E-COMMERCE GIANT TACKLES HOLIDAY MID-MILE DELIVERY DURING HURRICANE SEASON
One of the world’s largest e-commerce leaders needed to fill a mid-mile supply chain gap during peak season, and they didn’t have much time to do it.
With holiday demand right around the corner, Dockzilla custom designed and installed a fully functional mid-mile cross dock with 16 loading dock positions on a vacant asphalt lot in the heart of Tampa, Florida.
Results at a Glance:
- Custom Solution: designed a one-Stop 15,000 sq ft Cross Loading Dock
- ROI: customer realized a return in just 8 weeks
- Fast Installation: assembled in only 3 weeks
- Temporary Site: 6-Month Lease Terms
- Pre-Engineered to erect on asphalt with adjustable legs and base plates to accommodate uneven surfaces
Customization Needed for Efficient Mid-Mile Solution
Our customer needed to fill a mid-mile supply chain gap in the Tampa, Florida area for peak-season holiday deliveries. They needed a fully functional temporary facility that could support high-volume cross docking and have the structural integrity to withstand inclement weather given the impending hurricane season.
Modular Warehouse Specs:
- 16 loading dock positions to service 53′ trailers
- Limited distance between loading dock doors for maximum efficiency
- Designed to allow for loading shipments, sorting, and transferring loaded hand carts to outbound vehicles
- Complete warehouse package including all loading dock equipment, doors, stairs, electrical and HVAC
- 6-month lease terms for peak season-only use
Conventional solutions were non-starters for this seasonal need—leasing required a long-term commitment, and investing in traditional construction would never meet the timeline and would be too costly.
Design Engineering & Project Management
Working against the clock, our engineers started concepting immediately. We worked closely with the customer to design a temporary cross docking facility that met every specification of their loading needs within a tight timeframe.
Tailored Configuration Through In-Depth Collaboration
Understanding the nuances of our customers’ use cases is an essential part of our process. It helps us design a custom configuration for maximum efficiency.
For this project, we asked our customer about the types of trucks they were loading and unloading—53′ trailer to 53′ trailer—and the equipment they planned to use—handcarts. We also wanted to understand the volume of packages being loaded and unloaded and the employee comforts needed.
Smooth Surface for Handcarts
Because handcarts would be heavily used onsite for small, odd-shaped boxes, we custom built a flooring solution that would allow handcarts to be moved quickly across the floor.
Dockzilla’s design created efficiencies in their warehouse workflow by minimizing the employee steps needed to cross dock incoming shipments to outbound trailers.
This elevated cross dock structure allowed employees to offload 53′ trailers and dock height, sort the loads, and then roll them across the dock for departure.
Interior: Every Square Foot Matters
Our purpose-built design eliminated unnecessary square footage, minimizing the distance between dock doors. Unlike a traditional building, our customer was able to specify the distance they wanted between dock doors.
This space-saving design made it easier and faster for employees to quickly unload shipments, sort packages, and transfer loaded handcarts to outbound vehicles.
Built for Efficiency
Designed with limited space in between docks for optimally efficient cross docking.
Dockzilla handled stairs, doors, electrical, and HVAC eliminating the need for multiple sub-contractors.
HVAC to maintain a comfortable working environment for employees.
Exterior: Strength & Flexibility
The exterior of the distribution center is comprised of an aluminum and steel structure, high-strength vinyl covering, which is easy to install and remove if necessary, and 16 self-standing levelers and dock seals.
Setting up a temporary facility on an asphalt lot can be challenging, but our adjustable legs and base plates made it easy to accommodate the uneven surface.
Since the self-standing levelers easily attach and integrate with the outside of the building, there’s no need for conventional pit levelers or construction. Our self-standing levelers are the same models we use on permanent structures, so they can easily handle the impact of a trailer.
24/7 Peak Season Loading
Eight dock positions on each side of the building to move shipments faster.
Self-standing levelers bolted into ground and attached to building to absorb impact.
Strong & Durable Design
The high-strength vinyl covering can stand up to the elements and is quick and easy to install and remove.
Delivery & Installation
After design and manufacturing, Dockzilla’s project management team led the installation of the custom temporary cross-docking facility. Working closely with general contractors, civil works, and other partners, the 15,000-square-foot distribution facility was assembled in just three weeks.
Delivered as a total solution, the Dockzilla team installed all 16 cross-dock positions, doors, stairs, electrical, and HVAC, so there was no miscommunication between multiple vendors.
Short-Term: 8 Week ROI
In the short term, the temporary distribution facility allowed our customer to scale quickly, processing millions of packages during peak season, without committing to a long-term lease or permanent construction. In under eight weeks, our customer realized a return on investment from the facility. With a proven solution, they can now replicate this short-term benefit many times over in Tampa and other markets.
Easily Disassembled to Weather the Storm
After installation, Hurricane Ian began barreling toward Florida’s Gulf Coast. Just as quickly as it was installed, the high-strength vinyl easily was removed.
The aluminum and steel structure withstood the storm, and the vinyl was quickly replaced, allowing our customer to resume operations quickly–business as usual.
Long-Term: Set New Precedent
After a successful six-month rental in Tampa, this e-commerce leader is applying the same temporary distribution center concept as a standard across the country to add regional peak season capacity, test new markets, and service rural areas.
Ask an Engineer
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CROSS DOCKING PLATFORM
Dockzilla’s freestanding distribution platforms create high-speed cross docking and transloading capabilities on any property.
Dockzilla’s Distribution Warehouse combines modular buildings and loading dock equipment to stand up a high-speed fulfillment center and last-mile distribution anywhere needed.