The increasing pressure on UK businesses of all kinds to handle orders faster in order to gain a competitive edge in today’s environment means driving efficiencies into every stage of their warehousing operations, from the goods-in area to the despatch loading bay.

Investing in well designed and equipped loading bays will make goods handling more productive and importantly, also help maintain the quality and appearance of stock, protecting it from the weather until it is safely on board the vehicle and en route. Loading bay specialists sara LBS advise customers who are suppliers to retailers to make sure their loading bays are equipped to meet the needs of the retailers’ operations. In particular they highlight that loading bays need to accommodate double decker trucks, which the major retailers are increasingly using in their supply chains. If loading bay doors are too low for these vehicles, access will be restricted: too high, and heat will escape and contaminants enter, critical in food handling operations and costly in energy terms for any business.

Still on the subject of energy saving, loading bay doors can also be insulated to prevent heat being lost or hot air coming in, in the case of chilled environments. Most loading bays in retail operations have power doors, which open and close faster than manual systems, helping maintain warehouse temperatures. With delivery and collection operations increasingly run to tight schedules, speeding up turn-round time goes straight to the bottom line. Power doors can also be automated, opening when vehicles are parked and closing again on departure, saving more time.

In our uncertain British climate loading bay doors need to be weather-tight as well, which has the added benefits of shutting out insects and contaminants and perish the thought, helping in fire control. sara LBS’ recommendations for other safety measures include fitting safety edges and scanners to stop the door if pedestrians come too near. A further measure, installing key safes in the loading bay for truck drivers’ keys will stop vehicles moving until the door is lowered, by which time all loading bay personnel should be clear.

As we reported in our last issue, Hörmann, Europe’s leading industrial and garage door provider, are celebrating their fortieth anniversary of trading here in the UK. With 8.1 million reported incidents of crime in the wholesale and retail sector in 2017, Hörmann’s industrial door systems are doing a good job protecting Britain’s businesses from the criminally minded, but they don’t want us to get complacent.

With retail and industrial crime on the increase, Hörmann advise that shutters and loading areas should be fitted with break in resistance as standard. Electromagnetic locking options are also available to provide automatic locking, which can be connected to central control systems.

Finally, warehouse operators can further choose to enhance their level of security with radio systems such as Hörmann’s BiSecur technology. This provides secure and convenient operation of industrial doors through a secure encryption protocol, which prevents copying of the radio signal. Radio finger-scans also prevent unauthorised individuals accessing the warehouse, by leaving only approved personnel able to operate the scanner.

CHARLES SMITH

Feature Writer