Cross docking is an efficient process that saves both time and money by keeping products on the move. Some companies use cross docking services as part of their regular operations mix, while others turn to cross docking only when necessary. For just about any company, however, there are multiple scenarios in which cross docking can bolster your supply chain.
When to Use Cross Docking Services
Cross docking is a process that enables companies to transfer products from one truck (or railcar) to another truck. This occurs at a cross docking warehouse, though the products will only be stored or a short period of time – or storage may be skipped altogether.
Like many logistics solutions, cross docking can address a wide range of issues. Here are some of the most common:
- Your delivery is going to be early or late. Let’s say your products are being delivered to a major retailer, but your driver is going to be at least one day early. You can eat away at the driver’s productivity by simply having him or her wait. Or, you can get that driver back on the road by delivering to a cross docking provider that can store the product temporarily and deliver at the appointed time. The same holds true when a driver is late for an appointment as the provider can perform storage, rescheduling/coordination with the retailer, and delivery on your behalf.
- Your goods are arriving on a container. At Kanban, we handle drayage services including drayage services for QVC products. Here’s how it works: we receive your container at the port, take it to one of our warehouses for unloading, return the empty container back to the port quickly, and then temporarily store and prepare your product for on-time delivery to QVC.
- You have mixed freight on a trailer. Sometimes, a trailer may be loaded in a sub-optimal way where the first pallets that need to come off are sitting behind other pallets. In this case, the driver can unload the pallets that aren’t yet needed at a cross dock facility, deliver the pallets that need to be delivered first, and then come back to the facility to pick up the remaining pallets.
- Your truck is overweight. If your vehicle is overweight or over-axle weight, a cross dock services provider can shift your load or unload items to keep you compliant.
- You have loads coming in from multiple vendors. If you have products arriving from different vendors in different places, you can have them shipped to a cross docking provider that can combine shipments into one delivery for a retail customer.
- You are using intermodal transport. Many cross-dock facilities are equipped with rail siding that allows boxcars to unload straight into the building for storage and loading onto a truck. In addition to rail siding, some providers like Kanban also have a transload yard that can receive center-beam railcars.
- You are shipping temperature-sensitive items. Many providers of cross docking services have both climate-controlled warehousing space (including temperature-controlled docks) and reefer trailers to keep your temperature-sensitive products within spec every step of the way.
Kanban Logistics for Cross Docking Services
Kanban’s cross docking facilities are located in Eastern North Carolina with access to rail and major interstate highways (I-95, I-40, and I-85). We provide cross docking services within multiple industries and are a QVC-approved 3PL partner (our Rocky Mount facility is located right next door to QVC Rocky Mount). To learn more about our services, contact us today.