What Does a Loader and Unloader Do?

To anyone outside the supply chain industry, who performs truck loading and unloading is not a consideration. To those in the industry, it is of paramount importance. Who performs this task matters as much as the fact that this step is integral to staying on schedule. That’s because in the supply chain, as with many other industries, time is money. Many freight forwarders and transportation carriers require their truck drivers to serve double duty and unload their cargo as well. This is neither safe, efficient, nor cost-effective.

Imagine the stress on long-haul drivers who arrive at an unloading dock after a day on the road. Their energy has likely peaked, and now, in addition, they have to offload their cargo. One party unloading cargo is not advisable from safety and efficiency standpoints. While unloading a smaller container or trailer is possible by one person, generally, freight unloading is typically carried out by a team of workers. These workers use hand trucks, pallet jacks, ramps, and forklifts to remove boxes, crates, and unload palletized products and goods. Then these items are taken into the warehouse and stacked. 

For smaller loads, unloading, the process is known in our industry as hand bombing. And left to unskilled labor, fragile, delicate, and perishable goods can be damaged as if destroyed in a blast. Hand bombing is typically carried out by several trained individuals in smaller warehouses and distribution centers. In these locations, the volume of receivables and the need for long-term storage may not be sufficient to justify using heavy machinery or costly automated systems. Or, the goods may be perishables, such as grocery items, and therefore must be handled with care, yet quickly and efficiently.

The best way to perform truck loading and unloading efficiently is to hire on-demand freight unloading services through Labor Loop. Unloading trailers and containers is generally not a daily task. While some operations staff have some of their workers on standby to divert their attention from their daily tasks to perform freight loading or unloading as needed, this is not a sound practice. These workers may not be skilled in operating the tools and equipment necessary to perform the task quickly. Unloading freight is not just a matter of muscle. As stated above, special care must also be taken with perishable cargo, but time must not be lost during this process. Also, should damaged goods be discovered, these need to be separated, itemized, documented, and the salvageable goods quickly unloaded. There are additional safety concerns, and untrained workers run a far higher risk of personal injury and liability claims. 

To summarize, loaders and unloaders perform a vital service in any supply chain. The skills required include strength, training in the proper use of their tools and equipment, specialized OSHA-training and certification to prevent accidents, time, freight, and asset losses, as well as the ability to stay on track to remain on schedule. As stated before, in this industry, time is money. 

Contact Labor Loop to learn more about how our on-demand professional truck loading and unloading services can not only save your business money but assist in increasing your revenue stream. Contact us today!