The coronavirus pandemic caused warehouses to shut down and reduced demand for dock structures. However, some experts believe the docks market is still poised for growth.

Dock builders cite customization and extras as the most significant trends in the industry. For example, owners want to add pools, captains’ rooms, and workout areas.

Artificial Intelligence

There’s a lot of work to be done in the shipping industry, and AI is one tool that can help with it. Companies can boost productivity and efficiency by using this technology to improve warehousing and docking operations.

A great example is SmartDock, a system that seeks to reduce the time trucks spend at shippers by installing inward and outward cameras connected to an artificial intelligence platform. The cameras look for specific patterns, like a truck not leaving the dock after 30 minutes, and alert supervisors when a problem occurs.

This allows managers to adjust quickly, reducing truck detention times and improving efficiency. However, this technology is still new and requires a robust change management strategy to implement effectively. Additionally, AI requires considerable data to function, so ports should assess their infrastructure capacity and network bandwidth before implementing new systems. As a result, ports need to work with specialized AI companies that have experience with this technology.

Real-Time Dock Monitoring

Having real-time visibility of Palm Beach County docks and trailers is essential for distribution centers. Without it, vehicles can sit unnecessarily, slowing down the entire facility.

The right technology can help eliminate these nagging issues and improve productivity. For example, dock scheduling software helps companies manage inbound and outbound traffic to the facility by tracking shipments from point A to point B. This allows shipping clerks to quickly locate accurate shipment information like customer addresses or product details and dispatchers to keep tabs on trucks to meet their delivery schedules.

These digital solutions are typically web-based and run in a browser so managers can access them from any location with an internet connection. They also offer features like a configurable dashboard and predictive analytics to identify operational trends that can be used to prevent future delays in dock entrances. Additionally, these platforms allow facilities to integrate truck data from their truck logistics providers for near-real-time dock optimization.

Predictive Maintenance

Predictive maintenance is a hugely beneficial technology for docks. It enables companies to monitor machine performance in real time and make informed decisions about when to carry out maintenance work. The technology relies on sensors that translate physical actions from machines into digital signals transmitted to a central system.

The Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) makes predictive maintenance possible by connecting machines to a central hub that collects and analyzes data to detect problems. This information can then notify service teams of potential issues, so they can take corrective measures before problems arise.

Growth in Bring-Your-Own-Device (BYOD) workplaces and a demand for faster data transport are expected to boost the market for USB-C docking stations throughout the forecast period. The devices allow users to connect their laptops, tablets, and other portable devices to a host computer to access a keyboard, mouse, printer, and speakers. Users can also charge their electronic devices connected to the docking station.

USB-C Docks

The laptop market is in a period of shrinking size and port availability, which makes docks more critical than ever. A docking station allows users to transform their portable computer into a desktop workstation at home or the office.

USB-C Docks can provide a variety of ports, including HDMI/DisplayPort/VGA input, Gigabit Ethernet, more USB ports, and more, all while powering the laptop through a single cable. When selecting a USB-C dock, look for a model with high-bandwidth connections to ensure efficient data transfers and smooth video resolutions.

While plain USB-C docks will work with most modern laptops, it’s best to go with a Thunderbolt (TB3 and TB4) dock for higher speeds of up to 40Gbps and better daisy chaining support. Hybrid docking stations are also an excellent choice for use cases requiring Thunderbolt and USB-C laptops. This allows for more flexibility and ease of management in environments with mixed laptop deployments (hot desking). Also, look for models that will enable firmware upgrades via the USB-C PD host controller or PMIC.

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