Most sellers rely on the tried-and-true warehousing model – build up inventory in storage at a facility and send it out to retailers or consumers when needed. While traditional warehousing is a stable service that serves businesses well, there’s another option that can increase inventory turnover, improve efficiency, and cut out the cost of long-term storage: cross docking.

What is Cross Docking? 

Basically, this approach removes the long-term storage element of a warehouse. A facility will receive a shipment from a manufacturer, supplier, or other sender. Then, team members will transfer the goods to a departure dock following proper sorting and packaging. Materials then depart on an outgoing truck not long after first arriving. This process typically happens quickly, with goods rarely sitting at facilities longer than 24 hours and often departing within minutes of arrival.

Strategy Benefits

A ream of benefits is available with this practice.

  • First and foremost, it can reduce costs. Warehouse storage isn’t free, after all, and cross docking can help businesses avoid the added expense.
  • It can also often improves efficiency. Simply removing an extra step in your fulfillment or distribution process can shorten delivery times.
  • It offers a reduced risk of damage since there are fewer instances of materials being moved.

What Kinds of Businesses Should Choose Cross Docking? 

Properly planned, this kind of strategy can support a range of different business types. But there are a few occasions when the practice can be especially helpful.

Perishables: Food and perishable products are ideal for transferring from truck to truck upon arrival. If a product has a limited shelf life, you don’t want it sitting in a warehouse indefinitely. Cross docking gets these materials out and delivered quickly to ensure timeliness and freshness.

Consistent Demand: If your product has a consistent, predictable demand, cross docking is a great option to consider. The process ships and delivers products in a just-in-time manner that meets demand and promotes efficiency.

Automotive and Manufacturing Parts: Manufacturing facilities, especially in the automotive industry, often use just-in-time parts delivery for assembly. Cross docking is an integral part of that strategy, delivering components from the factory to the assembly line just as they’re needed.

Develop a Strategy with Scarbrough Warehousing 

Your supply chain partners at Scarbrough Warehousing are ready to help you implement a cross docking strategy. Our experienced staff and accommodating facilities provide seamless handoffs between inbound and outbound trucks. Contact us today.