Agility and speed can be a diverse advantage in today’s competitive marketplaces. A lot of companies and businesses are always looking for ways to get all their products to their final destination more economically and quickly.
One of the best solutions to this situation is cross docking, which refers to a logistics service taking place in the distribution docking terminals. It’ll boost output at the critical distribution points by unloading a shipment from inbound trailers and railcars on outbound transports directly. And, this practice will get rid of the need for store freights.
Cross docking, on the other hand, will help in delivering products to consumers more rapidly, thus, you’ll be able to save a considerable amount of money, with little to no warehouse loading.
To ensure that the operation is smooth, you’ll need to maximize the performance of your cross docking. If you’re wondering how, here’s a compilation of ways you can do it:
1. Keep An Eye On The Design Of Your Facility
One requirement of cross docking is that your facility should be able to support the process of this logistic service. Usually, it’ll need an optimal layout, adequate space, and no chunks on the way. For instance, if your facility can only accommodate a couple of trucks at the same time, it’s impossible to effectively process loading and unloading shipments. Also, if it isn’t unnecessarily big, you’ll waste a lot of time moving back and forth.
To ensure efficient performance, you’ll need to have storage that’s well-organized, compact, and clear, so there’s no distraction in the flow of product throughout the warehouse. Your truck loading and unloading points should be roomy enough for truck loading and unloading.
Furthermore, you’ll need to take into account the location of your cross-docking terminal. It should lessen the time of delivering products between the terminal and retailers or suppliers. Thus, locate your facility in a close to high-volume location so you can reduce the transportation distance. If you’re to reduce the transportation distance, you can also reduce the overall expenses for your short-haul delivery miles, as well as freight.
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2. Automate Your Supply Chain Process And Warehouse Management
Digital logistics software and automated material handling equipment are important to maximize cross docking’s performance. Such tools will help in pushing the process of delivery forward to make faster delivery flows. But, aside from being fast, these tools can also be used in operating many different products, such as high-end digital units, grocery, foods, and fashion. Having said that, this logistic service is, indeed, a practical option for different industries.
In addition to that, these tools will help reduce the manual labor force. Since the shelves will be stored effectively and easily, the time needed for handling your products will have higher accuracy.
There are lots of equipment that you can incorporate into your system in order to automate the process of your supply chain. These include a scanner or printer for timely and more accurate distribution of products to a retailer, a couple of carts, pallets, conveyors, cranes that can help you receive, separate, and set up various product shipments more rapidly, and a route optimization software for advanced shipment notice.
3. Assess The Quantity Of Inbound Products
From time to time, the substantial loadout from a certain retailer will be what’s typically a light loadout, and you need to alter unload locations for a short period of time. In fact, a single adjustment may help in saving up to 40 extended distance trips.
4. Always Keep The Dock Floor Organized And Clean
In order to maximize the speed of a forklift, without sacrificing the safety of everybody, having an organized dock is very important. You’ll need to reduce the amount of freight on your dock to offer the operators of forklift easy access to a loading door.
5. Work On An Active Cross Docking Plan
When working with logistics or a logistic service, uncertainty can’t be avoided. Trucks, for instance, may not come in time for an unloading shipment. There’ll always be a changing demand from a retailer or supplier, a broken package while unloading, as well as other unexpected situations.
Don’t simply depend on a single plan when using such a service, even though the existing one is running smoothly. This logistic service is about the distribution on demand for a client-compliant product. So, it’s best that you act right away according to the real-time updates and status of the entire docking process.
With that, it’s a good idea to have an active plan, depending on the demand of customers, the availability and quantity of products, and real-time reports of your supply chain.
6. Maintain A Close Relationship With Your Members And Supply Chain Partners
With the continuous sharing of relevant and trusted details, clear communication, as well as practicing confidence in the availability and quality of goods, your cross docking will become successful. Ensure that you’re updated with what’s up with your members and partners, as well as make sure that you can fully trust them with the provided information. When you fail to do these things, this logistic service will become a failure.
Even though you’ll have no picking operations, a cross dock is considered one of the busiest workplaces. All trucks must be unloaded and loaded efficiently, products or goods may need to be sorted, arranged, and staged, and someone needs to make sure that outbound and inbound vehicles are spotted at the correct doors.
Because of the high level of synchronization that’s necessary for cross docking, you’ll need to work with the most reliable supervisory staff, as well as warehouse operatives. Remember, if you have a good team in place and follow the ways mentioned above, you’ll be able to maximize the performance of this logistic service, without causing too much stress on your part. Plus, you can also speed up and streamline your supply chain.