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Finding a Cross Dock

Finding a Cross Dock

Cross docking is a transportation term that allows a trailer to become empty before it reaches a consignee or customer. In essence it gets rid of the storage portion in the supply chain, resulting in a faster, more efficient supply chain. In addition, cross docking allows products going to the same location to be consolidated into less transportation vehicles, making the process simpler and easier to deliver the products. 

Freight that arrives in ocean containers can be consolidated by using a cross dock. Ocean containers can have their contents broken down and then either moved to a consignee or to a cross dock. Drayage companies can help you decide the best options for your freight. 

In this article, you will learn about cross docking warehouses, the three different types of cross docking, when cross docking is used, why cross docking is used, and the benefits of cross docking. 

Cross docking warehouse


Cross docking is not the same thing as warehousing. Warehousing is storage, whereas cross docking is a process that makes the whole process of moving freight more efficient.  As mentioned before, cross docking allows products to be unloaded from a trailer, railroad car, or any mode of transportation; then it is sorted and then reloaded onto an outbound truck. This process is where the term “cross docking” comes from. The products are going back and forth, or crossing, between docks, going from being an inbound product to an outbound product. 

One reason for cross docking, which will be explained more in-depth later, is the lower handling time. This means that sometimes these businesses will set up warehouses in highly populated areas in order to deliver their products quickly and efficiently. However, this begs the question of what happens in the more remote, less populated areas? Well, a cross docking warehouse can also be set up in more remote areas. Basically, the overall goal of cross docking warehouses is to handle the products as little as possible. 

Types of cross docking

There are three main types of cross docking: continuous cross docking, consolidation arrangements, and deconsolidation arrangements. Continuous cross docking is the fastest and most efficient process where products are immediately transferred from inbound trucks to outbound trucks. Consolidation arrangements takes several smaller shipments (like LTL loads) and consolidate them into one big truck. Deconsolidation arrangements is the opposite of consolidation arrangements. It takes a large shipment and breaks it down into several smaller loads, making it easier to transport to customers. 

When is cross docking used?

Cross docking is not the best option for every single warehouse. So, before deciding whether to implement cross docking into your business, you need to consider whether or not cross docking will increase productivity, customer satisfaction, and cost. If the answer is yes to any of those factors, cross docking might be the way to go for your shipments. 

In addition, there are certain types of products that would benefit from cross docking. Some of those imports that would benefit from cross docking include, but are not limited to: 

  • Goods that don’t require additional manufacturing 
  • Raw materials
  • Non-perishable food or drinks 
  • FAK that is not at the risk of losing value overtime. 

In other words, products that don’t require additional manufacturing mean that these products are completely ready to be given directly to the customer. 

Why is cross docking used? 


If you are considering cross docking and wondering what it will do for your company, you should know about some of the main reasons that people usually decide to implement cross docking. If any of these common reasons sound familiar to you, you should seriously consider whether or not you think your company would perform better with cross docking. 

First, cross docking helps break down large product shipments into smaller loads, making it a much easier delivery process. This process is referred to as a deconsolidation arrangement. Basically, the products are being consolidated or merged into smaller loads. 

Second, cross docking allows similar products to be combined, allowing them to be shipped to a variety of different locations. This process makes for a faster and more efficient delivery method. This process is referred to as hub and spoken. 

Third, cross docking allows you to combine a number of different small product loads into one transport, allowing you to save money on transportation costs. This process is referred to as consolidation arrangements. 

Benefits of cross docking

Trucking companies tend to like cross docking because the process helps save money on transportation costs, among a number of other benefits that come with cross docking. 

As mentioned throughout this article, cross docking makes the whole shipping and delivery process fast and efficient. Especially because products are coming from all over the place and need to go to various locations, cross docking helps get the job done. Because of cross docking, trucks can deliver multiple loads with a single delivery, versus having to do multiple deliveries. 

Another benefit of cross docking is that you do not need to rely on warehouses to store your products. This factor comes with a few different benefits. First, you cut costs by not having to pay for storage. Second, there is less of a chance that your product will get damaged due to the fact that it is only going from one truck to another, versus getting it to storage. Third, there is less risk of the product getting stolen because it won’t be sitting in a warehouse. There is a slightly increased chance of theft in a warehouse versus a loading dock where there are people monitoring the products, taking them from one truck or train to another. 

Lastly, cross docking allows the retailers, suppliers, and manufacturers to have more control. In other words, through cross docking, you will always have just the right amount of supplies that you need. 

Cross dock near me

Overall, cross docking is very helpful when moving inventory, materials, or other products. If cross docking is effectively implemented into your business, you will be able to decrease labor and storage costs, while increasing your turnaround rate. 

Here, at Heavy Weight Transport, INC., we have a reliable fleet that is more than capable of hauling loads up to 64,000 pounds. We have office locations at ports from coast to coast. Contact us today for any questions, comments, or concerns that you might have regarding transporting your products. 

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