Photo: Dr. Jean-Paul Rodrigue, 2013.
The large and high inventory turnover of retail stores coupled with just in time inventory management requires frequent deliveries. Large retail stores in suburban areas are able to accommodate such requirements because they are located in lower congestion areas, have access to highways and have multiple bays docks; 3 docking bays on the above photo. Since deliveries are almost exclusively unidirectional, drivers will usually dock, unhook and leave the trailer (53 foot in the above case), which will have its contents unloaded and shelved. Then, the driver will pick up an empty trailer for the return trip to the distribution center.