports and the ability to reduce yard check time by up to 90% and yard labor and equipment resources by up to 30%.

Control the Variables You Can

Yard and dock management systems provide a single interface to capture dock status while driver paging devices help make trailer movements timely and efficient. This can increase dock utilization by 20 percent or more in some applications.

Receiving real time loading dock status updates from a single interface can also help reduce labor hours. Some systems can help cut unnecessary service through scheduled maintenance based on actual equipment usage. They can also help reduce energy costs by guaranteeing closed dock doors when not in use through a network of sensors installed in the doors, vehicle restraints and dock levelers.

Some systems can help develop detailed reports based on parameters such as carrier arrival and departure times, loading and unloading times and labor hours. Integrated with a warehouse management system (WMS), yard management system (YMS), spreadsheets or clipboards, they can help communicate and manage tasks and trailer movements. The goal is, from the moment a trailer enters the yard to the time it leaves, to know where it is, what’s on it, where it needs to be and how to get it there as quickly as possible.

Eric Breen is a manager with 4SIGHT Systems (www.4SIGHTSolution.com).

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