Types of Cross-Docking

types of cross-docking

When it comes to shipping and inventory, efficiency and speed are some of the most important factors. Cross-docking services are one-way companies can gain the upper hand and stay ahead of the competition. Efficient cross-docking can boost productivity and streamline workflow in a way other services fall short.

Types of Cross-Docking

Before we cover the various types of cross decking available, let’s take a closer look at cross-docking services themselves.

What Is Cross-Docking?

Cross-docking is a method of service that gets rid of the need to store many types of products in a warehouse. Products are manufactured and then loaded onto transports such as a truck or rail car. They will travel to the main point where they will then be unloaded and sorted prior to being reloaded directly onto the next set of transports in the supply chain. This will allow companies to reduce the amount of time between inbound and outbound transports. Not to mention, this also cuts down on the number of shipments. This is because workers can consolidate shipments by eliminating the storage part of the supply chain.

The Advantages of Cross Docking Services

Cross-docking services are good for business because they allow you to lower the cost of warehousing while also improving the speed of product transport. Cross-docking reduces stockpiling time to almost nothing. This is done by taking items from the point of production to the end supplier with little downtime in between. Not only does this reduce stock times, but it also helps to decrease stock loss ratios.

Basic Cross Docking Types

There are two basic types of cross-docking, post-distribution, and pre-distribution. During pre-distribution cross docking, completed goods that were loaded at the point of manufacture are sent to the main distribution point. They are then removed from the transport, sorted, and repacked for an outbound truck according to their intended delivery channels. In this case, the customers or retail outlets that these products will be delivered to have already been identified prior to leaving the custody of the product supplier.

During post-distribution cross docking, the goods remain packed in their manufacture bundles. Sorting won’t happen until there is a final destination (customers). In this case, the prepared goods may stay in a cross-docking facility or distribution facility a bit longer than usual. However, it is still a shorter time than if they were stored in a warehouse.

Cross Docking Service Types

Although there are only two basic types of cross-docking, there are several different types of cross-docking services. Different types may appeal to different industries or business types.

Distributor Cross Docking

Distributor cross-docking helps with the collection of items to create a bed of blended orders. This may help those who need a variety of components from various vendors delivered to one single place.

Retail cross-docking

Retail cross-docking is ideal for retail stores the need deliveries from a number of suppliers or providers. It also covers delivery to multiple chain locations in the retail line.

Manufacturing cross-docking

Manufacturing cross-docking helps to input and gather sources for efficient delivery scheduling. So, for manufacturing, it would help prepare the right number of components needed for an order which will reduce loss or excess stock.

Transportation cross-docking

Transportation cross-docking helps to combine LTL shipments for transport which will reduce cost and improve bottom lines over time.

Cross Docking at a Glance

Cross-docking offers a wide range of benefits for businesses, retailers, manufacturers, and supply chains of all sizes. Not only are these services more efficient, they are also more cost-effective. With less product loss and faster delivery times, it will be easier to operate a business at any scale.

Additional Reading: Crossdocking as a Supply Chain Strategy (Association for Manufacturing Excellence)

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