Logistics is an important part of the business and it is the concept of getting products from point A to point B in the quickest possible moment. Depending on where you are in the supply chain is how cross-docking can benefit you and your business.
What is Cross Docking
Cross-docking is a supply chain process in that it helps manufacturers and bulk suppliers get their product into the supply chain much faster. The product arrives at one side of the building and it is immediately unloaded and moved directly to the outbound side of the building ready to be loaded onto an outbound truck that is headed in the same location. This helps to consolidate loads and cuts down on expensive LTL shipping cost.
Benefits of Cross Docking
Gets the product to market faster – The use of cross-docking helps to improve efficiency in moving product to market faster. By turning around shipment quicker and less handling of the product also helps to speed up efficiency in shipping. The process can be used in both durable goods and those types of products that require refrigeration. It can be useful in the shipping of higher value items that normally need special security consideration.
Lowers over shipping cost – Cross docking cuts down on a number things like labor cost through, a smaller warehouse footprint so that you don’t need as much space. It also can help to consolidate several LTL shipments into a single shipment. You also eliminate having to rotate product and having inventory which saves money.
Improved service levels – Cross docking can be extremely useful when there is a call for a change in a shipment, this can make any changes downstream a lot easier since shipment arrives in bulk. The shipment is repacked in a container and shipped out to their final destinations. This process helps to speed up the entire supply chain, in turn, help all businesses across the board.
Downsides to Cross Docking
Cross-docking does not work especially well in all circumstances and it helps to know when those times are when trying to determine if it fits in with your logistical needs. Here are just a few examples of when it might not be a good fit for crossing docking shipments. It requires a lot of management time to organize all of the movement of product and all of the planning that goes into can make it counterproductive under some circumstances. Establishing a cross-docking terminal structure can be time-consuming and the capital expenditures need to be considered ahead of time.
Not all suppliers are able to support across dock setup and that could throw a monkey wrench into your operation having to have an alternative system in order to support the supplier’s needs.
In support of an efficient cross dock system, there has to be an adequate number of trucks to move the product in and out fast enough to support such a system.
It really works well with mainly high-volume products that break down well and can be repackaged for quicker shipments. In order for a cross-docking arrangement to work the supplier has to reliable enough to get their product to you in order to be able to turn it around fast enough.
Learn more about Matrix Transportation and the transportation services they offer including: dedicated truckloads, JIT truckloads, less than truckload (LTL), same day expedited FTL and LTL, full truckload, warehousing, cross-docking, and trailer rentals at www.matrixtransportation.com To contact one of our trucking experts call toll free 888.896.2405 today.