Automated loading solutions are designed to transfer cargo from truck trailers or to them from warehouses or other facilities with as little human intervention as possible. They deal with bulk items and cargo that are either on pallets or otherwise, on racks or containers. Common automated loading solutions include rollerbeds, slipchains, roller tracks, trailer skates, powered cargo rollers and live floors.

One of the challenges of implementing automated loading solutions is they require a large investment from the company upfront; however, they offer lots of benefits that will make this money well spent: they reduce the number of workers necessary to carry out loading and unloading; they increase loading capacity and decrease the number of loading docks necessary for loading; they minimise the use of forklift trucks in loading and unloading processes, making the processes safer; they speed up processes; they limit the amount of product damage; and more.

Below is a look at how automated loading solutions help to bridge gaps in warehouse processes and procedures by addressing some of the challenges warehouses face and how these solutions improve processes.

Book a FREE Loading Assessment

Learn how to make the loading process safer and more efficient with a no-obligation assessment...


how warehouse automation address some of the challenges of modern warehousing

Efficient warehouse processes are essential in logistics. Automated loading solutions help to resolve several different challenges.

Logistics company employee preparing to safely load a flatbed trailer by inspecting the cargo they will transport on a truck

Labour management

Labour costs really eat into the budget of warehouse managers. Unfortunately, many warehouse managers struggle to address this challenge well. They fail to get the most out of their workforce. If they could, they’d make a real difference in productivity and efficiency levels.

Incorporating automated loading systems into processes frees workers up to perform other tasks. As well as improving productivity, it also spares them some gruelling manual work.

Adaptation to seasonal demand

One thing many businesses encounter is seasonal demand. Fluctuations in demand are a real problem for businesses because they have to gauge how much stock they need to meet demand. Some months sales fall and the warehouse has too much. In others, sales rise and the warehouse struggles to get orders out quickly enough to the customers.

Automated loading solutions speed up loading considerably. Our solutions, for instance, help you to load up your trailers in as little as four minutes in some cases. The fact only one person is required to conduct the loading also means employees can get on with other tasks task at times of high demand.

Quality control

As orders flood in, the rush to get them out can cause problems. Workers miss defects with items during picking, packing processes or shipping. Customers then receive wrong, poorly packaged or damaged items that make them remember their experience with the company for all the wrong reasons.

Automated loading solutions can help with this. It’s easy for goods to become damaged during transit when you’re loading a trailer manually or using a forklift truck; but when you’re entrusting the responsibility to an automated loading solution, cargo experiences much less damage if any at all. This is because the technology helps the business to pack more goods into trailers and maximise the space in them. Tighter packing helps keep the loads closer together.

Logistic company employees in a warehouse planning process improvements to increase operational efficiency and reduce costs

Warehouse space and layout

Optimising the layout of a warehouse for the greatest efficiency possible is another big challenge warehouse managers face. An optimal supply flow and warehouse layout give management and workers better visibility of where goods are coming to and from. This reduces the potential for accidents caused by traffic and incorrectly stored materials and products.

Automated loading solutions such as the ones we offer at Joloda Hydraroll create a clear space for loading and unloading, and minimise loading dock traffic. Forklift operators or moving floor conveyors can simply place the cargo onto the loading system. The solution will take care of the rest.

automated loading in a warehouse

Despite the large upfront investment necessary, automated loading solutions offer warehouses a wealth of benefits that may make you consider them instead of other solutions.

Faster loading, resulting in shorter driver waiting times

Naturally, automated loading solutions speed things up by doing much of the heavy lifting, and drivers don’t have to spend as much time hanging around the loading dock while loading is taking place. Our solutions reduce driver waiting times by around 85%, allowing drivers to jump back into their trucks and get goods onto the next leg of their journey quicker.

Lower labour costs and the costs of damage

Automated loading solutions lower labour costs because you don’t need as many people to load the trailers. Not only do they cut labour costs though, but by making it more likely goods will reach customers in the condition they’re supposed to, automated solutions also reduce the costs associated with damage to goods. Reverse logistics activity, which deals with damaged goods, faulty goods and the general return of goods, will diminish as well.

Safer loading and unloading of cargo

Often, cargo will be heavy and/or bulky, making it difficult and unsafe to handle. Automated loading solutions make loading and unloading safer by removing the need for forklift trucks to enter trailers to collect goods or deposit them in the trailer. This prevents accidents involving forklift trucks, such as:

  • trailer creep, in which the constant entry and exit of the forklift into and out of the trailer causes the trailer to edge from the loading bay;
  • early driveway, in which the driver pulls away from the loading bay while the forklift is entering the trailer, exiting it or still in it;
  • and trailer pop-up or trailer up-ending, in which during loading and unloading, the weight of the forklift and the cargo in the trailer makes the end of the trailer or the nose shift.

These aren’t the only types of accidents an automated loading solution can reduce. Cargo shifts during transit, placing workers at risk of it falling on top of them when they unload it from the trailer at its final destination. The automated solution makes this much less of a hazard by stopping them from having to enter the trailer and taking care of the unloading for them.

Tablet device with graphs displaying operational efficiency metric used for bench-marking and measuring operational efficiency

Greater productivity and efficiency

Automated loading solutions inject more pace into the loading process, allowing businesses to load trailers quicker. Since the solution only needs one operator, other employees can work on other warehouse tasks. The employee responsible for loading will complete the task sooner and then be able to continue with other tasks as well.

forging the future with better warehouse processes

Boosting productivity, making loading and unloading processes safer; lowering costs; reducing product damage; cutting driver waiting times; and increasing loading dock capacity: it’s clear automated loading solutions have major benefits for warehouses.

How, however, do you go about automating your loading processes? Here are two simple steps you can take:

  • set up an implementation committee that understands warehouse performance and challenges, and can evaluate the existing gaps in processes;
  • collect data: successful implementation of automated technology depends on collecting data on existing processes. Before you implement any technology, evaluate, too, your data collection processes and infrastructure. Let your IT team take care of any data migration necessary.

Looking to make your loading and unloading more efficient? We can help you automate your loading and unloading processes with one of our solutions, so let's chat? We’ll suggest the best solution for your business, and we’ll also help you install it when we bring it to your facility.

Joloda Icon Deliver Joloda Icon Deliver

sign up to our newsletter

Subscribe to our newsletter to have the latest industry news and updates delivered straight to your inbox.  

Sign up now

catch up on our latest news...

want help lightening your load?

Let's Chat