With a large enough warehouse facility and a well-trained staff in place, cross docking services can save a company time, money and warehouse overhead. Especially when they are efficiently utilized and managed by the right Third Party Logistics partner.
However, different scenarios require different solutions:
- Transportation: Combining shipments from different LTL carriers to create economies of scale.
- Distribution: Consolidating inbound products from various vendors into a mixed product pallet, which is delivered to the customer when the final item is received. For example, auto parts distributors often source their parts from vendors worldwide and combine them into a single shipment for their customer.
- Manufacturing: Receiving products that are required by manufacturing. The warehouse receives the products and prepares sub-assemblies for the production orders.
- Retail: Receiving products from multiple vendors and sorting onto outbound trucks for a number of retail stores.
- Opportunistic: Transferring a product directly from the goods receiving dock to the outbound shipping dock to meet a known demand.
Cross Docking keeps products in the warehouse for as little time as possible. This helps companies save on warehouse overhead and minimize the warehouse space required while moving the same amount of product.
Below is a short list of materials that are well suited to cross docking:
- Perishable goods requiring immediate shipment.
- High-quality items that do not require quality inspections during the receiving process.
- Products that are pre-tagged (with bar code, RFID, etc.), pre-ticketed and ready for sale to the customer.
- Promotional items and items being launched.
- Staple retail products with a constant demand and/or low demand variance.
- Pre-picked, pre-packaged customer orders from another warehouse or production plant.
With its flexibility, efficiency and ability to accommodate unpredictable customer demand, more and more cross docking services are viewed as winning strategies for adapting to the economic environment and business conditions in today’s society.
Cross-docking Services include:
- Car maintenance management
- Complete rail supply chain management
- Consolidation of truckload shipments into carload
- Customer service interface (single point of contact)
- Customs clearance
- Deconsolidation arrangements, where large shipments (e.g. railcar lots) are broken down into smaller lots for ease of delivery.
- Deconsolidation of carload to multi-truckload, truckload, or LTL (hyperlink to ltl page)
- Demmurage / bad order management
- Demurrage reduction
- EDI waybilling
- Empty railcar ordering
- Empty railcar release
- Freight bill payment
- In-transit visibility
- Loading configuration / design
- Mode conversion
- Multi-modal coordination (truckload, rail, transload, special equipment)
- Private fleet analysis / management
- Reporting / event notification
- Track and trace
- Velocity and diversion improvement planning
- Web visibility / transit statistics
- WMS for 24/7/365 warehouse tracking of inventory and shipments