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Dirk working with the tail-lift

In general tail-lift deliveries are the most efficient way to load and unload goods when there is no (un)loading platform or no dock at all. But what kind of advantages and disadvantages does the tail-lift solution has? In this blog, we will tell you about tail-lift lane applicable and why you will hear more about it in the future. 

Tail-lift is a platform fitted at the trailer’s door to raise the loads between the trailer and ground level. They are available for vans, trailers for STL / LTL and FTL loads so that they can benefit you at many points of the supply chain. Let us check out the benefits and downsides of tail-lift deliveries.

What are the advantages of a tail-lift?

Having this flexibility is a standard solution it can translate into advantages like:

  1. Saving kilometres
    A tail-lift on a trailer means that goods do not need to be cross-docked via a hub. Instead, the freight is transported directly from A to B, without any additional driving kilometres.
  2. Lowering emissions
    Saving kilometres mostly means lowering CO2 emissions. Although in practice, in most multiple drop shipments, we see that the last mile after the hub is moreover executed via an electric truck, which can be considered as CO2 neutral.  
  3. Reduce handling & damages
    A prominent advantage of using a trailer with a tail-lift is the less handling of goods. Extra loading & unloading at hubs are skipped, which reduces the handling and total costs of ownership. In addition, less handling leads automatically to less possible damages, thefts, mistakes, and so on.
  4. More efficient distribution models
    At the end of the day, using a tail-lift saves time. Although tail-lift deliveries will take longer than regular deliveries, it is mostly time-wise saving within the supply chain.
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Challenges of a tail-lift

In addition to the advantages of the tail-lift, it also brings some challenges. The four main challenges are: 

  1. Lack of availability
    There is a lack of availability of trailers with a tail-lift, especially for international deliveries. The lack of availability prevents the network from taking full advantage. 
  2. Issues with tail-lift
    When facing an issue with a tail-lift, it is not always possible to solve this issue immediately. As a result, there is a chance of delay. However, with the proper maintenance, the issues do not occur.
  3. Investment and maintenance
    A tail-lift requires additional investment and mainly results in higher commercial prices.
  4. Health & safety
    When considering tail lift use, you need to think of health and safety. Primary, there is a concern for the driver’s safety, as he risks falling off the tail lift. In addition, the tail lift has to be fitted with the safety gates of the docking station. However, that can also be always solved with the safety rails for the drivers and abiding by all other safety measures. To know more about the safety of tail lifts, read our risk analysis. 

More attention for tail-lift deliveries

Looking at the latest trends and developments, tail-lift deliveries might be getting more attention and demand. Here are three reasons why:

  1. Rapid urbanization
    Rapid urbanization and the growth of the retail industry are key forces in driving the demand for tail-lift deliveries — additionally, the ongoing focus on a sustainable supply chain. Although, governments are preventing big volumes of trucks in the cities and pushing LSPs to execute last-mile deliveries via hubs located outside the city. An FTL delivery with tail-lift, direct to the end-customer, is always greener and more efficient than the use of a hub in between.
  2. Health and safety
    Within the supply chains, companies are paying exceptional attention to the health and safety of employees. Systems, like a tail-lift, for handling the goods are improving the capacity and operability of their employees.
  3. European Tail-lift Manufacturers Association
    The ETMA has listed some of the leading legal demands on a tail-lift; all tail-lift trailers within Europe must meet this requirement. This covers several topics, such as noise limitation standards during the (un)loading in retail trade and inspections after commissioning.

Ready 2WIN?

Suppose your international last-mile delivery requires a tail-lift, for example, within the retail industry, store delivery, or (individual) end customers with high volumes. In that case, our 2WIN trailers are a perfect solution. All of them are equipped with a tail-lift.

Do you need a solution for high full truck volume for ground-level deliveries? Then our double-deck trailers are your alternative 2WIN!

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