During times of high demand and the need for immediate customer satisfaction, brands are eager to find a way to expedite the supply chain process and keep their clients satisfied.
One under-utilized method that can help speed up the logistics process (in some situations) is cross-docking.
Let’s get into the details behind this method and whether or not it’s the right choice for your products.
What Is Cross-Docking?
Cross-docking is a process that essentially skips the warehouse storage phase of the logistics process. During a cross-dock operation, when products arrive on a truck at a distribution center, they are immediately sorted, consolidated, and sent to outbound logistics instead of being unloaded and stored in the warehouse.
When Should You Use Cross-Docking?
If cross-docking sounds like a time-saver, it can be. However, it’s an optimal choice for specific situations and industries.
Some of the most common products that go through the cross-docking process are:
- Perishable foods and beverages
- Pre-packed and sorted products
- Raw materials (i.e., steel, oil, grain, lumber, etc.)
Therefore, if your industry is food and beverage, automotive, chemicals, or consumer products, it’s likely that you could take advantage of the logistics benefits that come with cross-docking.
Top Advantages of Cross-Docking
When it comes to the goods that work well with cross-docking, there isn’t time to waste leaving them in a warehouse. Your delivery process is heavily streamlined when a logistics company has the equipment and staff to accomplish cross-docking.
Our cross-docking efforts help get your items into the hands of happy customers faster!
Fewer Warehousing Fees
Cross-docked products rest at a warehouse no longer than 24 hours before arriving at their final destination. With the right planning, your business could partner with a logistics team and completely avoid or severely reduce your warehousing costs.
Reduced Transportation Costs
Transportation costs decrease when your products are scheduled to reach the same destination as other products in a cross-docking shipment. A full load means you aren’t paying for empty space.
Aside from saving on space, optimized routes use less fuel and reduce long-term transportation costs if you’re in an industry that often utilizes cross-docking.
Fewer Inventory Risks
When fewer hands move your product, you face fewer inventory risks with each delivery. Also, a logistics team like GFS that is prepared to move quickly and get your items on the road is highly trained and will handle your pallets with care.
So, working with a team with experience with cross-docking helps save money on damaged inventory and keeps your clients consistently pleased with the quality of your product.
What Are the Disadvantages?
Sure, there are some disadvantages to the process, but they all depend on the warehouse you work with and the quality of your logistics team.
Some of the disadvantages manufacturers could face are:
- The risk of a systemic error and the product doesn’t reach the customer on time
- Poor management and lack of available labor
- Lack of available storage space if cross-docking doesn’t follow through as planned
Is Cross-Docking The Choice for You? GFS Logistics Can Help You Decide
Fortunately, if cross-docking is the route you want to take, GFS Logistics has the technology, space, and staff to make your shipping experience stress-free. Our WMS always controls you when finding the cheapest and fastest shipping options.
Contact us today to learn more about our services and how joining forces with our logistics team can help you overcome the latest shipping hurdles.