Container unloader is an important step in the sourcing and supply process. Although the idea of container unloading is a relatively simple one, it can quickly become a nightmare for companies that don’t have the correct processes, machinery or tools in place. Most traditional warehouses focus on streamlining the pick and pack process, but many fail to plan the container unloading process correctly. Making container unloading more efficient can help to reduce company downtime, minimise labour costs, increase the availability of space, improve service flexibility and keep costs all round to a minimum.
How does container unloading work traditionally?
The traditional method of container unloading usually involve the manual unpacking of goods, which can put employees at risk. Loose items and unsecured objects can pose a serious hazard. Heavy lifting and manually managing items is a common source of injury, which is why many company then introduce forklifts. Forklifts can have great results for low item quantities or palletised products, but aren’t always the best choice when items are very heavy or bulky.
Common practices that might cause issue when using traditional methods of container unloading include placing items on uneven surfaces, following no clear procedure, handling loose items which have the potential to fall, long handling times, misuse of forklifts, manual heavy lifting and increased the risk of falling.
How can it be more efficient?
Modern day moving plate systems can make the process of container unloading much more efficient. Plate unloading means that a plate, holding all cargo, can simply be removed from the container. Items are moved on a hydraulic system that remains level. This type of system can dramatically decrease the amount of time spent on unpacking but also has a lot of other benefits.
Using this type of system can increase safety, ensuring that there is no manual lifting of heavy items required. It also helps to keep products safe. Without any need for excess lifting and movement, products are much less like to experience breakage.
This type of system also reduces truck waiting time. Having trucks idle can be extremely costly, so the less time they spend in loading bays the better.
Using plates to unpack also reduces labour costs as efficiency is increased and more can be unpacked more quickly. Less staff are also required to unpack, and they tire less quickly because they do not need to be manually unpacking a lot of items.
Automating the process of unloading also involved decreasing risks for employees and creates a much safer working environment with less risk of injury.
More space available
Space is warehouses can be extremely limited and it is very valuable. Bulk unloading allows items to be stacked and stored with maximum efficiency which decreases the amount of space taken up in the warehouse. With space being a precious resource, this is a significant benefit. It also makes for a much more organised environment which makes it quicker and easier for staff to get around and locate items, and helps to limit the potential for injury.
Moving away from traditional methods to use plates can be an investment, but it can increase profit quite quickly as staff costs are reduced and there is much less time involved in unpacking. This can be a great way for businesses to grow and bring in more business, revenue and talent.
The way of the future with container unloading is definitely to use modern tools like plates. It makes a very time-consuming process much faster and simpler. Are you considering implementing this in your warehouse?