America’s workforce is aging. In fact, according to AARP, nearly half of new jobs in the U.S. last year were filled by workers 55 years or older. Largely due to ongoing labor shortages, this disproportionately small demographic picked up more than 1.4 million of the 2.9 million new jobs in 2018. Many of which are in the growth sector of warehousing and distribution centers.
Unfortunately, while robotics, AS/RS systems, AGVs and warehouse management systems have taken industrial facilities into the 21st century, many loading dock operations still use manual labor and 20th century technologies and practices. For aging workers, these practices can be back-breaking, literally. But luckily, that is changing.
From automatic vehicle restraints to push-button hydraulic levelers with smooth transition features, technology is easing manual labor at the loading dock providing relief to the backbreaking work of the past. In addition to the ergonomic benefits for workers, interlocked, integrated loading dock control systems are another example of how loading dock modernization is making the loading dock safer and more efficient for all employees.