What is cross-docking for warehouse & distribution logistics?

What is cross-docking for warehouse & distribution logistics?

Cross-docking material handling systems reduce labour and storage requirements, and hence a reduction in distribution costs, where bulk sorting of product is required.  Cross-docking order fulfilment is applicable to wholesalers, courier companies, and other transfer points for products and packages such as 3pl’s, where pallets or bins of a product are presented and need to be split into multiple destinations or orders.

What are the elements to a successful cross-docking automation project? This post will highlight the material handling solutions required for a successful automation solution and how Axiom GB can assist in a successful turn-key project.

What is cross-docking for warehouse & distribution logistics?

A cross-docking material handling system describes an approach to supply chain management that involves the transfer of products from the inbound carrier to outbound transportation without entering the warehouse for storage, hence ‘crosses the docks’ bypassing the warehouse, as goods transfer from the receiving dock directly to the shipping dock for ongoing transportation.

At first glance, this broad definition might seem like a simple process, but consolidation, product tracking and coordination complicate the procedure.  Often the product will require sorting to a specific destination or delivery route.  A new outbound shipper label may be required, along with checking the product or package for weight and volumetric dimensions to ensure this matches the pre-entered data, also to calculate shipping rates and transport optimisation.  Good cross-docking practices can result in substantial inventory savings as this eliminates the need to store products onsite.

Why is cross-docking for warehouse & distribution logistics important?

Cross-docking is a practical example of a core pillar of the lean philosophy in the elimination of non-productive tasks. Whilst lean principles coalesced around the Toyota Production System (TPS) for the just-in time manufacture of motor cars, lean philosophy can be applied to all operations.

Cross-docking distributes goods directly from inbound receipt, from the manufacturer or supplier to the outbound transport without the unnecessary multiple handling of storing and retrieving of the traditional routing of goods to storage areas and racks, to be retrieved at some future time back to the dispatch areas.

Distribution Centres (DC’s), 3pl’s, wholesalers, and transport hubs favour cross-docking because it presents the opportunity to reduce or eliminate inventory, or work-in progress (WIP), while the cost of material handling is drastically reduced. Manufacturers prefer cross-docking because it expedites shipments and improves customer satisfaction

Read the full blog….

Cross-Docking v1.2

Let’s talk….

We’d love to help solve your materials handling challenges.

If you’re looking for a materials handling system and want to talk to a company with all the right credentials, contact Axiom GB for a consultation on 01827 61212 or email sales@axiomgb.com