October 5, 2022
How is Cross-Docking Done in a Warehouse?
Cross-docking is a common practice in warehouses, where goods are received from several suppliers and sorted into multiple outbound trucks. Walmart is a notable example of this practice. In the 1980s, the retail giant would receive staple stock and large quantities of non-sold products from suppliers and deliver them directly to its stores. Such a strategy reduces the costs of the warehouse and its inventory.

Cross-docking also has the benefit of shortening shipping time. This can be an advantage if your inventory needs to be shipped fast. Inventory is more likely to arrive at the customer quickly, providing a competitive advantage. In addition, it will cut down on the amount of manual labor required to handle inventory and its related cost.

Cross-docking occurs at a distribution docking terminal, a terminal consisting of trucks and doors. Inbound goods are allocated to a receiving dock on one side of a 'cross dock' terminal, while outbound goods are moved to the other end by forklift. Once there, products can be loaded onto outbound transportation and transported to the customer.

While it is not suitable for every warehouse, cross-docking does have many benefits. For example, it helps reduce the risk of perishable products expiring. This technique also cuts down on the number of last-mile vehicles, which reduces carbon emissions. Moreover, cross-docking allows you to manage goods from multiple vendors. As long as there is enough space and sufficient transport, cross-docking can help you save on transportation costs.