Against the current backdrop of soaring inflation and energy costs, loading and unloading specialist Thorworld Industries is urging UK distribution businesses to take advantage of potential efficiency savings through changes to their loading operations to help weather a challenging economic climate.
Despite government support in the form of the Energy Bill Relief Scheme, UK businesses are still facing a substantial increase in costs compounded by pre-existing labour shortages and rampant inflation. These factors are driving distribution firms to find efficiencies wherever possible, with improvements to loading operations representing a significant opportunity to do so.
With historically high energy costs, reducing consumption wherever possible is a priority for many businesses. One way to achieve this is ensuring that warehouses and loading areas are as energy efficient as possible through implementing loading dock seals or shelters.
Dock seals or shelters are designed to protect both people and goods from temperature fluctuations during loading and unloading and bring considerable energy savings. Widely used in temperature critical businesses such as food manufacture – standard distribution businesses still stand to reap the benefits of these energy savings.
Utilising modular loading docks is another way to improve efficiency in loading operations. These customisable and semi-permanent loading systems allow for businesses to scale their operations up or down depending on need, such as responding to seasonal activity, for a low capital investment at a time when many firms are wary of making large investments.
Adaptation of loading areas for van-based distribution is another avenue in which efficiencies can be found. As more businesses pivot to direct-to-consumer logistics, van docking ramps can provide an easy and low-cost loading solution tailored to vans.
As with modular loading docks, these specialised ramps don’t require warehouse modifications and can handle the weight of electrified vans – which are becoming more common as fuel costs continue to rise.
“Maximising efficiencies across all aspects of a business has always been of central importance to distribution and logistics businesses, now it is critical to survival for many,” said John Meale, Managing Director of Thorworld.
“Loading operations are a key area in which these efficiencies can be found, and we would highly encourage firms to look at the different changes they could make and to capitalise on the opportunities that these loading systems bring.”
Now more than ever, firms stand to benefit the most from the Super Deduction capital allowance scheme from the UK government which ends in March 2023. The scheme allows UK companies to claim back 130% of the cost of qualifying purchases against their corporation tax bill with loading dock equipment representing an ideal example.