Typical cross docking services involve shipping into a cross dock warehouse, where product is consolidated or deconsolidated to create loads that immediately move to outbound trucks. The benefits:
- faster cycle time,
- reduction or elimination of warehouse storage costs,
- and reduction of inventory.
In addition to these typical applications of the strategy, there is another flavor of cross docking that primarily benefits carriers and their drivers, making them as efficient and profitable as possible.
Reduce Driver Wait Times with Cross Docking Services
When drivers arrive early for a delivery, they often have to wait for their designated time slot. This could mean hours of very costly idle time.
Having an ability to drop product at a nearby cross dock for later delivery is a tremendous advantage since it allows drivers to drop and go. They lean on the cross dock partner to make the final delivery.
Kanban Logistics is located adjacent to a very busy QVC warehouse, which manages delivery appointments very closely. As a result, Kanban’s North Carolina cross docking warehouse is in high-demand with suppliers and carriers who miss their delivery window. For these customers, Kanban is a temporary warehouse that also makes final delivery of these shipments using its own fleet of trucks.
A Cross Dock Can Also Help with Late Deliveries
Late deliveries can be a bigger problem than early arrival for suppliers and carriers.
Kanban can receive the product and then work independently with contacts, at the QVC or other receiving warehouse, to schedule final delivery. Suppliers and carriers are alerted immediately as deliveries are made.
When there is no solution for interim storage, this impacts carriers in a number of ways. If drivers must wait, they run the risk of hitting up against their hours of service driving limit for the day, taking them off the road for subsequent deliveries. Even if that is not an issue, delays can still wreak havoc on the day’s delivery schedule, creating a domino effect of missed deliveries with multiple, very unhappy, customers.
Cross Docking for Importers Avoids Demurrage
Cross docking services also can be beneficial to importers and their drayage partners.
If you are an importer, you may deal with demurrage charges if containers are not returned to the port on time. In Eastern North Carolina, Kanban works with several companies that import goods through the port at Norfolk, VA. Containers are brought to Kanban for unloading and storage until final delivery can be arranged. Drayage carriers can simply drop the container and quickly return to the port, avoiding any penalties.
So cross docking services in North Carolina, or anywhere, are not just about reducing warehousing and inventory costs. The service can be a huge benefit for carriers that want to get their trucks and drivers back on the road quickly and generating revenue.