Warehouse Logistics – Understanding Cross Docking

by | Mar 29, 2019 | Warehousing

One of the most important yet underutilized practices in the warehouse logistics industry is cross-docking. Cross-docking is a type of logistics procedure that involves distributing products from a supplier or manufacturing plant directly to a retail chain or customer. It comes with little to no handling or storage time.

In most cases, Cross-docking occurs in a distribution docking terminal. A distribution docking terminal typically features trucks and inbound and outbound dock doors with limited storage space. Essentially, cross-docking is the process of receiving products through an inbound deck and transferring them across to an outbound deck.

When is Cross-Docking a Good Idea?

It’s important to understand that cross docking is not a good option for all warehouse needs. There are only some instances where this process will boost costs, productivity, and customer satisfaction for a certain business.

If your business sells food or other temperature controlled items that must be transported as quickly as possible, cross-docking may make sense. Also, if your business sells products that are already packaged and sorted so they can be delivered to a certain customer, cross-docking may be a viable option. In addition, if you’re hosting a crowdfunding campaign or e-commerce sale, cross-docking will likely be the most effective way to deliver your items to the end user.

Benefits of Cross-Docking

Cross docking offers a variety of benefits. Some of the most noteworthy ones include:

  • Reduces the need for square footage: Since there is little to no storage in cross-docking, only a small amount of space is needed.
  • Minimizes the risk of product damage: Due to the lack of storage and minimal handling in cross-docking, the risk of damaged products and the costs associated with them are drastically reduced.
  • Saves labor hours: Rather than having to load or unload several trucks in a day, one truck will arrive with a single shipment from multiple suppliers, saving you labor hours.
  • Saves shipping costs: Since cross docking consolidates incoming and outgoing shipments, your business can save big on shipping costs.
  • Adds value to customers: Cross-docking provides expedited orders, lowers costs, and reduces the risk of damaged items, adding significant value for your customers.

Cross-docking is truly changing the warehouse logistics industry for the better. When it is used in the right situations, cross-docking is the fastest and most reliable method for shipping products from one location to the other. By using cross-docking to your advantage, you’ll receive increased efficiency, cost savings, and value.

Contact Amware to Learn More About Cross Docking

If you would like more information on how your business may benefit from cross-docking, contact Amware today.

About Dan Ramella

About Dan Ramella

Dan Ramella is a member of Amware's executive team, helping drive growth and manage key relationships. With over 20-years experience in the transportation and logistics industry, Dan has helped Amware become one of Northeast Ohio's premier 3PLs