Industrial warehouses

Key features of loading and unloading platforms in industrial warehouses

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Loading and unloading platforms in industrial buildings, especially in logistics warehouses, have a series of characteristics 

In the context of nearshoring to Mexico, optimizing loading and unloading processes in logistics activities leads us to address the topic to expose the features and best practices related to this type of facility.

When designing loading platforms for warehouses, both efficiency and safety are promoted. Poor design can affect the entire supply chain and make operations inefficient. Additionally, health and safety are paramount.


Types of loading platforms

Ground-level platform

These are loading platforms where the ground level is the same as the warehouse floor or loading area. There is no elevation or difference in level between the platform and the surrounding floor, allowing for easy access and movement of goods between the platform and the warehouse, enhancing operational efficiency and safety.

This is the most common type of platform. Truck drivers reverse the trailers to the edge of a wall where an overhead door opens to enable the loading or unloading of materials and products.

These platforms save space and fit well into buildings. Operators in manufacturing industries or those with commercial outputs tend to use this structure.


Enclosed platform

Enclosed platforms are usually more expensive and occupy more space. They may hinder workers' access to equipment and supplies and require a ventilation system to prevent exhaust fumes and pollution from affecting workers.

With enclosed platforms, trucks park inside the building or in a covered area during loading and unloading. It is important to mention that workers loading or unloading the trailer can quickly access the merchandise. These platforms protect goods from environmental and structural damage, so completely disregarding their use would be a mistake.


Saw-tooth platform

Saw-tooth platforms are an innovative and useful solution when trucks have limited space to maneuver on each platform. The available space increases according to the angle of the designed structure, and trucks require less space to move because they are already aligned in the direction of departure.

Despite their advantages, this design requires additional space in the building, and the distance between levelers is also limited. Industries with large-scale manufacturing and warehouse space to build such structures are best suited to employ this design.


Open platform

An open platform provides easy access for loading and unloading but they are rare and not very popular designs.

Being open structures, as the name suggests, they offer very little protection against the elements. They are vulnerable to theft and damage, making security also an issue.


How to improve loading and unloading operations?

Avoid bottlenecks

Trucks need easy access to the loading docks, so it is essential to avoid creating bottlenecks as trucks approach the platforms. The design should allow trucks and other vehicles to travel quickly and safely, minimizing maneuvers to increase safety.


Consider trucks of different sizes.

It is crucial to consider the different dimensions of trucks that will enter the loading platforms. If there is no information about the truck sizes to be used, it is advisable to assume the maximum dimensions, usually 18 meters.

The space in front of the platforms for parking and maneuvering should be at least twice the length of the largest truck, plus an additional two meters. The distance between the car and the platform wall should also be at least 1.4 meters.


Keep the loading pit straight.

Loading pits should be straight; if there is a slope, it is not recommended to exceed a gradient of 10%.

If there are differences in height between the yard and the truck floor, depending on the yard, it is recommended to build a flat lane of 18 meters in front of the dock before the slope begins. This allows the truck to park straight and facilitates smooth loading and unloading.

Frontier Industrial specializes in offering industrial land for sale and class A industrial buildings for lease in the main industrial areas of Mexico. If your enterprise is preparing to start activities in the country due to the advantages of nearshoring to Mexico, you can contact us and see availability.