Rapid turnaround, perishable goods and high volumes may be the key factors for cross-docking in your operation, but what is the best way to meet or beat the clock? Paul Smith from Hyster explains.

The most important thing for efficiency in today’s logistics operations is to keep the lorries on the road. Cross-docking operations present tough conditions for drivers working against the clock where speed and efficiency is vital.

Palletised goods must be transported as quickly as possible, from the inbound lorries or trailers, to the onward transportation. This means staging the pallets at the dock, unloading all the pallets in the area of the lorry to get it on the road again quickly.

A recent development is the Hyster® RP2.0-2.5N Rider Pallet Truck. I believe this new truck is one of the fastest and best ways to unload (or load) a lorry. Not only is it fast, it is highly reliable, with all the hallmarks of Hyster.

It features a new seat design that enables the operator to sit or to lean, at the push of a button.  Its design makes it more compact than the ‘flip down’ platform pallet trucks often used in cross-docking. It is also particularly suitable for unloading trucks at warehouse ramps. If necessary, you can add double length forks to the rider pallet truck to reduce cycle times even more.

However, there are occasions where a standard pallet truck, stacker truck or platform truck are required. There are a number of different Hyster® options depending on the specific application.

For example, the new Hyster® S1.6IL pedestrian stackers give substantial ground clearance making them ideally suited to more demanding applications with uneven ground, loading plates or on ramps. For maximum efficiency, the stackers can also be used for stacking in the warehouse at heights over 6 metres.

Also, where cross docking involves unloading and loading curtain trailers, counterbalance trucks with a double pallet handler can be used to handle two pallets wide, two high in one move. The Hyster® LPG or diesel FT or XT range is perfect for these applications.

Similarly, the J series of electric trucks is becoming increasingly popular for these types of operations. The J1.6-5.5XN 4-wheel counterbalance trucks feature a Zero Turning Radius axle, which delivers a tight turning circle. This improves maneuverability in congested loading and unloading bays and reduces the aisle width required. With narrower aisles, lorries or trailers can then be parked closer together, saving valuable space in the yard. The products described above are just a part of the Hyster® portfolio of pallet moving equipment, with each product offering a wide choice of features to meet the particular needs of specific applications. We work with our network of Hyster® dealers to help businesses define the most effective handling solution to meet the challenges of their entire application.

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