The field of logistics is a sector that requires the implementation of certain working methods in order to improve the performance of the company. In particular, shipping the goods is a step that requires speed and good organization to deliver within the agreed deadlines. To this end, some logistics companies practice cross-docking. What is it about ? What are the advantages of this method? We answer your questions in the following lines.
Definition of cross-docking
Le cross-docking or direct stream delivery is a strategy used in logistics to distribute the goods without storage time or intermediary intervention. In other words, the cargo is directly delivered from the manufacturing plant to the consumer. This practice is mainly used for perishable products, large volume goods or even for urgent deliveries.
Cross-docking then requires that the products are already packaged so that they are ready to be delivered to the customer. For this, as soon as the item concerned is received in the warehouse, it is prepared before being sent directly to the customer. This procedure then allows save a lot of time in the warehouse and to avoid the conservation of the goods which is one of the most expensive stages in logistics.
What are the different stages of cross-docking?
While this procedure saves considerable time, it does require certain steps to be performed.
First, the shipment of orders placed with the supplier must be planned. Indeed, it is first necessary to define the direction of the goods beforehand.
Receipt of goods
Secondly, items from suppliers are received at the loading dock. Most of the time, the goods are pre-packaged to save time when shipping them. Thus, the truck driver scans the delivery note at the checkpoint and goes to the corresponding loading dock. Indeed, companies using cross-docking are equipped with a dock that is at ground level to facilitate unloading and loading of products.
Unloading and control of products
Subsequently, teams take care of unloading the cargo received and placing them in the central area. Indeed, the latter are subject to quality control and the documents are also checked if they comply with the standards. In some cases, the goods are quarantined during this check. This particularly concerns sensitive products.
Loading of products
Finally, once the verifications have been completed, the products are again loaded into the trucks which will be responsible for delivering them. Of course, some vehicles can transport goods from several customers. This reduces transport costs.
What are the advantages of cross-docking?
By adopting this distribution procedure, a company benefits from certain advantages that will considerably optimize its performance.
Space saving in the warehouse
We have seen in the lines above that the implementation of this logistics strategy makes it possible to dispense with the storage stage. In other words, your warehouse will have more storage space for supplying other types of items. In addition, the conservation of the goods is also part of the significant expenses in a logistics company. By allowing this step to be dispensed with, cross-docking significantly reduces the company’s storage costs.
Minimization of delivery times
On the other hand, it is undeniable that the practice of cross-docking makes it possible to shorten delivery times. The operations performed when practicing this method are more efficient and do not require more time. This reduces shipping times, as the goods are prepared for transport upon receipt. The adoption of this technique is therefore effective for certain types of products such as perishable products. Deadlines are thus respected and the company is able to guarantee customer satisfaction.
Reduction of logistics costs
The different stages of the supply chain cause costs to society. As we know, cross-docking is a process of minimize handling of goods. It therefore reduces the costs of the company. Storage in particular constitutes a large part of these expenses. Since the products do not require warehousing, the logistics company is able to realize huge savings. Similarly, this method does not require manpower to perform specific tasks such as picking or order preparation.
What are the different types of cross-docking?
The implementation of cross-docking depends on the provisions as well as the nature of the products marketed by the company. Thus, there are 3 different types of cross-docking that can be adopted in a warehouse.
This is the most common and widely used method within companies. The supplier is responsible for preparing and packaging the goods upstream for the end customer. That is to say that the products are already packaged, which makes it possible to reduce the operations to be started upon receipt of the latter. The teams intended to receive them then content themselves with dispatching the customer’s order.
For consolidated cross-docking, the products are not yet prepared for shipment to the customer. The logistics warehouse must then carry out the preparation and packaging according to the customer’s order. It must have a packaging area intended for the packaging of products.
Le cross-docking hybride
Compared to the previous methods, hybrid cross-docking is much more complex. Orders are prepared with the items received and with those stored in the warehouse. This practice requires good synchronization of logistics flows to maintain the speed and efficiency of cross-docking. This strategy makes it possible to respond to a certain number of situations.