The crucial importance of the logistics platform in road haulage


by Clémence Levieil, on 7/26/2023

5 min read

How a logistics site works

What is a logistics site?

Carriers and shippers are all too familiar with logistics sites, as they are strategic locations where goods are stored, sorted, loaded and unloaded.

They are an essential link in the supply chain, where precision, speed and coordination are essential. Among the various components of a logistics site, docks play a central role, and are crucial to ensuring the smooth flow of goods.

The logistics dock: the nerve center of goods flow

Logistics docks or loading bays are specific areas where trucks and distribution platforms come into contact with warehouses or sorting centers.

They are designed to facilitate the loading and unloading of goods and minimize waiting times.

Docks are generally equipped with :

  • ramps ;

  • levelers ;

  • sliding doors ;

  • handling devices adapted to facilitate the efficient transfer of goods (carts, storage bins, tippers, stackers, lifting tables, etc.).

Trucks at logistics platforms
Trucks at logistics platforms

Are there different types of dock?

There are many different types of dock, each adapted to specific needs depending on the sector.

In terms of logistics dock size, standard docks are designed to accommodate trucks of different sizes, and are generally equipped with sliding or sectional doors. Variable-level docks are height-adjustable to accommodate different truck heights, facilitating loading and unloading. Specialized docks, such as refrigerated docks, are used for the storage and handling of temperature-sensitive goods.

For whom is a logistics dock useful?

We're tempted to answer for any company that needs to deliver raw materials or products! But more to the point: for which trades is a logistics dock essential?

In transport companies, the logistics dock is often well known to transport managers (or operators), who send their truck drivers there to pick up and unload goods.

On the transport side, we will find : 

  • Operators ;

  • Truck drivers.

On the logistics side, we find : 

  • Logistics dock supervisors (dock agents, dock team leaders)

  • Preparators

  • forklift operators

A forklift operator is a person in charge of driving a forklift truck in a warehouse and therefore moving heavy goods from one point to another in compliance with safety standards.

What exactly is a dock agent?

Work on logistics docks is often carried out by dock agents. These professionals are responsible for supervising truck loading and unloading operations, checking goods, ensuring their proper distribution, and ensuring compliance with safety procedures. 

Safety is a major concern for anyone visiting a logistics site. That's why safety protocols are mandatory, and why shippers must ensure that their carriers provide them to drivers on time, before delivery.

Dock agents need to be organized, responsive and able to work effectively in a dynamic and sometimes stressful environment.

How can logistics docks be managed efficiently?

What is the most common problem encountered with logistics docks?

Driver waiting on a logistic platform for his truck to be unloaded
Driver waiting on a logistic platform for his truck to be unloaded

Key aspect of logistics dock efficiency is slot management. The influx of trucks can lead to congestion and long waiting times, with a negative impact on productivity and costs. 

Just as a haulier wants his drivers to optimize their routes, using a transport TMS or electronic consignment note in particular, a site manager wants to optimize space on his site.

To remedy this, many logistics sites have set up slot reservation systems. 

Dashdoc, having already proved its worth with eCMR and full transport TMS services, enables logistics sites to regain control of their docks and avoid bottlenecks with just such a scheduling system tailored to their daily missions.

These systems enable carriers to reserve specific time slots for loading and unloading, facilitating coordination of operations and reducing waiting times.

They also provide real-time visibility of dock utilization, enabling managers to optimize resource allocation and plan operations more efficiently. It's a real time-saver for logistics dock managers, especially when it comes to assigning tasks to forklift operators: they can allocate the right number of people to the right workload.

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