Loading Dock Perfection

Running like clockwork

Digitization. Blockchain. Autonomous vehicles. While the wheels of progress are moving forward it's crucial to remember that managing your loading dock schedule is as important now as it has ever been.

Ted Roth 25.04.2018

Loading docks in a digital revolution

You don’t have to spend much time browsing news channels before seeing some very compelling content around the advancement of industry.

Digital hubs for the new online shopping environment, electronics giants turning to blockchain to track the shipments of millions of products, and retailers developing autonomous vehicles to effortlessly deliver products to your door.

But with all the growth and change the digital age is heralding, it’s important to remember that a huge percentage of products are still moved on-and-off of loading docks and in-and-out of warehouses.

That despite all the headlines, the shiny new smart phone you just ordered isn’t going to be dropped in your lap by drone. (Not yet anyway.) Rather, it will be handed to you by a delivery driver after being transported by truck or rail or plane and making its way through more than a few warehouses and across several loading docks.

That means loading dock scheduling is as important now as it ever has been. The retail growth from online shopping is highly competitive and the demands of consumers are pushing the envelop for same day deliver and even same day returns and exchanges.

But when you have insight into incoming trucks and their arrival times and payloads you can plan which gates are used in the most efficient manner. Moreover, when your loading docks are running like clockwork your people on the ground and your management team in the front office are all a lot happier.

Frustration for everyone

At AEB, we know that long wait times at the loading dock are frustrating, and not just for truck drivers.

  • Waiting to load and unload is “lost time” for forwarders too. 
  • And traffic jams and peak times are an annoyance to shippers: sometimes the pace is hectic, and sometimes the employees are waiting for work.

Many businesses see a need for optimization when it comes to the activities at their loading docks. AEB’s Loading Dock Scheduling balances loads, streamlines processes, and increases productivity.

How does our software help?

  • It makes it easy for transporters to book loading docks for deliveries and pickups: they simply access the Booking Cockpit at any time, check which time slots are free, and book the slot of their choice with just a few clicks.
  • It lets you easily manage the time slots of all your loading docks, quickly assigning individual time slots to specific loading docks.
  • And it continuously collects all the data of the various loading docks and mines it for powerful statistics: What is the average wait time at loading dock 2? What is the average wait time at all your loading docks?

Take time management to the next level

What we see in most solutions on the market today is a view that time slot management is somehow an isolated task. Our loading dock scheduling solution takes it to the next level by monitoring and controlling the shipping, goods receipts, and warehouse processes. With AEB, you not only optimize loading and unloading but synchronize these steps with other logistical processes.

It doesn’t matter if you are a retail giant, electronics maker or bicycle company. All of today’s fantastic advances aside, your ability to serve your customers doesn’t begin at your loading dock and it should not end there.

About the author
Ted Roth
Ted Roth is General Manager of AEB Sweden and joined the company in 2014. He shares his ideas for supply chain optimization from more than a decade of experience working on multinational IT projects for global trade, customs, and logistics.

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