The term cross docking refers to moving product from a manufacturing plant and delivers it directly to the customer with little or no material handling in between. Cross docking not only reduces material handling, but also reduces the need to store the products in the warehouse. In most cases the products sent from the manufacturing area to the loading dock has been allocated for outbound deliveries. In some instances the products will not arrive at the loading dock from the manufacturing area, but may arrive as a purchased product that is being re-sold or being delivered from another of the company’s manufacturing plants for shipment from the warehouse.
Cross docking is a logistics procedure where products from a supplier or manufacturing plant are distributed directly to a customer or retail chain with marginal to no handling or storage time. Cross docking takes place in a distribution docking terminal; usually consisting of trucks and dock doors on two (inbound and outbound) sides with minimal storage space. The name ‘cross docking’ explains the process of receiving products through an inbound dock and then transferring them across the dock to the outbound transportation dock.
Cross docking is a distribution system where items received at the warehouse are not received into stock, but are prepared for shipment to another location or for retail stores. Cross docking can realize a cost reduction by skipping put away and retrieval steps.
Many companies have benefitted from using cross docking. Some of the benefits include:
Reduction in labor costs, as the products no longer requires picking and put away in the warehouse.
Reduction in the time from production to the customer, which helps improve customer satisfaction.
Reduction in the need for warehouse space, as there is no requirement to storage the products.
Types of Cross Docking
There are a number of cross docking scenarios that are available to the