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How dock scheduling with Shipwell optimizes your supply chain

How dock scheduling with Shipwell optimizes your supply chain

For shippers, 3PLs, and carriers, the worst part of freight is when a problem occurs and there’s nothing you can do about it. The crux of this frustration often exists at shipping and receiving terminals.

Fortunately, all of that stress can melt away by utilizing a dock scheduling system. Automated dock scheduling is coming soon to Shipwell, and we are excited to offer yet another way to automate the supply chain industry in our centralized platform.

Streamlined shipping and receiving

There are simple solutions for how to fix the difficulties of shipping and receiving. Two of the main problems involve poor communication and lack of dock schedule visibility between shippers and carriers. The process for scheduling pickup and delivery appointments involves several phone calls, tedious emailing, and time-consuming processes that can delay freight.

The solution for both of these issues is in the Shipwell platform.

Shippers and 3PLs can soon press a button to book an appointment for carrier pickup and drop-offs right in the Shipwell platform. Now, all shipment personnel can view shipment information, appointment times, and manage documents.

Also, carriers who sign up with Shipwell can provide real-time tracking of their trucks to give shippers visibility on location and update their schedule as needed.

Shippers, 3PLs, and carriers can all communicate in the Shipwell platform itself through the messaging app. Sending a text update can reduce stress and provide the terminal information they need to prep for carrier docking.

Maximize HOS

Simply streamlining the shipping and receiving process has shown to reduce carrier processing time by 30% while increasing the loading performance by 20%.

Drivers can budget less time waiting at a terminal and more time on the road with scheduled appointments. Carriers can better manage Hours of Service (HOS) to improve their over-the-road schedule and maximize hauling time every day.

Studies have shown implementing a dock scheduling system can decrease detention time and demurrage (failure to load/unload a truck) claims by as much as 40%. Carriers can also avoid the taxing process of fighting for detention fees or other accessorial charges that have been the thorn in the freight industry’s side for years.

Managing the warehouse

Once shippers and 3PLs abandon their spreadsheets, Post-its, and phone call methods and start plugging in times on a detailed management system, they will see productivity in the warehouse blow through the roof.

Spend time with your employees understanding the software, set permissions on who can edit appointments, and the rest is a simple timeline for the day’s loads.

By providing a time and door number to carriers, you can streamline your pallets to be ready to load once the truck hits the door. Scheduling loads can increase the number of trucks you can load in a single day. When you optimize your warehouse systems you can generate more revenue for the company.

Managing capacity

When automating your workflows, it is vital to note the capacity you have to load and unload all scheduled trucks. Carriers benefit from dock scheduling when the shipper and/or 3PL offers detailed information about what the appointment entails.

Above all, make sure not to schedule all of your appointments back to back. Knowing the number of trucks and loaders scheduled per day can boost efficiency and give ample reset time between docking.

Managing late arrivals and expectations

Nevertheless, carriers will be late on occasion due to dicey traffic and weather. Creating guidelines and action plans for a late truck will save you the headache of a ruined schedule. Try:

  • Checking the capacity of your docks
  • Defining lateness for carriers and communicate rules clearly
  • Training your employees to understand dock scheduling practices

For example, reserve a dock or two for early or late arrivals, or create systems that can minimize loading times for late arrivals that can prevent drifting into detention.


Shipwell is always working on new features that help connect the freight industry. Join the beta for dock scheduling below and receive a demo of the Shipwell freight management platform.

Sign up for our beta