From facilitating the increasing demands of same or next day delivery, to implementing more sustainable operations throughout every aspect of the supply chain, the logistics industry is currently undergoing a significant period of change. Here Tom Langley, Projects Director for Hörmann UK, looks at the innovative new technologies available that are designed to provide safer, securer and more efficient warehouses.

With customers now demanding faster and often free delivery, supply chain operators are under increasing pressure to ensure warehouse operations continuously adapt to meet these demands, whilst also ensuring a safe and secure working environment for all.

As the loading area is critical to achieving this success, developers, suppliers and warehouse operators must adopt a pragmatic approach to operations by working closely with manufacturers from the initial stages. This will ensure the warehouse utilises loading technology that is designed to not only provide the highest levels of proficiency and safety, but also future proof the warehouse to meet the demands of the future.

For example, as online retail continues to dominate the sector, warehouses must now provide docking solutions for a wide type of vehicles, from commercial vans to double deck HGVs. Installing both single deck dock shelters and double deck dock shelters throughout a warehouse is crucial for facilitating the demand of next or same day delivery, additional adaptable measures should be implemented to ensure the safe and efficient use of these loading areas. If a loading bay is out of operation due to damage, this can cause long periods of downtime whilst the technology is repaired, subsequently having a major impact on a businesses operations and bottom line.

Hörmann UK’s Docking Assistant System (DAP) has been specifically developed to minimise costly collision damage, aiding drivers of all types of vehicles when approaching the loading bay through a traffic light system. Featuring LED warning lights, the docking aid enables vehicles to dock safely and quickly, without the dangerous requirement for drivers to exit the vehicle or perform multiple maneuvers that may cause contact with the exterior of the warehouse building.

For a pragmatic approach, systems such as this should be combined with additional safety features to protect the infrastructure of the warehouse and ensure the personal safety of warehouse operators and drivers. Additional safety features include dock lights, docking assists and PU foam-filled buffers, which are spring loaded to absorb the impact caused by heavy loads if they make contact with the loading bay. To ensure complete safety and overall operational efficiency of the site, dock assistants and foam filled buffers should be installed on each and every loading bay.

Hörmann UK’s innovative Docking Before Opening system (DOBO) has also been created to increase the sustainability and safety of loading and unloading, whilst also increasing efficiency. Unlike many systems currently available, the DOBO system enables vehicles to dock with the doors closed, with operators opening the doors once vehicle has been parked and it is safe to do so. As no maneuvering is required up to 5 minutes of docking time per vehicle can be saved, increasing overall efficiency of operations across the site, regardless of the vehicle type used.

With the demand for smaller commercial vehicles rising as the e-commerce parcel market continues to grow, specific technologies should be implemented to ensure safe docking when on a multi-use site. This can be achieved through specifying specially made products such as Hörmann UK’s BBS Dock Seal. These smaller dock seals are able to safely accommodate vehicles such as the Mercedes Sprinter van, as it includes a foam-filled cushion that creates a seamless connection between vehicles and warehouses for enhanced temperature control and safer movement of goods.

By taking a proactive approach to the specification and installation of loading technology, supply chain operators can continue to meet the changing demands of the industry by utilising adaptable systems that support safe and sustainable operations.

For further information on Hörmann UK’s servicing department and loading technology, call 01530 516868 or visit: www.hormann.co.uk/industry-commerce-and-public-authorities/service.

Hörmann UK

t: 01530 516868

w: www.hormann.co.uk