5 Types of Cross Docking Services with 7 Pros and Cons of it

The speed and efficiency of an inventory network have become significant factors of development for associations. Cross docking services are only one system that can be executed to help accomplish an upper hand. Carried out fittingly and in the right conditions, cross docking can give massive upgrades in productivity and dealing with times. 

Cross docking services can allow you to transport merchandise quicker and diminish warehousing costs. This is because cross docking includes conveying items from producers straightforwardly to the objective with practically zero stockpiling time. Besides, this helps decrease the odds of item harm and stock loss, as it includes insignificant treatment of merchandise. 

Let’s dig in to know more about cross docking!

Types of Cross Docking Services with 7 Pros and Cons of it

What are cross docking services?

Cross docking services are coordination techniques where items from a provider or assembling plant are conveyed straightforwardly to a client or corporate store with minor to no taking care of or capacity time. Cross docking happens in a dissemination docking terminal, typically consisting of trucks and dock entryways on two (inbound and outbound) sides with little extra room. The name ‘cross docking’ clarifies the way toward accepting items through an inbound dock and afterward moving them across the dock to the outbound transportation dock. 

What are cross docking services?

Cross docking is a high-level yet proficient coordination arrangement, which offers numerous benefits for your organization. By utilizing our cross docking services and allowing us to deal with a piece of your organization’s arranging assignments, you set aside both time and cash. Moreover, it gives you the choice of controlling your organization’s whole store network from maker to end client. 

In straightforward terms, inbound items show up through transportation like trucks/trailers and are dispensed to a getting dock on one side of the ‘cross-dock terminal. When the inbound transportation has been docked, its items can be moved either straightforwardly or by implication to the outbound objections; they can be dumped, arranged, and screened to distinguish their end objections. In the wake of being arranged, items are moved to the opposite finish of the ‘cross dock’ terminal through a forklift, transport line, bed truck, or other transportation methods to their ordained outbound dock. When the outbound transportation has been stacked, the items would then be able to advance toward clients.

Types of cross docking services

The expression “Cross Docking” has been utilized to portray various sorts of exercises, including the fast assortment and transportation of items. Napolitano (2000) proposed the accompanying grouping of cross docking: 

Manufacturing cross docking:

Support and gather input sources to help the schedule underway. For instance, a producer may lease a distribution center close to their manufacturing plant and use it to get ready for collecting or assembling the vital segments of each part. Since every element’s requirements are known ahead of time, in light of the yield of an MRP (production resource planning system), there is no compelling reason to keep a specific measure of stock. 

Distributor Cross Docking:

Collecting input items from various providers into a bed of blended things. This bed will be conveyed to the client when the last segment is gotten. For instance, PC parts can source various providers’ components and join them into a solitary shipment for clients. 

Transportation cross docking:

This movement joins shipments from various LTL (Less-Than-Load: a shipping service for relatively small loads or quantities of freight) structure transporters or in little bundles for monetary benefits of scale (Economies of scale). 

Retail cross docking:

This cycle includes taking items from numerous providers and arranging them into yield trucks for various retail locations. 

Opportunistic cross docking:

Can be utilized in any distribution center, moving an item straightforwardly from the getting region to the transportation territory to meet a referred to need, for example, a solitary request Customers’ organization.

Types of cross docking services

When to utilize cross docking services

Cross docking is a cycle that empowers organizations to move items from one truck (or railcar) to another car. This happens at a cross docking stockroom. However, the items might be put away, or a brief timeframe – or capacity might be skipped by and large. In the same way as other coordination arrangements, cross docking can address a broad scope of issues. Here are the absolute generally normal: 

#1. Your conveyance will be early or late

Suppose your items are being conveyed to a significant retailer. However, your driver will be at any rate one day ahead of schedule. You can destroy the driver’s profitability by basically having that person stand by. Or then again, you can get that driver back out and about by conveying to a cross docking supplier that can store the item incidentally and share at the delegated time. Similar remains constant when a driver is late for an arrangement as the supplier can perform capacity, rescheduling/coordination with the retailer, and conveyance for your benefit. 

#2. Your merchandise is showing up on a holder

The cross docking services are included for QVC ( Quality, Value & Convenience) items. Here is how it works: we get your holder at the port, take it to one of our distribution centers, return the unfilled compartment to the port rapidly, and afterward briefly store and set up your item for on-time conveyance to QVC. 

#3. You have blended cargo on a trailer

If a trailer could be stacked in an inappropriate manner where the principal cargo that needs to fall off is sitting behind another different cargo. For this situation, the driver can empty the beds that are not yet required at a cross-dock office, convey the cargo that should be obtained first, and afterward return to the office to get the leftover cargos. 

When to utilize cross docking services

#4. Your truck is overweight

If your vehicle is heavy or over-hub weight, a cross-dock service supplier can move your heap or dump things to keep you agreeable. 

#5. You have loads rolling in from different sellers

If you have items showing up from various sellers in better places, you can have them transported to a cross docking supplier that can consolidate shipments into one conveyance for a retail client. 

#6. You are utilizing multi-purpose transport

Many cross-dock offices are outfitted with rail siding that permits cars to dump straight into the structure for capacity and stacking onto a truck. Notwithstanding rail siding, a few suppliers like Kanban have a yard that can get focus bar railcars. 

#7. You are delivering temperature-delicate things 

Numerous suppliers of cross docking services have both environment-controlled warehousing space (counting temperature-controlled docks) and reefer trailers to keep your temperature-delicate items inside spec at all times.

Pros of cross docking services

#1. High Product Turnover Rates 

Using cross docking services can improve your item turnover rates, as the merchandise is moved rapidly through a cross-dock terminal with negligible to no capacity time. Accordingly, you can reduce your stock rack time, which can expand your business’ productivity. 

Pros of cross docking services

#2. Decreased Storage and Labor Costs 

Capacity-related costs are decreased through cross docking services, as the need to store items for extended periods is limited. This decrease of the expenses would then be able to mean expense reserve funds for your business. Besides, since products are not, at this point, needed to be picked and taken care of, this helps limit material dealing with, bringing about decreased work-related costs. 

#3. Limited Product-Related Risks 

In cross-dock distribution centers, different dangers implied with the treatment of merchandise are limited. Since items are not, at this point, rearranged all through capacity territories, material taking care of is altogether diminished. Therefore, item harm, loss of stock, and potential human mistakes are kept away from. 

#4. Expanded Customer Satisfaction 

As cross docking services enforce the elimination of the requirement for merchandise capacity, they can be transported to the clients professionally and facilitated. This can somehow affect your client care as conveyance lead times are shortened, and the items are followed through on schedule.

Cons of cross docking services

#1. Requires Sufficient Transport Carriers 

A cross docking officer depends intensely on its vehicle transporters since products are delivered quickly and not put away. Accordingly, there is a requirement for an adequate number of transportation transporters to guarantee the cross-dock framework’s smooth and effective working. 

#2. Need for Reliable Suppliers 

Solid providers are fundamental to work with cross docking tasks successfully. This is because cross docking requires precise and on-time conveyances from providers to guarantee merchandise can be conveniently delivered to clients. 

#3. Needs In-Depth Planning and Coordination

Cross docking service needs top to bottom arranging and provider coordination, as it includes different contemplations, for example, supply-request examination, shipment timetables, and then some. Without appropriate arranging and execution, there is a high likelihood that the cross-dock framework’s effectiveness and dependability can be contrary affected.

Cross docking facility

The cross docking facility is a crucial part of cross docking services. If you started from scratch, many might simply build a cross docking facility with a much shallower depth than most warehouses. A depth of a hundred feet or so, with the incoming product on one side that can be easily moved a short distance and loaded on the other side to an outbound truck. Most of us, however, must deal with an existing facility, many times a large square box which is not generally the preferred layout. However, as long as the existing facility has a sufficient quantity of dock doors, yard space, and an adequate footprint, you may be fine.

How to improve cross docking service?

To improve the cross docking facility, retailers and providers should construct or expand capacities in the accompanying four regions: 

ASN (Advanced ship notice):

ASN is among the definitive “best practices” of an integrated supply chain and a cornerstone of automated retail warehouse management processes. The ASN tells the retailer when an order will be shipped, what items are being shipped, and how much of each item is being shipped, along with carrier details. Notably, this valuable information is sent electronically by the supplier via electronic data interchange (EDI), e-mail, or other channels in advance of the retailer receiving the goods. This allows the retailer to automate the receiving process in the distribution center according to the ASNs sent by the supplier. We believe that retail organizations — even industry leaders — face hindrances in implementing a clean and accurate ASN business process. This can have major financial and operational impacts on both the retailer and the supplier. 


There are countless reasons to use barcode labels on cartons, but the most compelling is for moving products through the process of shipping and receiving in the retailer’s distribution center. Across the supply chain, trading partners are leveraging the power of barcode labels by using GS1 standards as the basis of their business processes. Using an integrated GS1-128 barcoded label and ASNs, along with a proven warehouse management methodology, companies can optimize supply chain performance. Simply stated, the GS1-128 number links every logistical unit back to the purchase order for the items in the logistical unit.

To implement the ASN at the carton level, the GS1-128 barcode label should be printed and applied to each carton, and the information communicated in the ASN. The ASNs, along with the barcoded cartons in a GS1-128 standard, can drive important supply chain and logistics benefits, including accurate and timely receiving in the retailer’s distribution centers, increased productivity and accuracy, and lower labor costs.

How to improve cross docking service?

Warehouse Management System (WMS):

ASNs should be driven by a concrete business process inside the distribution center. Retailers should not embark on a full-blown ASN initiative until they have equipped their distribution centers to automate receiving and information reconciling processes. There is little value in having suppliers implement the ASN when the information cannot be utilized at the distribution center and downstream supply chain.

Some final thought about cross docking services

Cross docking services can help you transport merchandise quicker, diminish warehousing costs, and limit item-related dangers. Notwithstanding, it is vital to mull over the compromises related to this help. Assuming you can successfully deal with its disadvantages, cross docking may be the answer for supporting the productivity of your business.

On the other hand, the cross docking facility could replace the traditional facility which cost money and land to operate. In this case, the cross docking facility could be much cheaper and more convenient for the logistic activities.

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