The Dummies’ Guide to Cross Docking Warehouses: How They Will Help Your Business Succeed

The Dummies’ Guide to Cross Docking Warehouses: How They Will Help Your Business Succeed

Cross-docking warehouses are hubs that will transform your business – literally.

So what is a cross-docking warehouse, and what’s cross-docking? Combined, they’re a warehouse loading bay with four entrances, right? Wrong!

Cross-docking warehouses are transportation centers that specialize in minimal storage times. When hubs engage in cross-docking, they focus on unloading incoming trucks and loading outgoing trucks as quickly as possible. In this way, cross-docking is almost exactly like a relay race.

Any industry that works with expiration dates or seasonal pricing in mind will love the concept of cross-docking warehouses.

Advantages of Cross-Docking Warehouses

Cross-docking isn’t the right solution for every company, but it’s been shown to be incredibly useful for many models. Advantages of Cross-docking include:

  1. Companies can better control the delivery of their merchandise.
  2. Cross-docking is often best used for deliveries that need to be made within a short window of time.
  3. Cross-docking warehouses lower the cost of storing goods, which is very good for merchants. Cross-docking also requires fewer employees and storage time. So, you get to reap the benefits. Cross-docking is one of the most organized forms of storage – because they need less storage space.

A Little Bit More About How Cross-Docking Works

Cross-docking can be so efficient because it uses using electronic sorting methods that are incredibly accurate. Sorting methods can include automatic sorting using bar codes, QR codes, or RFID tags placed onto products as they’re shipped.

Using their automatic sorting machines, or employees with scanning equipment, cross-docking facilities can be incredibly fast and accurate. These tracking efforts also put you, the merchandiser, in a good spot because it means that you’ll benefit from frequent shipping notifications.

Both models of operation offer the same benefits to their customers. If you’d like to learn a little bit more about the differences between Cross-docking and traditional warehousing, we have a blog about it!

Digging Deeper Into Why You Shouldn’t Store Your Merchandise

Storing your items is risky. There’s always a chance that your products will become damaged by a forklift, lose value, or even flat out misplaced and lost forever.

The most troubling of these is the drop in value. With warehousing situations ranging from minor (your products weathering and going slightly out of vouge) to catastrophic (the eggs you sell spoiling or summer dresses delivered in the fall), there aren’t many plusses to storing your good indefinitely.

Other Uses for a Cross-Docking Strategy

Did you know that the usefulness of cross-docking can even be implemented within your facility to encourage organization and reduce risk?

Place all of your resources and tools in a central area and ship them out to the locations that need them only when they’re required. Cross-docking helps keep your workplace organized and free of hazardous clutter.

This practice also helps reduce the risk of inventory shrinkage. With the addition of one central hub, you’re creating a check out list. So, you’ll know who to talk to if one piece of equipment goes missing. Pair this with other money-saving tricks, and you’ll be in a good place!

We understand that this isn’t for everyone, though. If you want to learn more about cross-docking warehouses, reach out to us!

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