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5 Ways to Benefit from A Cross Dock Facility

Cross Dock facilities are gaining in popularity over recent years as the speed to market increases along with e-commerce and consumer expectations. Another reason behind the surge in cross dock services and requests could also be collaboration between transportation service providers and their clients. Rarely is it feasible to reduce costs and have one provider to do all functions themselves. More and more it is becoming common practice to utilize delivery partners that are experts in their geographical area or services provided and therefore increases the number of cross docking opportunities among the partnering companies while delivering cost savings to the customer.

#5 Cross Docking gives companies access to facilities specifically designed to move product quickly and with limited handling

Benefits include:

  • Eliminates need for overhead and a company warehouse requiring heavy investment
  • Allows companies to send full TL’s to cross dock vs. LTL or partial trucks resulting in huge potential transportation cost savings
  • Improves speed to customer or point-of-sale increasing customer satisfaction
  • Reduces handling and the costs associated with increased handling of product
  • Reduces claims & damages. Fewer touches equate to better product condition
  • Reduces labor costs as the product does not require being placed in warehouse

#4 Companies with any of the following should find cross docking to be advantageous due to the ability to speed up transit times and delivery days

  • Products with a short shelf life (Perishable or temperature controlled items)
  • Retailers and Consumer Packaged Goods are great candidates
  • High Value or High Security products
  • Products that are more of a fragile nature and require less handling
  • Geographical areas with a high density of stores, plants, vendors & suppliers where shipments can be consolidated into one vehicle vs. several saving costs and operating more environmentally friendly
  • Companies providing any Just-In-Time service

#3 Use of cross dock(s) can benefit your transportation network. Are you experiencing any of the following?

  • Traditional distribution methods are not keeping up with customer or consumer demands
  • Huge cost increases with your large transportation network
  • Service issues such as poor on-time performance
  • Lack of visibility as to when delivery will be made potentially causing staffing issue and additional labor costs for store or end delivery
  • Lack of scanning ability inbound or at store/delivery location

#2 Companies with limited personnel at delivery point can save big and see a boost in production

  • If the person who is in charge of running your sales floor is also the person that must handle any deliveries made to the store can be much more productive, plan and staff accordingly if you have use of a delivery window. For recurring deliveries this should not be an issue with your provider
  • By consolidating shipments at a cross dock facility, you could save your staff time, effort and money by only receiving one truck per day (or specific days of the week) instead of constantly having to leave the sales floor to unload an LTL shipment that A.) You have no prior knowledge of when it may arrive, and B.) You could receive 10 or more shipments in a day from traditional LTL carriers and small parcel carriers if there is no regional consolidation point

 #1 Take advantage of Value added services

  • Product can come in oversees directly to a cross dock provider who can then package material or individual products, label and ship immediately
  • Developing a vendor direct program could reduce operating and transportation costs if ability exists to by-pass the DC
  • Cross Dock provider or agent of cross dock provider will have the most economic vehicles for the last-mile or end delivery
  • Provider should be an expert in the region serviced and therefore should have a network of delivery partners (approved by client) to provide the most efficient and cost effective way to handle all outbound deliveries
  • A good cross dock provider will also have a process for returns or reverse logistics where returns are brought back to cross dock with delivering last mile trucks, consolidated and sent as a full TL vs. each return being sent back individually via small parcel or LTL carriers and incurring a considerable increase in overall transportation costs.
  • Providers such as 24/7 Express Logistics also add value by creating a Will-Call method if you are delivering to techs out in the field that stay mobile or if you have made arrangements with a 3rd party provider for an installation of product, etc. and have the need or occasional need to have pickups made right at the point of cross dock.
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