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Dock Appointment Scheduling

Set arrival times and slots for deliveries to improve warehouse efficiency

The Dock Appointment Scheduling process is streamlined by distributing the responsibility for scheduling warehouse deliveries or pickups out to carriers and suppliers.

What is Dock Scheduling?

Dock scheduling is the use of software for the optimisation and scheduling of your warehouse dock bay doors and yard schedules. A DAS solution will maintain a calendar, showing all your operating constraints, such as opening/closing times, which commodities can be accepted through which dock door (e.g., refrigerated or ambient) and the trailer types that can be accepted. Advanced dock scheduling systems such as the Descartes solution can also consider other transportation or upstream constraints such as labour and other warehouse resources e.g. forklift truck availability.

Why us a Dock Appointment Scheduling solution?

Ensuring all supply chain partners are involved in the process and have visibility into requested, scheduled, and rescheduled dock appointment slots, will help optimise your receiving operations for inbound shipments and help to coordinate outbound pickups, resulting in a steady flow of goods in and out and elinimating the usual peaks and troughs associated with allowing vehicles to arrive at the warehouse at any time.

The Dock Appointment Scheduling module allows you to model all relevant constraints:

  • Number of dock doors
  • DC hours and labour resources
  • Unload time by product type etc.

Suppliers can then log into a web portal and request a dock appointment slot for their delivery. Based on your rules, the system will automatically calculate the length of time required and accept the proposed timed or will propose alternatives.  Your staff have a web-based visual interface and can see all the appointments, making simple drag and drop manual overrides as they see fit.  

With the system in place, carriers can book appointment slots and arrival times are confirmed on arrival, normally by the gate guard.  Your managers can produce reports showing on time performance and no-show reports by carrier.

When recommending appointment times to the carriers, based on true receiving capacity, we see that our customers are able to level labour demand across the day or across a number of days (ie the system can recommend a delivery date for Wednesday vs. Tuesday).  In doing so you can reduce overtime or maybe even headcount?

Warehouse Dock Appointment Scheduling tools typically reduce labour costs by at least 10%.

Dock Appointment Scheduling has an add-on module for Yard Management.

See also Resources below.

Dock appointment scheduling screen

Features & Benefits

Online appointment scheduling

Carriers can book their own delivery slots over the internet, based on your criteria.
Reduced waiting times.

Appointment audit trail

All edits and changes are tracked simplifying any potential disputes over arrival times.

Email notifications to carriers and vendors

Easy notification if you make a change to the original appointment, if there are damages detected or there is a no-show.

Recurring appointments

Regular or high volume suppliers can ensure consistency of appointments - windows can be block booked out for public holidays or regular staff breaks.

Optimised hours of service

A smoothed schedule of deliveries improves utilisation of resources an warehouse efficiency while wait times and charges are reduced. An additional environmental impact is gained through reduced idling and wait times.

Visibility of inbound shipments

Improved management of inventory levels and lead times.

Cloud based software

Our Software is available over the internet wherever you have a connection, providing access to our solution when you are working from any location in the world.

You may also be interested in

Transportation Management

Manage your own fleet and external third parties from one easy to use interface. Maximise your vehicle utilisation, reduce the cost of using outsourced delivery agents and improve customer service.

Yard Management

Plan and record trailer movements and inspections for greater stock control.

Visibility, Tracking & Performance

Monitor individual shipments across all modes of transportation.

Load Planning & Consolidation

Automatically reoptimise loads as new orders are placed.

Carrier Selection

Identify the best carrier to use for a delivery, then relay that information.