As freight forwarders, we offer a variety of services for imports, exports, and international shipping. Each of these services is based around ways to optimize and improve shipping schedules and supply chains. One of the services we offer for both domestic and foreign shipments is cross-docking. Cross-docking provides advantages including increased speed in the shipping process, specifically with organizations that are shipping to multiple locations simultaneously.
Cross-docking is a logistical solution where products that come directly from a manufacturer or supplier are quickly distributed to cut down on storage and handling time. Basically speaking, a shipment or multiple shipments arrive at a transportation dock and the shipments are immediately unloaded, sorted, and loaded into multiple shipping vessels. For example, if a company works with multiple retail locations in Asia, its full shipment would arrive at a port. Once there it would go to a cross-docking terminal where the shipments would be quickly opened and sorted into multiple container trucks to be brought inland to different cities. Alternatively, a company would warehouse their goods and ship them out in segments instead of all at once.
Part of cross-docking procedure is consolidating multiple shipments. If our example retail company sent a single freight container of goods to Asia, when these goods are divided up during cross docking, they can be loaded with goods from other companies as well. Through consolidation, companies can save money during the cross-docking process instead of having to pay for multiple full container trucks when they only send one container’s worth of goods.
The primary advantage of cross-docking is delivery speed. By using the cross-docking approach, organizations can quickly get products to multiple destinations instead of sending multiple shipments to each destination. This is invaluable to suppliers and manufacturers that frequently need to ship similar products to many locations. Another benefit is that it reduces handling and storage time. This reduces the risk of broken or damaged goods due to issues during handling or warehousing.
Cross-docking is harder to track than a standard point A to point B shipment. This system requires a large amount of management, planning, and active tracking to work effectively. Due to the complexity of unloading, sorting, and reloading goods there is room for error. It is important to use the right terminals that have proven track records of not mixing up shipments when cross-docking.
Many companies that could greatly benefit from cross-docking choose not to do it because they do not have the logistical resources to handle the project. That is why Bruning International helps companies manage their shipping logistics so that shipping times can be optimized. We provide shipping solutions at every level of the shipping process so you can get the most out of your shipping budget without needing to deal with the hassle of complex shipping procedures. To learn more about our services or discuss a project with us, contact a member of our team.