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Trans BC Freightways Speed and productivity of a supply chain has become an important factor of growth for organisations. Cross-docking is just one strategy that can be implemented to help achieve a competitive advantage. Implemented appropriately and in the right conditions, cross-docking can provide significant improvements in efficiency and handling times.
What is cross docking?
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. In simple terms, inbound products arrive through transportation such as trucks/trailers, and are allocated to a receiving dock on one side of the ‘cross dock’ terminal. Once the inbound transportation has been docked its products can be moved either directly or indirectly to the outbound destinations; they can be unloaded, sorted and screened to identify their end destinations. After being sorted, products are moved to the other end of the ‘cross dock’ terminal via a forklift, conveyor belt, pallet truck or another means of transportation to their destined outbound dock. When the outbound transportation has been loaded, the products can then make their way to customers.