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Why Cross-Docking Is Different From Warehousing?

cross docking vs warehousing

Cross Docking is a procedure in logistics where supplies and products from suppliers and manufacturers are distributed directly to a retail chain or a customer. In cross docking the storage time is minimal and so is the transportation and handling time.

The process of cross docking begins at the distribution docking terminal which usually consists of trucks and duck doors and requires minimum storage space.

The name of cross-docking means that it is a procedure of receiving goods through an inbound dock and then finally transferring them across the outbound dock.

Process of Cross Docking

Inbound products arrive through transportation such as trailers and trucks in the process of cross docking and then these supplies and products are allocated to the receiving dock on one side of the terminal of the cross dock.

The moment the inbound transportation has been docked the supplies and products in it can be moved indirectly or directly to the outbound destinations.

When the products reach the inbound dock they can be unloaded and sorted to identify their final destination.

Once sorted, the products are moved to the other side of the cross dock terminal which is done with the help of pallet truck, conveyor belts or a forklift and the products are dispatched to their final destinations

This way the products make their way to the end customer. This leads to saving time and effort and also leads to customer delight and profits for the sellers and suppliers.

What is a warehouse

A warehouse is a big building for storing goods. Warehouses are used by importers, manufacturers, exporters, transport businesses, wholesalers and customs, etc. They are huge and large buildings and are located in industrial parks and on the outskirts of towns and cities usually near villages

A shipping warehouse will usually have loading docks which help in loading and unloading goods directly from seaports, railways and airports. They have an army of cranes and forklifts for moving goods which are usually placed on ISO standard pallets loaded into pallet racks.

Stored goods can be packing materials, spare parts, raw materials or finished goods which can be associated with manufacturing, agriculture and production. Warehouses are also known as godowns in countries like India



Cross-docking is a very efficient way of transporting goods. The goods come to the supply side and then they are sorted and then they are dispatched to the delivery side and this helps save time, money and resources.

Every business wants to save on costs and also maximize profit and every customer wants the best deal and also the safe and fast delivery of his product and cross-docking helps the supplier and seller delight the customer and it also leads to customer satisfaction.


Whenever you store products in a warehouse you have to pay the rent per square feet for it and this is totally eliminated in cross-docking. The products arrive and are sorted and then are transported and thus there is minimal need for storage. This helps the seller save on a lot of costs and also helps the customer get a good deal. Thus cross docking is good for all parties involved and is much better than warehousing as it is a win-win propositionfor all the stakeholders.


Shipping time is also less with cross-docking as the packages come are sorted and then dispatched. This helps save on time and money and the customer is also happy as he gets the product delivered to him fast and quick and the seller also is happy as he gets his job done at a very reasonable and nominal fee.

Thus the supplier gets more business and the buyer gets quality products which are damage free and also ends up paying much less as the warehousing aspect is ruled out and the reduced cost is passed down to the customer. Thus everyone ends up happy with cross-docking


There is no need to rent out warehouses for storing huge quantities of inventory. The shipment comes to the cross dock and then is sorted and then is dispatched and this helps save the cost of inventory. Cross-docking is revolutionary as it absolutely reduced the need for inventory and leads to all the parties benefiting.

Thus the need for inventory is almost reduced to zero as all the products become fast moving and because of online shopping the volumes are also massive and there is continuous transactions and there is a lot of business which can be optimized because of cross-docking.


Although the cross docking services process is quick and fast the risk of damage is significantly reduced. This is so because the hands the package has to pass is reduced significantly and thus the damage is minimal. Also nowadays all sorting is done with machines and robots and thus the risk of damage is significantly reduced. Thus the seller does not lose the money and the customer and also the customer gets the best quality product at the best possible price. This is a fantastic proposition for all the parties involved and all benefit from it.


Thus as we can see that warehouses and cross docking Warehouses have different usages, advantages and limitations. But in todays fast paced commercial world where everything is happening at lightning speed especially because of the advent of online shopping it definitely looks like cross-docks are definitely the future.

Cross-docks are safe, secure and fast. They are a win-win propositions for all parties involved as they save time, effort and money. Thus warehouses are passé and cross –docks are the future of transportation and supply chain management..

With cross docks there is less shipping time and the damage is also controlled. The method is fast and quick and also very efficient. Also there is a lot of cost saving as there is no need to store the goods and the good can be received , stacked and sorted and then be dispatched. Thus by the looks of it, cross docks are definitely the future.

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