Cross-docking is a sure-fire way to leverage efficiency within the supply chain and transportation network, and that’s exceptionally vital as warehousing rates have risen 22% year over year, reports Marketplace. Cross-dock warehouse processes allow companies to distribute goods with much less idle dwell time, but what is cross-docking, and why are more companies looking to take advantage of cross-docking? Let’s start by digging into those specific facts.
What Is Cross-Docking?
Cross-loading is when products are moved directly from the supplier or manufacturer to the customer, without any storage space in between.
Cross-docking takes place in a distribution docking terminal and has become much more common for road and rail distribution. So, what is it? The name implies the overall distribution process- products are received through an inbound dock and then moved across the dock to the outbound delivery dock.
How Cross-Docking Warehouse Processes Benefit the Supply Chain
One of the biggest questions logistics and distributions managers have about this process is how does cross-docking reduce storage and handling costs? There are several critical benefits of cross docking that are worth considering.
Reduced Risk of Damage
With proper cross docking and improved distribution at ports, warehouses, and other hubs, there is a much lower risk of cargo becoming damaged or lost. Fewer times moving on and off trucks and out of containers means less chance for something to go wrong. Also, fewer material handling needs mean less risk for drops! Safer cargo transportation and storage is a significant benefit of cross docking warehouse and distribution services.
Lower Labor Costs
Cross docking also provides a more affordable approach to transportation and distribution costs related to labor. Fewer hands are needed to move and relocate containers, pallets, and boxes means fewer workers and work hours. Paying a driver and one or two handlers is a much more cost-efficient option and is one of the many benefits of this capability.
Lower Storage Costs
When answering the question, what is cross-docking, it is essential to look at the overall costs of storing goods and products with traditional distribution approaches. Every pallet and container unloaded and reloaded must be held somewhere. That costs money and can quickly add up to significant expenses; something that enables efficiency on the dock helps alleviate such higher storage costs.
Ability to Better Use Driver’s Time
Driver shortages are still plaguing the industry, so one of the most significant benefits of this practice today is a better use of driver availability. Rather than spending time moving containers from one location to another and dealing with storage and other logistical issues, cross docking allows drivers to complete loads in one stop rather than two or more.
The final perk distribution managers can enjoy with this process is faster overall transportation. Cross-docking warehouses and distribution centers allow cargo to get to the destination quicker. Cross-docking makes a faster, more efficient, and more streamlined approach to distribution and transportation operations possible.
Cost Savings in Outbound Transport
Cross-docking distribution hubs, warehouses, and terminals save time and money right from the start. They are cheaper to build and manage, which means lower costs for importers and a simpler process for everyone involved. The many benefits of moving palletized loads or containers from the inbound dock directly to the outbound dock can have far-reaching impacts for reducing transportation costs and improving efficiency.
Contact Distribution by Supra to leverage Cross-Docking Services and Speed Delivery Times
Cross docking improves overall operations and makes it easier to distribute directly to a customer or retail chain with minimal idle, handling, or storage time. Contact Distribution by Supra today to tap the benefits of cross-docking and beyond. Also, be sure to check out Supra National Express’s New Online Rate Tool, DrayMaster.