When a major logistics company won a contract to handle temperature sensitive cargoes, it turned to loading bay specialist sara LBS for designing and installing a dedicated vehicle dock at its west London depot. The new dock would have to provide a stable temperature for loading and unloading, whilst also remaining cost effective in operation. sara LBS was choses as its engineers have the best reputation for combining creative thinking with technical excellence in loading bay design.

The parcel delivery industry has enjoyed sustained growth over many years, and this looks set to continue with the rise of on-line shopping and home delivery services. Of course, growth inevitably means that there are obstacles to overcome and unexpected requirements to address. Rising to such challenges often secures ongoing business for successful companies.

One emerging challenge is the increasing need to carry temperature sensitive (or time and temperature sensitive) items. These could include time and temperature sensitive pharmaceutical products (TTSPPs), healthcare items, frozen materials, luxury foodstuffs, live animals, rare or exotic plants, cut flowers, medical samples, biological specimens etc.

While these will often be transported in temperature controlled cases or packaging, or in refrigerated vehicles, there is also a need to minimise the risk of ‘temperature excursions’ (temperature changes beyond defined tolerances, for significant lengths of time).

In such cases, the depots where items are transferred from one vehicle to another are often identified as ‘critical control points’; stages in the logistics chain where risks are heightened and so extra care needs to be ensured. Here the haulier may agree a service level agreement which defines ambient temperate ranges, handling procedures, time limits, etc. sara LBS was recently contacted by a major parcel delivery company that had a new requirement to handle regular shipments of temperature sensitive items. The company had already partitioned off part of its warehouse and installed temperature monitoring equipment ready for the new contract. Within the partitioned area was a level access door and a dock leveller loading bay, which was to be upgraded to meet the new requirements.

“The bay was fitted with a curtain type shelter and the client initially thought it would need a PVC strip curtain for the level access door plus a new shelter for the loading bay,” recalls Nick Cox, sara LBS Area Sales Manager. “I conducted a site visit and consulted about what could be achieved. In the end I suggested an inflatable shelter would be a better option. It would offer significantly improved thermal insulation compared to a curtain type shelter, and would therefore practically guarantee the stability of the ambient temperature.”

In fact, measurements and calculations showed that sara LBS could supply one of its standard inflatable shelters, which would fit the bill perfectly and thus there was no need for a bespoke solution.

sara LBS has been designing and installing complete loading bay packages and supplying individual warehouse loading accessories (dock levellers, dock shelters, scissor lifts, ramps and loading doors) for 30 years. Its expertise lies in understanding each unique situation so that it can design an optimised and fully budgeted high quality loading bay solution that meets both immediate and future needs. This is then installed at a time when there will be minimal disruption to normal operations.

sara LBS offers a range of shelters, including fixed, retractable and inflatable. The inflated shelter creates a watertight seal around the vehicle which protects goods from adverse weather during loading and unloading. The shelter also helps to maintain the internal temperature of the warehouse while the loading bay is in use.

The new equipment was installed over a weekend and was up and running ready for Monday morning.


Tel: 01442 245577

Email: info@saralbs.co.uk