MATERIALS handling and logistics specialist ICA is now designing, manufacturing and installing a new cost-efficient technology for bulk loading (and unloading) of palletised product into shipping containers.
This development bolsters the company’s existing suite of dock loading systems that includes the Airlift, Airola, Airchain and Transkate systems that comprehensively utilise trucks at the delivery points.
With this new technology, the vehicle/container is raised to a correct height to enable efficient loading (and unloading) with powered docks. Skates for the dock are constructed to allow minimum sideways movement of the load.
Timeframes for handling have been reduced drastically, effectively handing the user a competitive advantage in its own industry sector.
ICA has been calling for better recognition that transport vehicles themselves are largely overlooked as a unit of overall supply chain management that can be configured to suit the purpose.
This new bulk loading system is designed to cater for 20ft, 40ft and 48ft containers.
During the handling process, vehicle/container docking alignment is controlled and verified electronically. Equipment controls are easy to use and minimal training is required.
The docks themselves are designed to both load and unload the containers. Being robust in design and construction, the technology easily copes with the demands of a 24/7 operation.
Applications range across all industry sectors. Loads are prepared on the loading dock whilst trucks are in transit. Once the truck arrives, the vehicle/container loading time is normally less than five minutes.
ICA managing director Don Erskine says the new system increases the ‘smart’ utilisation of truck fleets during the loading and unloading process.
"Materials handling and supply chain management is much more than just warehouses, trucks and transport, it takes into account how all these aspects combine to make a complete handling spectrum," Mr Erskine said.
"By lessening the steps in product handling and the time associated with this, increased profit margins become the end result.
"Complete integration is the key to a successful outcome. Many companies are relying on a piecemeal approach, adding bits and pieces of solutions over time, yet the entire handling system can be fully integrated in one go to provide a smooth, lasting and very profitable logistics system.”