Supporting the increasing trend for logistics companies to make next or even same day deliveries with smaller vans, Ian Langan, Technical Director at loading bay specialist Thorworld Industries, advises on the benefits of van docking ramps as an ideal means to improve loading function, and enable the speedy, safe dispatch of smaller delivery vehicles:

“The UK delivery industry is constantly evolving. As lead times become tighter and higher customer expectations for home delivery become commonplace, changes are needed to realise what is becoming a new distribution norm.

“Increasingly, we’re seeing logistics companies adapt existing working practices and bolster lorry or container fleets with smaller, more responsive transit vehicles as an alternative to, or in conjunction with articulated lorries.

“As such, the loading bays that support distributors’ operations are having to be suitably adapted to safely facilitate changing systems.

“Whilst most articulated vehicles – owing to their height and volume capacity – can be best prepared for dispatch using a combination of height-set loading platforms and container ramps, vans need loading docks that are set at a lower position.

“So, to enable customers to load vans from warehouses using the HGV docks they already have in place, we provide yard ramps, manufactured in various sizes and widths and purpose-built to provide ideal access for smaller, swifter vehicles.

“These cleverly designed ramps easily enable existing loading docks to undergo an almost instant transformation that can safely accommodate different delivery vehicles. Ramps and supporting platforms can be designed so they are flush with the dock height, or made suitable for placement below the dock, so ‘vehicle floors’ can be ‘brought closer’ to the loading dock level. We can also supply-side platforms with access steps, fitted handrails and a variety of decking options if required.

“Built to withstand different capacities, and designed in appropriate widths, incline lengths and level-off or platform lengths, we manufacture to order, depending on our client’s exact requirements.” “By designing, manufacturing and supplying safe, effective equipment to bridge the gap between dock and vehicle, we’re helping the UK logistics industry keep pace, as it succeeds in providing clients with accurate, cost-effective, same and next-day dispatch services.”