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  • Writer's pictureSupply Chain Warehouses

What is Cross-Docking?

Updated: Dec 15, 2023

If you are in logistics, the term “Cross-Docking” is fairly common. Cross-Docking is when a product is unloaded from a truck and then loaded onto another truck or other mode of transportation shortly after for final delivery. Cross-Docking typically involves no form of storage, but rather a transfer from one mode of transportation to another occurring in less than 24 hours. Cross-Docking can be implemented by taking numerous product shipments and combining them onto one outbound truck to save on shipping costs.

Take this example below in which inbound trucks bring a variety of products to a warehouse facility that utilizes a cross-dock section. The pallets in this infographic are going to a chain of furniture stores in different locations. Inbound trucks bring in a single type of product on pallets, but at the cross-dock station, the different items are sorted and loaded onto the outbound trucks to be shipped together to separate retail locations:

crossdocking explained

Cross-docking can provide a central hub in order for similar products to be delivered to multiple destinations in the most productive and cost-efficient way possible. If a business can implement cross-docking correctly, the supply chain becomes streamlined, therefore allowing businesses to better meet their customer demand. A business that uses the process of cross-docking in their facility benefits from a competitive advantage in the marketplace, as well as other ways. A few examples of these benefits are:

Reduced inventory/storage costs: Since products are received and then go outbound at a faster rate, cross-docking reduces the time that your products spend in transit and in storage, reducing costs.

Reduces the square footage needed in your facility: Since there is little to no storage needed when cross docking, you can save on space in your warehouse that can otherwise be used for other storage needs.

Material handling cost reductions: with cross-docking, handling costs are limited to staging, loading, and reduced picking/put away of product. This also minimizes the probability of damages to inventory because of the faster inbound and outbound process.

Improved customer service: By reducing the time that your products spend in transit, you can improve your customer service levels by ensuring that your products arrive on time and in good condition. Customers will be happy with this and it will help in retaining their business.

At the core of it all, cross-docking can provide your business with many new ways to save money, increase efficiency and better serve your customers. At Supply Chain Warehouses, we have extensive experience with cross-docking. We know the in and outs of cross-docking and are more than willing to work with you to figure out the quickest and most cost-efficient scenarios to get your products where they need to be. Our clients are our number one priority, so we guarantee that if you partner with us all of your products will be treated with the utmost care. You can contact us through the chat icon on our website, or by filling out the form on our contact page:

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