3 Challenges Preventing Efficient Warehouse Appointment Scheduling

By Logistics Tech Outlook | Wednesday, February 17, 2021

In today’s highly competitive warehouse logistics sector, 3PL warehouses need to keep operational costs down to manage their margins and effectively serve customers.

FREMONT, CA: High-quality dock scheduling is vital to 3PL warehouses. The right dock schedule will accelerate replenishment and avoid delays in unloading. Unfortunately, the rising complexity and variety of suppliers and changing trucking regulations lead to maintaining a quality dock schedule. Supply chain professionals need to understand dock scheduling hurdles in grocery supply chains and some tips to overcome these challenges.

• Inefficient Appointment Scheduling

Many third-party logistics warehouses track carrier appointments leveraging outdated methods like whiteboards, Microsoft Excel, and Google Sheets. As warehouse operations evolve, customer service representatives must schedule more dock appointments. When appointment overextends warehouse staff, they battle to keep track of appointments without dock scheduling software. Not everyone has access to the dock’s schedule, and updating appointments need staff to respond to carriers’ phone calls and emails. Updating dock schedules manually can be complex and introduces opportunities for human error. Not only do manual operations overburden staff, but these processes also result in warehouse workers overbooking dock schedules without appointment booking software.

• Operational and Labor Inefficiencies

Once a warehouse’s docks are booked, warehouse staff rushes to unload trucks to avoid traffic congestion and detention costs. Lack of accurate visibility of upcoming appointments makes it complex for warehouses to plan labor for peak traffic and allocate sufficient space to get the incoming cargo. This inbound and outbound shipment can overwhelm staff and cause warehouse processes to break down. With warehouse employees too few and far between, 3PLs can’t afford to burn out employees and accelerate employee turnover.

• Expensive Carrier Fees & Traffic Fines

The negative effect of not managing dock scheduling causes warehouse operational costs to increase. If warehouses do not manage their dock appointments, they can incur expensive detention fees and hefty fines. Since warehouses have a limited warehouse space and dock doors to unload cargo, traffic congestion can develop near warehouses if staff can’t unload trucks fast enough. This traffic can create accidents, and local authorities can shut down operations until traffic is cleared, costing warehouses lots of money in lost productivity. 3PL Warehouses can’t afford the cost of not having a truck appointment booking system.

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