The idea behind crossdocking freight is to minimize the amount of handling required to get materials from the supplier to the manufacturer and finished products from the manufacturer to the customer. Crossdocking drastically reduces inventory carrying costs as well as labor costs incurred by warehousing goods and picking them at a later time.
Ideally, crossdocking is done at a building that has inbound docks on one side of the building and outbound docks on the opposite side. The general idea is products will be pulled off of one truck on the inbound side, consolidated in the middle of the warehouse, and immediately loaded onto a truck on the outbound side of the warehouse. Most freight will not stay at the warehouse for more than a few hours.
By using crossdocking to consolidate both incoming and outgoing shipments, a company can save a great deal on shipping costs as the warehouse will be able to make the most use of trailer space. Additionally, as a shipment will arrive consolidated on one truck, the receiving company will save on labour hours as they will have less trucks to unload.
Additionally, as cross docking eliminates the need to handle the products regularly, there is a far lesser chance of damage from handling. Many shipments that do not use crossdocking services end up using LTL (less than load) trucks – meaning their shipment is likely handles multiple times before it makes its way to the customer.
If you are considering using crossdocking services for your shipments, the benefits are numerous: less handing which equals less damage, savings on shipment costs as shipments can be consolidated while the crossdocking takes place, and savings on labour costs at the receiver’s warehouse, as the shipment will arrive on one fully loaded truck, rather than many LTL trucks.
Through minimizing handling, and saving costs, crossdocking is a great option for companies dealing with multiple shipments.