Manual truck loading and unloading can be tedious, risky, and time-consuming, which is why automated truck loading systems are becoming more popular. An automated loading system uses a moving loading plate to transfer cargo from the dock to the truck, and typically needs one system in the vehicle and one on the loading dock.
An automated loading system can be a hefty investment, especially for a small operation. If you’re hesitant about switching to this type of system, here are the benefits that should convince you to take the leap:
1. Safety of products and personnel
Loading and unloading cargo can be risky if done manually. Workers can trip or strain their bodies if they lift dozens of boxes every time they have to load and unload. But with an automatic truck loading and unloading conveyor, the risk of injury is reduced or even eliminated, and workers will have more time for other important tasks.
Moreover, there is much less risk of merchandise getting damaged since goods are transported on an even loading platform. This is especially important for operations that transfer fragile items, such as electronics or ceramics.
2. Increased efficiency
The minutes spent on loading, arranging, and unloading boxes can quickly add up. By reducing these tasks to a minimum with an automated loading system, the time required to load and unload cargo will be significantly faster. As a result, efficiency is increased and deadlines can be met easier, decreasing the strain on drivers and loading personnel.
3. Reduced labor cost
An automated loading system requires minimal human interaction in order to operate. Consequently, labor costs are reduced and employees are available for other more important work.
4. No overloading
Most automated systems have a weight reading feature, which allows workers to control the weight of each load. Thus, overloading penalties can be easily avoided.
Trucks also consume more fuel if the cargo is too heavy, which means automated loading systems are effective tools to increase fuel efficiency, especially if idling time is minimized.
5. Demurrage charges will be avoided
If you exceed the amount of time given to you by the warehouse operator, you will be charged a demurrage fee. But since automated loading and unloading is faster than manual work, the risk of overstaying will be reduced–if not eliminated.
6. Decreased vehicle use
Because automated loading systems are more efficient, the number of trucks required to deliver each load can be reduced. Fewer vehicles can mean lower expenses on fuel, maintenance, and driver expenses.
7. Easy maintenance
When used correctly, automated loading systems require minimal maintenance and they can easily last for decades. When they do require maintenance, repairs and tune-ups are typically at reasonable prices.
8. Better employee morale
Manual loading and unloading are undeniably exhausting and dangerous. If you have an automated system in place that eliminates this unnecessary labor, employees will be more motivated and less likely to miss work.
Automated loading systems are among the best inventions in modern logistics. From the benefits listed above, it’s clear to see why more companies are automating for their processes, employees, and efficiency.