Among the challenges faced by freight transport professionals, truck loading times are among the most common issues. These delays can result in delivery delays, decreased productivity for carriers, and additional costs for the entire industry. In this article, we will explore the causes of these waiting times, the current regulations, and possible solutions to finally reduce these delays and optimize the truck loading process.
A reminder about the logistics site
A logistics site, a strategic location in the Supply Chain, is a space specially designed for organizing and managing the storage, handling, and distribution of goods. These sites can be warehouses, logistics platforms, or ports, and they play an essential role in the smooth flow of goods within the supply chain.
Loading docks for goods: bulk and others
Loading docks or unloading docks are part of the logistics site, and they are transit areas where goods, especially bulk goods, are transferred between the truck and the logistics site. These docks are equipped with ramps, dock levelers, and other devices to facilitate safe and efficient loading or unloading.
Optimizing docks is a significant concern for Supply Chain teams.
Truck loading and unloading: an overview of regulations
Who loads? Who unloads?
Regulations regarding truck loading can vary depending on the country and industry. In France, certain common standards must be followed to avoid accidents, delays, and cargo losses.
The carrier is responsible for loading the goods onto the truck and must ensure that the weight and distribution of the load comply with legal limits.
Attention, if you work in the transportation of hazardous goods, you will have to adhere to even more stringent safety standards! ADR and road transport form a separate industry.
Clearly, the loading time of a truck can vary depending on the size and nature of the goods, the loading system used, and the level of preparation at the time of the truck's arrival.
According to some studies, waiting time can account for up to 25% of the total time dedicated to a logistics operation, resulting in significant costs and lost revenue for carriers. Truck dock management becomes essential.
At Dashdoc, we estimate that for a transport company with 12 trucks, there are over 300 hours of waiting time per month! And only 55 of those hours are billed...
Focus on loading times at the logistics site
Why do we talk about waiting times?
Both electric and conventional trucks face the same challenge: very long loading times! This can lead to significant economic and operational consequences for carriers.
Firstly, it results in decreased productivity as trucks spend more time waiting than making deliveries. It can also cause delivery delays, which can harm the carrier's reputation and lead to contractual penalties.
Finding a good transportation partner in the first place is not that easy, so it's essential to know how to keep them.
What is the loss of revenue for carriers?
Furthermore, extended waiting times can increase carriers' operational costs. Trucks consume more fuel when idle, and labor costs for drivers can also rise.
Not to mention potential parking fees and additional storage costs if the truck has to wait for an extended period before unloading.
How to tackle excessively long loading times?
To reduce truck loading waiting times, it is essential to implement efficient and well-coordinated solutions. Here are some avenues to explore:
Optimized planning: Precise planning of logistics operations, taking into account truck arrival schedules and loading dock availability, can help avoid unnecessary waiting times.
Smooth communication: Fluid communication among various stakeholders in the supply chain (suppliers, carriers, site managers) allows better anticipation of arrivals and quick response to any changes.
Process automation: Automating loading procedures can speed up operations while reducing the risk of human errors.
Personnel training: Providing training to staff in best loading and unloading practices can improve overall operational efficiency.
Innovative technologies: Leveraging advanced technologies, such as RFID-based dock management, can optimize the flow of goods and reduce waiting times.
Appointment scheduling at the logistics site: a response to truck loading times?
By allowing carriers to plan their arrivals and loading slots in advance, this solution promotes better coordination of logistics operations.
Logistics sites can:
Anticipate incoming flows of goods more effectively (thus facilitating the day for dock managers, forklift operators, and their teams)
Efficiently allocate available loading docks
Reduce the risks of congestion, the notorious "bottlenecks."
Furthermore, appointment scheduling facilitates communication among different stakeholders in the supply chain, thus improving the flow of information.
Thanks to this approach, unnecessary waiting times are minimized, resulting in increased carrier productivity, reduced operational costs, and higher customer satisfaction. By integrating this solution into their logistics process, companies can optimize their truck loading operations and contribute to a smoother and more efficient supply chain.
Waiting times seen by Dashdoc : according to data collected from Dashdoc's customers, a transport company with twelve trucks experiences around 300 hours of waiting time per month. Assuming that one hour of waiting is billed at least €50, the transport company can gain up to €33,000 in profit per year!