EAST BRIDGEWATER, Mass. -- Shaw's Supermarkets here plans to replace more than 200 dock doors at its three distribution centers over the next three to five years.
The new dock doors are insulated sectional doors made out of Fiberglas and reinforced plastic. Most roll-up dock doors are made of sectional steel.
Shaw's anticipates better performance and less need for costly, time-consuming repairs with the new doors. For example, the need to replace individual door panels, a frequent problem with traditional dock doors, is nonexistent with the new model, according to Steve Cox, senior facilities manager for Shaw's. Repeated replacement of panels can affect door performance over time.
"When you figure you have to call an overhead guy [to fix a door] at $50 to $60 an hour, it adds up really quickly," said Cox.
"For example, in our Methuen facility, we need a door guy there three days a week. This facility sees more damage than the others."
In addition, if the new type of door is knocked off its track, it can easily be reinstalled, noted Cox.
"When a door is not operational, it affects the inbound and outbound operation of the facility," he said. "It's one less door that you have to work with."
Between 30 and 35 new doors are already installed at Shaw's Wells, Maine; Methuen, Mass.; and East Bridgewater, Mass., distribution centers, said Cox. He said another 25 to 30 doors will be installed by the end of this year.
"The overall plan is to have new doors in all of Shaw's distribution facilities, with the exception of frozen food, in the next three to five years," Cox said.
He noted that the return-on-investment cycle for the new doors will be about five years. The new doors cost about $2,000 to $2,500 each, while traditional dock doors run between $1,000 and $1,300.