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Difference between Cross Docking & Traditional Warehousing

Difference between Cross Docking & Traditional Warehousing

The major demand of the industrial sector is to optimize every little aspect so as to meet the mounting competitiveness. The requirement to optimize logistics also is a counting factor. Any business, all the time seeks to incorporate fast, effective and reasonable solutions. Hence, the customary warehousing function is giving way to a new approach, named Cross-Docking. It is fast and involves a less amount of operational expenditures. Cross-docks can be said to be kind of transshipment facility. By the application of this process the consignments need not be kept in the warehouse for more than a day. The functions of picking up and storing consignments also get abolished.

The practice of cross-docking is said to be applied for reducing the handling of materials. It involves sorting out of consignments and then putting together all the different consignments, from different places and sends them further through outbound carriers. The traditional warehouse gets a customized version, called “hybrid warehouse” where upon cross-docking operations are engaged to enhance the operational momentum and decrease unavailability condition.

Cross-Docking VS Traditional Warehousing

All the logistics services aim to deliver items or products from a business to a consumer within shortest possible time, without any damage and with minimum expenses. In the customary warehousing process the logistics provider needs to have a vendor, who would be keeping product stocks, to be delivered to consumers. In cross-docking operation, consignments are unloaded from inbound carriers and directly loaded into outbound carriers. This doesn’t involve storing of products. Cross-docking often requires the assistance of 3PL, otherwise termed Third-Party Logistics, to accelerate the delivery method. This can certainly very much beneficial for most of the businesses. For a cross docking facility, to run in a more synchronized manner, the level of planning and decision making needs to be very perfect.

The warehouse is meant to provide a transitional spot among the retailer and the consumer. To be further precise, a warehouse is that commercial building which is utilized for handling and storing consignments/products by logistics providers, distributors, manufacturers and few others alike. In a warehouse there are separate loading and unloading docks. The two main purposes of a warehouse are to store and look after the products temporarily and give “value added services” like after sales services, packaging of items, inspection, repairs, etc. On the other hand, the main function of cross-docking is to put together several small consignments from numerous vendors to customers. This helps in transporting maximum number of products in an outbound carrier. Thus, the transportation is carried out in a cost-cutting measure.

The Advantages of Cross-Docking Over Traditional Warehousing

Cross-docking has many advantages and it scores high in comparison to traditional warehousing. Some of the worthy features of cross-docking are discussed below:-

  • Better Effectiveness:- In cross-docking there is no need for several business associations. It can let a 3PL company to do the warehousing operations and speed up the delivery process. On the other hand the customary warehousing procedures engages various service providers, like parcel delivery givers and logistics associates.
  • Lesser Expenses:- Storing consignments at a warehouse for longer periods means paying out more cash as rent or similar charges. Such extra expenses can be avoided if consignments are shipped straightaway from the distributor to the consumer. This can be done through cross-docking only.
  • Simpler Stock Handling:- As cross-docking helps in collecting and dispatching consignments in a faster mode, there is no requirement to maintain huge quantity of stocks. Accordingly, the requirement for human help to arrange the stocks will get lessened. It will further reduce the requirement of space in a warehouse. Besides, it will also be providing a solid edge against the competitors. Having less stock in a warehouse means fewer threats of accidents like theft or fire.
  • Fewer Risks of Damages:- As pointed earlier, cross-docking involve moving of consignments from an inbound vehicle to an outbound vehicle. It suggests that human handling is less required to keep the consignments moving. The involvement of humans all the time increases chances of various damages. By chance, if human slip-up occurs the process of cross-docking significantly slows down. Though cross-docking is all about speed even then it really brings down the occurrences of damages to the products.
  • Quicker Delivery:- Through cross-docking the time taken to deliver products is quite quicker. This is one big advantage of this logistics approach. As the customer orders a product, it is transported, it arrives at the warehouse and then moved ahead to be delivered to the customer. A committed logistics service provider will always try to shorten the delivery time which would effectively lower the expenses.

To Conclude

The market of logistics is a competitive one. So, it is very much important to meet the demands of the consumers and at the same time stay focused on the competition drawn by the rivals. And to do so, the strategy of cross-docking logistics can be a great factor.

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