Descartes Dock Appointment Scheduling™

Descartes Dock Appointment Scheduling™ is a collaborative solution that enables shippers, retailers, suppliers, carriers and consignees to schedule dock door appointments.


Descartes Dock Appointment Scheduling™ is a collaborative solution that enables shippers, retailers, suppliers, carriers and consignees to schedule dock door appointments. It streamlines the dock scheduling process by distributing the responsibility for scheduling from the warehouse, distribution centre or facility to carriers and suppliers. By ensuring all supply chain partners are involved in the process and have visibility into requested, scheduled and rescheduled dock appointments, this solution optimises receiving operations for inbound shipments to a warehouse.

By leveraging the power of the Descartes Global Logistics Network™ (GLN), Descartes Dock Appointment Scheduling enables organisations to connect electronically with thousands of shippers and carriers around the world.


  • Online appointment scheduling. Carriers and vendors can book dock appointments over the Web, and monitor the status in real time. The system pre-populates and validates an appointment Web form with order and shipment details to simplify appointment scheduling. Inbound coordinators can then prioritise shipments, refuse carrier requests, or they can configure prioritisation rules and constraints to automate the scheduling process.
  • Appointment audit trail. An electronic history of all appointment changes and related communication can be easily accessed by carriers and vendors. This complete history, which tracks when changes were made and by whom, simplifies dispute resolution.
  • Milestone notifications. Carriers, vendors and warehouse staff are sent email notifications at different milestones within the appointment booking process. These notifications, which include a link back to the online entry, ensure that all relevant parties are informed when appointments are rescheduled or refused; when shipments are ready for pickup; if items are damaged; or when carriers are a no-show.
  • Integration with Transportation Management Solutions (TMS). Seamless integration with Descartes or third party transportation applications means carriers can simultaneously accept tenders and book appointments, automatically assign doors for both inbound/outbound loads, and plan routes based on door availability.
  • Integration with Warehouse Management Systems (WMS). Integration with WMS allows customers to electronically prepare receiving activities and allocate physical resources to unload, validate and accept the shipment into either their DC or cross dock.
  • Recurring appointments. Standing appointments can be created for high volume carriers and suppliers. The ability to block off time windows for recurring appointments ensures a level of consistency for supply chain partners that deliver on a regular basis. Time windows can also be blocked off to accommodate for public holidays, hours of operation and other resource constraints.
  • Historical data analysis. Daily and weekly reports turn historical appointment information into actionable data that retailers can use to measure execution against plan; and ensure carriers and suppliers are meeting compliance standards.
  • Yard management. Shipping and receiving staff, gate guards and yard jockeys can now more effectively manage the movement of trailers. This includes planning and recording trailer moves, inspections and security seal changes, and maintaining an audit trail for loss prevention and government compliance programs like Chain of Responsibility or COR
  • Compliance tracking. Retailers can maintain an audit trail of compliance incidents, related documents and follow up communication for effective online dispute resolution. Chargebacks to carriers or suppliers can also be managed.  A powerful function of the tool is assistance in Managing Chain of Responsibility requirements (CoR)


  • Improved inventory turns. Optimises the receipt of goods, including time sensitive promotional items, by scheduling delivery at days/times when shipments can be promptly received.
  • Optimized hours of service. Effective planning and resource utilisation minimizes wait times for load/unload activities and return trips. Detention charges and other costs to carriers are also minimized when warehouse traffic is better managed.
  • Increased warehouse efficiency. Labor is “load leveled”, reducing peak resource requirements due to spikes in deliveries unnecessarily created when appointments are not scheduled and prioritized within regular working hours.
  • Automated data collection. Data can be analysed regularly to uncover process improvement opportunities. Audit trails also provide insights into bottlenecks and trading partner compliance for dispute resolution.
  • Enhanced partner collaboration. Vendors can monitor carrier service while compliance and performance metrics can be shared with trading partners to negotiate more cost efficient contracts.
  • Advanced shipment visibility. With greater visibility into inbound shipments, retailers can better manage inventory levels. This insight into scheduled dock appointments also allows for actual lead times to be monitored against plans.
  • Regulatory compliance. By ensuring shipments are in compliance with voluntary and mandated government regulations, retailers benefit from faster customs processing, enhanced delivery performance and secure sharing of incident data.

Descartes Dock Appointment Scheduling is complimented by Bestrane MobileDOCK to enable real-time status updates to approved bookings. MobileDOCK Check In/Out allows for the validation of arriving vehicles before being allowed entry to a destination site. This process may be automated using MobileDOCK Access, which can integrate with boom gates, doors and bollards, with verification automated through once use PIN codes/Barcodes, license plate recognition, or facial recognition. MobileDOCK is power by Amazon Web Services (AWS) – Cloud Computing Services.
Powered by AWS Cloud Computing


Simon Poppleton, Loading Dock Manager at Emporium Melbourne explains how Descartes Dock Appointment Scheduling, in conjunction with MobileDock by Bestrane has enabled the efficient, award-winning docks in the heart of Melbourne.

MobileDOCK is powered by Amazon Web Services (AWS) – Cloud Computing Services.