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Ultimate Cross-Docking Guide

In today’s marketplace, speed and agility are the name of the game. Now, more than ever, manufacturers, retailers and ecommerce companies must move products through the supply chain quickly, efficiently and cost effectively in order to remain competitive. By Saddle Creek Logistics Services

September 26, 2018

In examining their supply chains, more and more companies are identifying opportunities to incorporate cross-docking – the process of receiving product and shipping it out without putting it into storage.

Cross-docks are generally used for “hub-and-spoke” arrangements, consolidation, or deconsolidation. While not a new practice, cross-docking has seen a resurgence of interest in recent years. What is attracting companies to the practice? How is it being implemented? How are practitioners leveraging outsourcing? The following report offers answers to these questions and more.

Why Cross-Dock?

Companies find that cross-docking gives them an opportunity to take costs out of their supply chains and gain transportation efficiencies, so they can get their products to customers more quickly and economically.

Typically, cross-docks can be developed using a variety of strategies such as (but not limited to) the following arrangements:

  • Consolidating LTL into truckload to reduce the number of deliveries to retail outlets
  • Breaking larger loads into individual orders for home delivery
  • Pre-picked orders transferred to LTL through the use of a third-party warehouse facility to handle the cross-docking process
  • From multiple plants (deconsolidated) into a third-party cross-dock that, within hours, picks and consolidates all products from all plants into customer or route orders and then delivers
  • Either pre-picked to a customer order or bulkpicked to a pooling location to handle the lastmile shipment to the customer

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