Day 42 – I wonder…

27 Oct

Over here in Europe I sometimes see things that are clearly superior to how they are done back home. And I mean vastly superior. For instance, take the movement of goods using transport trucks. It’s pretty much the same in Europe as it is in North America except for one thing. The trucks are roughly the same size and many of them are built by the same companies – Volvo, GM, etc. But in North America we load our trucks from the back and in Europe they load them from the side.

It’s not very clear from this photo but the side of this truck is made from a heavy, vinyl-type plastic. You can see the clasps just above the wheel.

The truck is green.

Now if any of you have ever worked at a grocery store or had to have all your possessions shipped cross country, you know what I’m talking about. There is an incredible amount of planning involved with loading from the back. You have to figure out your route and pack the truck according to the sequence of your stops. This does not allow for much flexibility in the execution of the delivery.

Plus with side-loading you can load the truck in parallel. This is probably a huge savings in time. To be fair, some companies are taking advantage of this system. I noticed that the delivery trucks for Home Depot are all side loading. The main difference here is that they are usually delivering to construction sites with no fixed loading dock. Your standard grocery store in Canada is not set up to accept side-load deliveries.

Even your vanilla moving truck rental would be much better off to load from the side because it would be much easier to pack the truck efficiently (i.e. with no wasted space). You would place your first items against the long wall and this gives you more options to find the perfect fit for the later items. This would be tricky to implement in practice because your standard house-move is just a bunch of stuff packed loosely into the truck. The vinyl barrier could get damaged if the items shift in transit. Most commercial shipping has the goods preloaded onto pallets.

4 Responses to “Day 42 – I wonder…”

  1. Rebecca October 27, 2011 at 14:41 #

    plus: the old truck tarpaulins can be upcycled – check this out:;jsessionid=ECC6AC343F73AF57144230874129F941

  2. Lottabot October 27, 2011 at 17:30 #

    How can you tell that the truck is really green?

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