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How 3PL Cross Docking Support Retail Distribution?

last-mile delivery strategy

An industry that has been playing an integral role in the lives of everyone and every day is the logistics. Most of the products, goods or items we use in our day to day life reach us through various carriers. These carriers, like trucks, ships, trains or planes are the key players in logistics. Very often businesses outsource an extra company to manage their logistics operations and the supply chain needs. So, for the freight to move ahead progressively the Third Party Logistics or 3PL comes into play. The 3PL or TPL came into being in the 1970s. A 3PL company can also provide cross docking facilities to deliver huge shipments. 3PL cross docking is able to merge shipments from several dealers to a particular customer. It can be very beneficial in supporting wholesalers as well as retailers.

Importance of 3PL in Retail Business

Efficiency in production facilitates a business to remain in front in the trade. A provider of 3PL cross docking helps to rationalize the whole course of action. So, taking assistance from them can be a wise decision. The knowledge related to supply chain logistics isn’t very convincing among people of the retail business. But, a 3PL service provider sees through the process and takes skilled resolution regarding every step. If a retail business receives the professional support in the process of supply chain it simplifies the whole process. With such assistance retailers will not just be optimizing the whole business but also gain flexibility and above all add some revenue.

To properly manage the distribution in retail industry it is quite essential to work in tandem with a dependable and experienced 3PL company. A skilled 3PL can help to achieve considerable advantage in market competition as the process of shipping becomes very much precise and faster. 3PL services have skilled and qualified professionals to manage all kinds of complex situations. A 3PL service provider can be also factor to save various operational costs like owning a warehouse or renting it, buying tools and equipments and engage manual labor. The 3PLs counterbalance all such operational costs for their clients. The reason why 3PL cross docking is vital in retail distribution is because it has an immense constructive impact.

Support of 3PL in Retail Business

A 3PL company’s cross docking helps to optimize retail distribution in quite a few manners. Discussed below are some ways which are most relevant.

1. Arrival Ahead of Time – Many times the retailers refuse to accept deliveries before time. When any driver arrives early with a truckload of products she/he is left with two choices. The two choices are either wait for the time of scheduled delivery with the retailer or locate a facility or provider of cross docking. In such scenarios most drivers opt for cross docking. The truckload of products can be unloaded at such 3PL cross docking facility. As the driver who carried the products moves ahead for further deliveries and the cross docking provider makes the delivery, at the scheduled time, to the retailer.

2. Late Arrival – Sometimes the retailer’s shipment doesn’t arrive on due time. The cause of delay can be anything from heavy traffic to equipment failure. The thing to be done then is to reschedule a new time of delivery, which might happen after some days. At this juncture, the shipment is unloaded at a cross docking facility and the driver goes the prescheduled route. The final delivery is then done by the 3PL as per the newly scheduled time. The 3PL provider gets in touch straightly with some warehouse existing close by and then arranges the rescheduled delivery.

3. Retailer’s Logistics Preference – On quite a few occasions the shipment of a retailer is carried by some non-preferred logistics carrier. The preferred logistics carriers benefit from the privilege of dropping shipments at a distribution center with not having any appointment. So, the non-preferred carrier will take help of 3PL cross docking and a preferred carrier would make the final delivery at the distribution center of retailer. The non-preferred carrier doesn’t have to make any appointment and the preferred carrier simply enjoys the privilege.

4. Invalidate Loading of Shipments – There are times when a trailer or the truck is reversely loaded. That means the shipments that are to be unloaded earlier gets placed to inner side of the carrier. Such invalidate loading can be time consuming for the schedule of the driver. To solve such setback the driver can drive in to a cross docking facility and unload the freight, organize it properly then reload it as per retailers’ orders.

5. Non-acceptance of Shipments – Every now and then a retailer returns or doesn’t accepts a shipment. It may be due to various reasons. Often the retailer isn’t happy about the standard or quality. The retailer might not be satisfied with the packing or improperly positioned (stacked). On few occasions it has been noticed that the shipment is not kept apart as per the conditions of retailer. When such things occurs the truck or the trailer can be taken to the nearest facility of 3PL cross docking for revising or altering the shipments. After all the necessary alterations the final delivery of the shipments can be done.

Read Also : Why Cross-Docking Is Different From Warehousing?


More and more retail businesses are outsourcing 3PLs for warehousing as well as distribution. This is why more and more 3PLs are coming up with competitive rates and customer friendly services. New innovative solutions are being designed to offer the clients. This is quite helpful in building a steady relationship between the customers and 3PLs. One such service provider is the Delivery Lane Express or the DLXpress. They are experienced and are determined to face any kind of challenges. Customer satisfaction, safety and quality are the features they thrive to achieve. Your delivery business requires wide range of solutions to achieve the goals. DLX can offer assistance as per the objectives of business. It is one the leading logistics provider in the Bay Area, California.

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