Fashion retailer uses internal pods as defence against weather

23rd September 2016
Posted By : Anna Flockett
Fashion retailer uses internal pods as defence against weather

To continue its expansion Scottish ladies fashion retailer is fitting sara LBS loading pods, complete with retractable shelters, internally to the loading bays of the new distribution warehouse. The retailer sells ladies’ fashions, footwear and accessories through outlets across the UK and, increasingly, overseas. 

This network is growing, as is the company’s on-line sales. As the business grows, its directors have been investing in increased warehouse capacity and improved logistics facilities to make sure that it’s able to keep up with orders.

When the company moved into the new facilities it soon became apparent that during spells of cold weather the warehouse temperature quickly dropped. This created an uncomfortable working environment and resulted in increased heating costs.

The retailer invited sara LBS’s Area Sales Manager, Guy Windle, to offer suggestions on how to improve the facility. Assessing the situation, Guy suggested that an internal dock loading pod in each bay may be the best option.

Sara LBS dock loading pods (or loading houses) are self-supporting enclosures which house a complete loading system independent of the main building structure. These are typically positioned on the outside of a building; however, for this application, the idea was to install the pods inside the warehouse and add a retractable shelter to the outside. When the seal was activated against the delivery vehicle there would be an airlock between the warehouse and the outside, which would drastically improve thermal efficiency.

Loading pods are particularly suited in applications where temperature control is an issue; loss of heat through an open loading bay can add significantly to a company’s energy bills and also make working in the loading bay very unpleasant. Installation of a pod overcomes these issues and also provides a barrier to prevent access by animals, birds and unauthorised personnel. They are also ideal where hygiene is important, as they act as a barrier to airborne bacteria.

The dock seals eliminate gaps between the pod and the vehicles, while the insulated roof and side panels ensure that heat (or cooled air) cannot escape and wind and rain are prevented from entering. They are of a flexible design that allows for a range of door positions and sizes of vehicles.

Typically pods include integrated controls for hydraulically operated dock levellers with telescopic lips, red and green driver signal lights and internal lighting. They can also include wheel guides, buffers and bollards.

The retailer liked the idea of internal pods and worked with Guy to develop an arrangement that best suited their needs. With the objective of keeping goods flowing in and out of the warehouse, it was decided to upgrade two loading bays at a time. The first two have been completed and are proving very popular with both operational staff and management. The remaining bays will be fitted with similar pods before this winter.

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