How to beat the curfews with dock scheduling

This is not the first time that we’ve written about the benefits of IDS Dock Scheduling for optimizing the inbound and outbound goods flows. By involving all the links in the chain when planning the loading and unloading activities, you prevent carriers, suppliers and distribution centres from pointing the finger of blame at one another if shipments are not collected or delivered on time. Appointments are scheduled automatically, taking the location, number of orders and any restrictions into account. Needless to say, that comes in particularly useful nowadays, when lockdowns and even curfews are creating challenges that were unimaginable to most of us less than a year ago. Read on to find out how, as a 4PL provider, we can help to minimize the impact of this crisis on your inbound and outbound goods flows.


Over the past 12 months, we’ve witnessed a sudden change from predictable logistics flows to panic-buying and from ‘just in time’ to ‘just in case’ – and the unpredictability looks set to continue. Countless retail stores have been forced to close, at least temporarily. The pressure of being unable to sell existing stock is mounting, and in some cases more inventory is already on its way from the Far East. Yet supermarket distribution centres are experiencing unprecedented peaks, and online shopping continues to grow even though the festive period is now behind us. In some industries, such as construction, there have been no noticeable effects as a result of COVID-19 and it seems to be business as usual. At the other extreme, some sectors have come to a complete standstill. 

Alternative routes and service windows

The curfew rules vary from one country to another. Which makes it essential to think carefully about the optimal transport routes and delivery windows per shipment and per destination. The borders are still open for freight, but that could change at any moment. Moreover, many routes and delivery windows have altered due to shifts in the demand for transport caused by the peaks and troughs across the various sectors. The situation not only differs from the ‘normal’ scenario of around a year ago, but possibly also from last month or even last week. And whereas night-time collections and deliveries didn’t use to be a problem, it might now be necessary to arrange permits and employer’s declarations. 

IDS Dock Scheduling

All of these developments are having a substantial impact on your logistics planning and the activities at your loading docks. Making supply chain visibility, delivery reliability and effective scheduling more important than ever. Helping customers to navigate curfew-related challenges is all in a day’s work for our logistics experts. They can analyse your inbound and outbound goods flows and optimize your service windows so that your supply chain continues to run smoothly. Despite all the unpredictability. To do so, they make use of the IDS Dock Scheduling solution. Which ensures that all supply chain partners are involved in the process and have clear insight into the requested, scheduled and amended dock appointments. 

If you feel you could use some support in adapting your service windows to the ‘new normal’ or if you would like to make optimal use of your loading docks, our Business Development Manager Arno Spoek is on hand to help you. Feel free to email him at or call him on +31 6 31 90 20 88.