Dock Appointment Scheduling | Descartes Routing UK

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Dock Appointment Scheduling

Descartes Dock appointment scheduling improves your operations by assigning carriers and suppliers the responsibility of scheduling warehouse deliveries or pickups.

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Why use a Dock Appointment Scheduling solution?

To optimise your receiving operations for inbound shipments and help coordinate outbound pickups, you must make sure all supply chain partners are involved in the process and have visibility into requested, scheduled, and rescheduled dock appointment slots. This will ensure a steady flow of goods in and out and eliminate the typical 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 request a dock appointment window for their delivery by logging onto a web portal. The system will automatically determine the amount of time needed based on your rules and the proposed time, or suggest alternatives. Your team can view all of the appointments using a web-based visual interface and make straightforward 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 generate reports that include carrier-specific no-show rates as well as on-time performance.

Our customers are able to evenly distribute labour demand throughout the day or over a period of days when we offer appointment times to the carriers based on genuine reception capacity (ie the system can recommend a delivery date for Wednesday vs. Tuesday). You could even be able to minimise headcount or overtime by doing this.


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 the Resources below.

Dock appointment scheduling screen

Features & Benefits

Calendar appointments online

Online appointment scheduling

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

Audit Trail

Appointment audit trail

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

email notifications to carriers

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.

repeating calendar appointments

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.

TMS optimised hours of service

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.

inbound shipment visibility

Visibility of inbound shipments

Improved management of inventory levels and lead times.

Cloud connectivity

Cloud based software

Our fleet route scheduling Software is available over the internet wherever you have a connection, providing team access to our solution,  working from any location at any time. 

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.

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Customer Successes

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