What is a loading dock?
A loading dock, also known as a loading bay, is where goods vehicles (such as trucks, vans, or trailers) are loaded and unloaded. Loading docks are used for the delivery and unloading of goods as well as the loading and shipping of finished products. They are found on commercial and industrial buildings, and warehouses. Additionally, loading docks may be exterior, flush with the building envelope, or fully enclosed.
Do you need a loading dock for freight orders?
Yes, if you have a freight order then you will need a loading dock. For any shipment that is over 150 lbs, it is considered freight. Freight shipping is the transportation of goods, commodities and cargo in bulk by ship, aircraft, truck or intermodal via train and road. It can be transported domestically or internationally by land, air or sea.
Loading docks are essential for freight orders, as they provide several advantages for efficient and safe handling of goods in commercial and industrial settings. Advantages include equipment safety, reduced minimal labor, security (to prevent theft and unauthorized access to the facility), order accuracy, and more. It ensures that your order can be received, shipped, and stored effectively, which reduces the risk of damage, delays, and operational inefficiencies.
For certain products that ship freight, we will ask if you have a loading dock or not. If you select NO on the website, a lift gate and limited access fee is required for shipping to locations without a loading dock (1 per order).
What is a lift gate?
A lift gate is a piece of hydraulic or electric equipment that installs on the rear of a truck which enables freight to be lifted from the ground to the height of the truck’s tailgate, or from the tailgate to the ground. The purpose of a lift gate is to lift heavy objects up to the opening or gate of a trailer. A semi-truck or van fitted with a lift gate will have a steel base attached to the back side of its trailer near the bumper.
Overall, a lift gate is required if you do not have access to a loading dock. With the exception of how the freight is loaded or unloaded from the trailer, a liftgate service will function the same as a standard shipment.