What are some keys that companies are always looking to fulfill? To name a few: cutting costs and saving time, while simultaneously providing top notch customer service. There are many methods to do just that, but one you might consider for your company’s logistics is cross docking.
What is Cross Docking?
Cross docking is a logistics procedure where products from an incoming delivery (usually from a supplier or manufacturer) are distributed directly to a customer or retail chain with marginal to no handling or storage time in between.
This can typically mean that an inbound truck is unloaded directly into outbound trucks, or at the very least that the inbound truck’s shipment is only held for a short space of time on the terminal before loading the product again for outbound shipment.
The product may be reviewed while on the terminal, to check for quality. It will also most likely be sorted to ensure the right product is sent to the correct final destination.
This graphic provides a visual demonstration:
How Does Cross Docking Help Your Business?
Well, honestly, it might not. But depending on the types of products you need delivered, cross docking can save you time and money.
If you are attempting to transport products that must be temperature controlled or spoil quickly, then cross docking is probably a good method to consider. The typical goal is that products spend less than 24 hours within the cross docking terminal, which is ideal for perishable items.
Cross docking can reduce warehouse needs, delivery fulfillment time, and labor costs because there is no need to pack and store product within the warehouse.
But cross docking is not the solution for every product or company. It requires planning, strategy, and detailed attention to run smoothly and effectively. It also requires that the supplier delivers product that is customer ready. If the products needs any major sorting or packaging, then cross docking will probably not be a good solution.
Cross docking boils down to a lot of moving parts. When done correctly and efficiently, it can benefit your business by cutting costs and shortening your product delivery times.