While cross-docking is quite a known concept for several import and export companies, there are many others for whom this might be new. We bring to you the basics of this concept in this article.
What is Cross Docking?
Cross docking is a way to keep the logistics productivity effective and fast. It takes away the need of storing goods or products in a warehouse, thus reducing the need for warehousing and storage, thereby reducing material handling operations.
In other words, it is a kind of logistics operation where the cargo is unloaded by the inbound carrier at the docks and almost immediately loaded again on to the outbound carrier .
In cross docking, a manufacturer delivers products directly to its customers with very less or almost no handling operations involved. The goods / products are sent by the manufacturer to the loading docks for deliveries, which involve inbound and outbound operations only. With this, enterprises can expedite the delivery time to their customers, which in turn keeps their customers delighted; after all timely delivery is one of the main objectives of an efficient supply chain.
There are 3 major types of Cross docking:
- Continuous Cross-Docking – Most straightforward type, and also the fastest. A center place is decided where the goods can be transferred almost immediately from an inbound carrier to an outbound carrier. In case the carrier arrives at a different time and at a different inbound lane, they need to wait until their turn.
- Consolidation Cross-Docking – When multiple smaller loads are combined into one big load at the docks it is called consolidation cross-docking or consolidation arrangement. In this type, the inbound freight can be merged with the products already stored at the docks to make it into FTL.
- Deconsolidation Cross-Docking – In this type, large loads or FTL are broken down into fragments at the loading docks. This type is generally used when the manufacturer desires to send the goods directly to its end customers.
There are many enterprises that use cross-docking for its benefits. Below we have listed some of the most common advantages reaped by them –
Better Inventory Management – This risk associated with having excess stock gets reduced greatly with cross-docking. Once inside a docking area, goods are picked and sent directly to the customers. This way, the need for having excess inventory at hand to is negated – which leads to efficient inventory management.
Cost Saving – One of the prime advantages of this is reduced costs. Store goods in a warehouse and distribution center for longer periods can be avoided, resulting in reduced storage, handling and labor costs. This may also result in lesser damage to goods, as goods do not pass through multiple handling points.
Reduced Shipping Time – This is one of the major benefits for companies aiming to fulfil their customer expectation with fast shipping service. With efficient inventory management at one hand, companies can facilitate faster deliveries to their customers.
Is It Suitable For You?
It is like an enhancement for several enterprises. Skipping traditional warehousing and distribution facilities will allow you to reduce handling, storage and distribution costs. You can eliminate the need of a usual warehouse with efficient cross-docking, that would help you save on costs and keep your customers delighted.
Products that are require consistent supply and have stable demand are most benefitted with this. Industries like beverages, food and perishable goods use of this concept – given their shelf life and nature of products. Suppliers of parts or components of products and raw materials have also benefitted from this. Cross-docking has proved to be very effective for enterprises whose products are already in the final packaging and are sorted as per their orders.
However, it is rather very important to note that cross docking requires technology, automation and a defined infrastructure for outbound and inbound logistics. A logistics partner, like ProConnect Integrated Logistics, who have the infrastructure, experience and ability to handle complex logistics project could be a good choice for your cross-docking requirements. All thanks to our strong presence in UAE and Saudi Arabia with 21 warehouses, experienced resources and tech infrastrucutre.
For questions or to simply evaluate us, contact us today!