Freight Loading and Unloading: 9 Tips and Tricks
If you don’t have a business with a dock, freight loading or unloading can become very stressful very fast. This is why we’ve prepared a few tips for you in case you’re unsure of how to proceed.
1) Be prepared. The best thing you can do is think ahead
If the carrier arrives and your location doesn’t have the means to load or unload the cargo, the driver will simply leave. This will cause avoidable delays or extra charges since carriers tend to charge for missed pickups/deliveries.
That’s why it’s important to always think ahead and plan for the means to load/unload
2) Use a forklift, it’s as good as a dock
A forklift is a small vehicle with two power-operated prongs at the front that can be slid under heavy loads and then raised for moving and stacking materials in warehouses, shipping depots, etc.
If either location has a forklift instead of a dock, you don’t have to specify that part while you’re booking your shipment. Feel free to say you’re shipping dock to dock.
If a forklift is not available to you, but you really need to receive a shipment as scheduled, consider renting one. If a shipment is too large or too heavy for a tailgate(see below), this might be the best option for you.
3) Request a tailgate/liftgate
If you don’t have a dock or a forklift, simply request a tailgate at the required end (pickup or delivery).
Tailgates are small hydraulic lifts at the back of a truck that are used to get a shipment from a truck to ground level.
Carriers do charge for the tailgate service, but paying for this service beforehand is much more affordable than paying for a missed pickup/delivery charge and for the tailgate service, when the carrier attempts the pickup/delivery the second time.
It is important to note that tailgates have their limitations. The average tailgate can accommodate 1300-1500 lbs in weight and about 72 x 48 x 82 inches in dimensions.