Southgate, leading operational logistics equipment and consumables supplier, is helping organisations speed up their operations with its Dock Levelling Ramp as the number of small vehicles in last mile delivery continues to increase.

The pandemic changed the logistics landscape overnight and the long-term effects are beginning to show, as consumer ecommerce now accounts for 30% of the total retail market in the UK (up from 20% in 2020).

To meet demand, the number of vans on the roads has grown substantially to meet last mile requirements, with a total of nearly 29 million on EU roads today.

Offering logistics operations greater agility, affordability, faster delivery, and improved sustainability, vans have become the fastest growing category of delivery vehicle. Despite this, most docking facilities aren’t configured to service them, with bays historically built for 40ft artics.

Resulting in loading and unloading performed either by hand or by walking to and from small vehicles, causing delays, operational inefficiencies, and safety risks. Such frustrations have left many logistics operators reassessing their warehouse operations.

Without the need to reconfigure a yard or pour concrete, Southgate’s Dock Levelling Ramp allows cars, vans and trucks through to C1 7.5-tonne classification to easily access full-sized loading docks. Dave Austin, who worked on the development of this innovation at Southgate, said: “Many operators are turning to us with the same frustrations and concerns over their loading bays, dealing with lots of back and forth that their bays were built to avoid. Frustrations we predict to rise, as due to recent trends and vehicle size restrictions on Sundays and public holidays, many logistics operations are having to service an ever increasing volume of smaller vehicles to meet the needs of last mile requirements, eliminate large truck travel restrictions and ensure movements 24/7/365.

“By installing our Dock Levelling Ramp, which can be set up for any bay and any height and installed within just a day, it allows organisations to rapidly expand the efficiency, flexibility, and accessibility of their docks by moving goods right up to or into the vehicle directly from inside the warehouse. Particularly vital for those having to preserve the integrity of their cold chain, as it ensures no broken links. Overall, this allows organisations to improve operational efficiencies, reduce costs and maintain a competitive approach.” Southgate has estimated that per year per site, its Ramp will save customers £55,381 and an ROI of £6,381 within the first year. Designed by Southgate experts with all the safety features you’d expect – driver walkways with anti-slip coating and handrails, full safety tape markings and anti-skid Bimagrip on the vehicle tracks – the Ramp meets all relevant ISO safety requirements and is CE and UKCA compliant.

Unlike concrete ramps it offers the flexibility to be moved if needed, and the driver/operator walkway can be fixed to either the right, left or both sides – making it safely accessible for both UK and international drivers. Southgate serves over 600 customers across the UK and Europe. To find out more about Southgate’s Dock Levelling Ramp, contact the team at or call them on +44(0)1553 692969.

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