Speed and productivity are the two most important factors when it comes to preparation for an outbound shipment. Cross-docking is one warehouse processing structure that cuts down on time and minimizes errors, thereby reducing labor and saving on costs.
What Is Cross-Docking?
Not all buildings are optimized for cross-docking. Cross-docking warehouses require that inbound docks be on one end of the building and outbound docks be on the opposite end. The freight is unloaded from the inbound dock where it is screened, processed, and sorted in the warehouse. When the freight is ready, it is moved into the outbound dock for loading.
As mentioned, cross-docking results in less handling, which cuts down on labor time and handling. This reduces the chances of damage; the time saved also cuts down on the outbound truck’s waiting time. Most carriers and linehaul shippers charge a surplus fee if the waiting time exceeds a pre-established limit. This is especially true for LTL transports, which contain time-sensitive freight from other customers.
Is Cross-Docking Right for You?
Cross-docking may not be right for every warehouse. The process does require a highly effective organization. You will need to retrain staff and invest in up-to-date technology and/or software. The process is also best for businesses with a low-lead time and high turnover. If your facility frequently transports machine tools back and forth, then cross docking might be right for you.
While cross-docking traditionally benefited retail, medical, and other high turnover sectors, other industries are also starting to benefit. This includes machine and industrial vehicle manufacturers.
Let Us Arrange Your Next Outbound Transport
Whether you transition to cross-docking or stick to a more traditional warehousing approach, call Machine Transport for your next shipment. The carriers we work with provide various trailer types to suit your transport needs. Cross-docking may prove to be a time- and money-saving strategy.
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