As the most fast-paced part of a warehouse, loading bays arguably also pose the most risks and in the past year they have been under intense pressure. While employers have always had a duty to cut risk within the workplace and continuously review their processes, now more than ever, the focus is on building additional robustness to frontline operations with health & safety at the forefront.
Warehouses and distribution centres have had to rapidly re-evaluate their strategies across supply chains. They have been doing this while also looking to invest in additional resources to meet the welcome growth in business, driven by the huge demand for products being purchased through online channels.
An efficient loading bay should provide sufficient space for goods to move flawlessly to and from vehicles while offering the flexibility to cope with an increased volume of despatch and delivery.
Our bespoke loading bays provide that flexibility and guarantee a high performance solution that can grow with the business. Canopies offer all-weather protection against the elements, therefore eliminating the problem of water or wind damage. Single span domes, which have no internal supports, make it easier for organisations to comply with social distancing requirements.
It is now understood that more than 75% of the UK shop online for their groceries and this shift in purchasing behaviour is likely to be permanent. Companies wanting to meet, if not exceed, customer expectations are realising they need to make changes fast. We have already witnessed first hand how the rapid design, off-site construction and quick installation process of their temporary structures can address these changes without compromising day-to-day activity.
Holdsworth Foods Ltd found that business growth of their chilled ambient and frozen food range was putting pressure on space and goods capacity within their warehouse. A temporary covered holding area proved to be the best, most cost-effective solution, for creating additional picking zones and allowing continuous movement by freeing up the aisles.
Ocado were looking for a solution, which allowed the vans to be loaded and left undercover, plugged into mains electricity, until they were ready to deliver. The resulting unique ‘tree canopy’ solution can be kept at a controlled temperature, therefore preventing unnecessary electricity usage and protecting the products inside.
Waitrose’s move towards a “just-in-time” operation led to more lorries making deliveries directly to supermarkets, which put pressure on space for storing goods until they could be moved to the aisles. However, the central location of most stores meant there was limited room to manoeuvre vehicles, let alone offload them. Our retractable structures were the perfect solution, allowing lorries to spin around, unload into an extended canopy and drive off to their next destination. Staff could then slowly bring the goods into stores, confident that they were not leaving them exposed to the elements and at risk of being damaged.
As the bottleneck of any logistics hub, it has become even more apparent that the loading bay cannot be overlooked! It’s main purpose is to maintain order, safety and offer convenience, which is particularly significant at a time when we are being asked to maintain order, stay safe and are all embracing convenience.