What is cross docking?
One of the definitions of cross docking, cross-docking is one of the most common methods of supply management. It is a logistics technique used in the transport and perishable goods industries. Specifically, it involves moving goods from the arrival docks to the departure docks, without passing through the warehouse.
Cross-docking is an operation that consolidates packages by order from a sorting platform. This technique makes it possible to prepare orders without having to use a warehouse. It is therefore not necessary to store the goods in order to collect the ordered items (a parcel arriving on a cross-docking platform remains there for less than 24 hours).
This technique is therefore interesting in terms of reactivity and cost, but it requires a high level of technical expertise, both in terms of grouping parcels and the approach to transport on the platform. Indeed, upstream transport must be perfectly controlled so that physical flows converge on the platform in a very short space of time. Cross-docking is often associated with the collection of suppliers for direct delivery.
The efficiency of logistics often varies depending on how the links in the chain work in the same direction. Therefore, the level of optimisation of business processes also plays an important role. In order to reduce and optimise transport costs and increase available capital, manufacturers often use this system. It is a mobile and calibrated method of handling products in the warehouse, without which it is difficult to handle large batches.
It is also the method used in the supply chain for the movement of goods. In this case, the product is not loaded into the custody of the facility. It remains there for as little time as possible. In reality, it is end-to-end storage, delivery from the producer or intermediary to the consignee without delay.
“From an economic point of view, cross-docking enables companies of all kinds to meet the needs of a special category of customers who are looking for speed.”
Why use cross-docking?
Temperature-sensitive and frozen food products must reach the consumer’s table with all their properties and characteristics intact. This is a key aspect, as it can have a positive or negative impact on the image of your business and also determine your market performance. With cross docking we ensure that the cold chain is never lost.
To ensure that products are always of high quality, it is crucial to pay close attention to the management of the food supply chain. In this way, you can be sure that critical operations, related to logistics and transport of goods, are always carried out at a controlled temperature, to ensure maximum respect for the cold chain.
All the advantages of cross docking
Advantages of cross docking, therefore, cross docking in the agri-food sector optimises the flow of goods, providing important advantages for producers, distributors and consumers alike.
- Avoiding warehousing when the characteristics of your company allow it not only guarantees a significant reduction in costs, which can be important for business growth.
- On the other hand, it will have a positive impact on the cold chain, as a more efficient organisation can significantly reduce transit times. This also ensures higher quality and better preservation of the organoleptic properties of the food.
Of course, to ensure that you get the most out of cross docking for your business, it is important to seek advice from industry professionals who can analyse each of your company’s characteristics in detail and make a thorough assessment of the specific benefits of stock removal.
Not many people know that, according to statistics, around 12% of the final cost of products to the consumer includes the manufacturer’s costs for logistics and warehousing. To reduce the cost of goods, it is necessary to simplify the supply chain and reduce logistics costs. For this reason, many large manufacturers and companies have been using cross-docking technology in their operations for some time.
Cross docking warehouses
If you are looking for a cross-docking warehouse, Antonio Marco can help you to smoothly manage the consolidation of your goods with the cross-docking system. Antonio Marco’s cross-docking warehouses are ready to provide a service any day of the week and at any time you need.
How does cross-docking work?
The peculiarity that makes cross-docking especially popular in the agri-food sector is that it allows you to benefit from a lean logistics model, a system that profoundly transforms the logic that normally governs the warehouse. The latter can therefore be understood as a transit point that no longer depends on the famous stock of goods.
The requirements for the proper functioning of cross docking are also the foundations of the system itself, without which it would be impossible to benefit from a truly virtuous process.
- First of all, in order to run a cross docking warehouse in the best possible way, there must be a constant exchange of information between the producer and the distributor. Only a continuous and timely flow of data can help synchronise activities.
- Associated with this fact is also the importance of collaboration between the parties in this specific area. It is not possible to structure such an efficient operation, based on constant updating, without a full alignment of intentions.
- Last but not least, timeliness is also a characteristic that can make a difference. Especially when it comes to food products that must respect the cold chain, mistakes and delays are not allowed. This is why every operation must be carried out perfectly, precisely and quickly.
Examples for cross-docking
There are several types of goods for which cross-docking is a cost-effective solution:
- foods with a limited shelf life (vegetables, meat and fruit).
- High quality products that do not require validation during the receiving process.
- Products with a strictly defined shelf life.
- Products in continuous high demand.
- Assembled orders for the fastest possible delivery.
Characteristics of cross docking
Cross docking does not remove goods during sorting, but assembles them in a specific order without opening the original packaging.
- If the turnover is low, cross docking is not beneficial for companies using storage facilities.
- It is only when a certain turnover is reached that cross-docking leads to savings. Cross-docking is one of the cheapest services among logistics subcontractors.
- Cross-docking requires a wide range of transports. It is possible to use small cars.
- Cross-docking is primarily designed to increase delivery speed, not to save money. Speed of delivery creates a competitive advantage. delivery.
Company profiles for cross-docking
Here are some of the types of companies that should adopt the new cross-docking technology:
- Small production facilities that ship in small batches or consolidate products from different suppliers.
- Companies supplying FMCG products and potentially promising destinations, products in the perishable category or products that do not require additional quality control.
- Companies that need to constantly ship large quantities to different regions, and those that collect turnover from 2 or more companies.
- Organisations using a variety of time-limited marketing plans: advertising, promotions, presentations; companies that need to maintain full control over return flows.
When to use cross-docking?
The use of cross-docking is most effective when and is recommended in the following cases,
- if the volume of business is sufficiently high
- storage costs are too high
- during the current months for seasonal products, when it is not logical to put them in stock
- there are many items and the quantity is small: for example, if you want to supply a chain of liquor stores, deliveries will be frequent but small.
- Occasionally goods have to be shipped to recipients in the regions.