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Trade Talk | August 2015

Loading Bay: The heart and soul of a warehouse

- Samir Gandhi, Director, Gandhi Automations Pvt Ltd
The importance of efficiently loading goods has always been evident. It has only increased with the years. Higher cost of skilled manpower consequently causes the necessity of hiring less qualified personnel. The cost of the goods is made up by the costs of raw materials´ production, storage, loading and shipment to the destination. With the introduction of better performing, precise and safe production machineries, a major chunk of the cost is passed over from the production to the storage and the loading process. The cost of loading the goods is a precise, inevitable phase, exactly definable that allows a scientific approach to problems and therefore, being able to arrive at solutions which may be quantified as RoI.

Efficiently loading and unloading of goods
For efficiently loading and unloading of goods at the loading bay the basic equipment comprises dock levelers, a sectional overhead doors and dock shelters. They appear to be independent equipment, but installation of any one without the other may not result in a complete solution at the loading bay. All three equipment are unbelievably interdependent. However, the choice of either one of the three depends on many factors. For example, the type of goods, the weight, volume, quantity, dimension of the courtyard, the frequency of goods movement, the type of vehicles and the temperature to be maintained within the facility.

The Loading Bays: How to equip them?
With the approach mentioned above the motivation to reach the objective of cost reduction are the following:

Operators at the loading bay

  • Safeguards the operators from the risk of accidents
  • Grants to the operator better environmental conditions, lowering their absences due to illnesses and increasing their productivity
  • Loading and unloading with the lesser possible effort

Material at the bay

  • To avoid material damages to the goods
  • To avoid breaking the frozen food cold chain
  • To protect goods from diverse weather conditions

Ecology and energy savings:

  • To avoid heating waste
  • To reduce heating and/ or air-conditioning costs

Maintaining the quality:

  • To grant a constant quality of the goods during loading and until their arrival at the consumer Vehicles:
  • To facilitate the vehicles approach operations
  • To fill in the available spaces on the vehicles
  • To load and unload as quickly as possible, minimising the waiting time of the vehicles

Speeding up the operations:

  • Remote controlling of the loading bay state
  • Remote addressing of the vehicles to the assigned bay
  • Remote calling of the driver when the load is finished

Equipping also when it seems impossible:

  • Disposing of adequate equipment also in the warehouses without docks, at ground level
  • Disposing of equipment when it seems that the space of docking the vehicles lacks
  • Properly equipping the dock for loading light commercial vehicles

Choosing equipment which allows the maximum building integration:

  • That conforms to the necessity of the modern prefabrication
  • That may be installed only at the end of the building works
  • That preserves the integrity of the building parts
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