When it comes to logistics, it’s important to get goods to your destination safely, securely, and just as importantly, quickly.
That’s where cross docking comes in. It’s a fast, efficient method of transporting goods and products of all kinds from the manufacturer to the consumer.
But what exactly is cross docking? Here’s a quick overview of what it is, how it can help manufacturers and consumers, and who can benefit.
Cross Docking Definition
Maybe you’ve heard of it before, but you’re not sure what it is. Cross docking is when products from a supplier or manufacturer are distributed directly to a customer or retail chain with minimal to no handling or storage time.
The name comes from the process of having an inbound source of supplies sent to an inbound dock. Goods are unloaded and sorted based on their destination, with minimal downtime. Then the goods are transferred across the dock and sent outbound, where they eventually reach customers.
The Benefits of Cross Docking in Retail
Due to the speed of using cross docking for shipping, you are able to avoid long-term storage. By avoiding long-term storage, you are able to reduce storage costs, and potentially reduce labor costs as well.
Smaller storage requirements also mean you can reduce the footprint of your facilities and any operating costs. Less square footage per facility means fixed asset cost savings.
Since the product will pass through fewer hands and stored for a shorter amount of time, there is a lower risk of product damage. The risk of theft or loss is lower as well. Also, while goods are being unloaded and transferred in an effort to get them to their outbound location, your staff will have an additional opportunity to inspect goods for any damage.
Finally, with cross docking, products get to consumers faster, reducing overall delivery time. For example, Walmart, the world’s biggest retailer, delivers the majority of its merchandise using a cross docking system. Within a day, they have about a 90% turnover.
This is good for consumers a well. Faster shipping leads to better customer satisfaction. This in turn could lead to customer loyalty.
Who Can Benefit From Cross Docking?
Cross docking isn’t right for everyone. But if you work in industries such as food and beverage, chemicals, automotive, or consumer goods, you should consider implementing it. These industries benefit the most from being able to cross dock and quickly ship products to consumers.
For example, in cold chain operations, food and beverages must be stored and shipped at a certain temperature. If not, food safety could be compromised and products ruined.
Looking for a Cross Docking Facility?
Looking for cross docking services? Yep! Commerce can help. We offer cross dock warehouse and storage solutions, refrigerated storage, dry storage, packing and shrink wrapping, local and national deliveries, and 24/7 service.
Contact us to find out how we can be your logistics solution provider.