Loading Dock Seals and Shelters: 4 Benefits You Need to Know

October 02, 2019

Your loading dock is one of the busiest places in your warehouse and helps you generate revenue, so you want to ensure that it’s an incredibly safe and highly productive area. Loading dock seals and shelters can help you achieve this goal. How?

Keep reading to learn the difference between a dock shelter vs dock seal—then uncover four key ways both of these tools can improve safety and streamline warehouse operations for your business.

Dock Shelter vs Dock Seal: What's the Difference?

Dock seals and shelters, while different in how they accomplish the task, are both designed to create a barrier to seal out the outdoors with the inside of your warehouse.

Dock seals are the barriers between the loading dock door opening and the surface of the backed-in trailer when it is in a position to load or unload assets. Dock seals are designed to contact the trailer surface at the door and compress, creating a tight seal around the door.

In comparison, dock shelters are a more flexible enclosure that allows the trailer to pull under and into the opening, while the surface of the fabric forms a contact barrier around the rear of the trailer.

Since dock shelters fit more loosely around the trailer, they tend to last longer and be more forgiving to truck drivers. Plus, dock shelters allow for more variability in the sizes of trailers that can be 'sheltered' effectively. While it has the advantage of flexibility, it may not 'seal' as tightly as a dock seal would.

The Top 4 Benefits of Dock Seals and Shelters

There are numerous benefits of implementing dock seals and shelters in your loading dock area that can help you save money and experience more efficient warehouse operations. Here are four major ones:

Safer Working Conditions in Your Loading Dock

Perhaps one of the most valuable benefits of dock seals and shelters is that they can help create safer working conditions in your loading dock area. They keep the floors dry by keeping rain out, which prevents slip-and-fall injuries.

They also prevent bugs and pests from entering your warehouse, which can spread pest-borne illnesses and make your employees sick. Keeping out pests can also prevent workers from falling from the top of a mezzanine trying to swat away a fly or keep them from getting stung by a wasp. Dock seals and shelters also keep out high winds, which means workers won’t be toppled over by a gust of wind as they’re trying to load or unload trucks.

Increased Productivity in Your Loading Dock

Your loading dock is one of the busiest areas of your warehouse—and installing the proper dock seals and shelters can keep it running at maximum efficiency. When your warehouse staff is worried about their safety, it can slow down the process of loading and unloading assets.

However, when they have peace of mind that the trailer won’t move while they’re stepping out onto it because it’s sealed to the loading dock, they’ll be able to do their daily job tasks with confidence. This means assets can be loaded onto trucks faster, so they can be on their way to their next destination and generating revenue for your business sooner!

Improving the Useful Life of Your Loading Dock Doors

The exterior parts of your warehouse’s dock doors are constantly exposed to the elements such as wind and rain. Over time, this can cause extreme wear and tear. Adding dock seals and shelters can help keep minimize the impact of the elements on the outer edges of your dock doors, helping to prevent this excess wear and tear.

The result? An extended useful life for your loading dock doors, reducing the risk that you’ll have to take on the costs of completely replacing your dock doors sooner than expected.

Keeping Environmental Conditions Outside of Your Warehouse

Your loading dock is the area of your warehouse that is most exposed to the elements—and poor loading dock conditions can allow them into your warehouse. By installing the right dock seals and shelters on your dock doors, you can keep outside elements where they belong—outside. Dock doors and seals can protect your building infrastructure, inventory, and employees from adverse environmental conditions including:

Transform Your Warehouse Operations with the Best Loading Dock Seals and Shelters

Southern States offers a wide variety of dock seal and shelter options, including inflatable seals, foam curtain dock seals seals, rigid shelters, and more. Our products accommodate a wide range of truck and building variations, giving you more flexibility to choose the one that is truly aligned to meet the needs and specs of your specific warehouse.

Once your loading dock equipment is installed, we offer planned preventative maintenance services to keep it operating at maximum safety and efficiency long-term. If you need a repair, we can respond quickly to equipment breakdowns to prevent excessive downtime that would mean lost revenue for your business!

Are you interested in transforming your loading dock area for improved warehouse operations, safety, and savings? If so, reach out to an SSE expert today!

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