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What Is Cross Docking and Why Is It so Important?

The world of logistics is always changing from advancement of technology to the shortage of truck drivers.  Many logistics providers have turned to providing cross docking services for a competitive edge. So, what is cross docking and why is it so important? 

In simplest terms, cross docking is a process of receiving products through an inbound dock; then unloading, sorting, and transferring the consolidated loads to an outbound transportation dock.  The key attribute is having very minimal handling and/or storage time.  It is an ideal process for anything that needs to be transported quickly (e.g. temperature-sensitive cargo) or to collect loads from multiple manufacturers to consolidate and ship to their point of sale.  With all that said, it is not necessarily suitable for every warehouse.

Because of the minimal handling and storage time, it is ostensibly an easy-to-adopt solution if you are looking to expand your services.  However, there is more to it than just that!  Cross docking requires a lot of meticulous attention.  Planning and time management is crucial for a smooth operation. There is very little room for error in the cross-docking process.  The relationship between all parties heavily depend on trust and reliability.  The initial set up of this operation alone can be costly and time consuming.  Not to mention, the biggest mistake when companies start exploring this option is not having enough transport carriers to support their operations! These are all the factors you must consider before beginning to offer cross-docking services.

Once all those challenges are addressed, then you can reap the benefits of cross-docking.  You wouldn’t need a large warehouse space because of the minimal storage time for products. That alone leads to reduced labor costs, material handling, and time for the product to reach the customer. Loads that would otherwise be less-than truckloads, go out in fuller truckloads saving both the environment and transportation costs.  No more “order picking” or “pick and packing” because of the innate streamlined process of cross docking.  Finally, the high turnover rate of products allows you to keep up with the overall trends of expected shorter and shorter delivery times.

US Cargo Link proudly offers cross docking services.  With our asset-based 3PL service, we have access to over 3,000 trucks nationwide and have over 2 million square feet of combined warehouse space across 5 major cities.  We sincerely hope you will consider us to be your link to success!  Contact us today to receive a quote on our cross-docking services.

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