Cross-docking is defined as a type of marketing strategy that allows companies to design distribution models for their products so that prolonged storage is avoided and their entry and exit from a logistics efficiency point of view is possible.
Implementing cross-docking actions (also known as “dock crossing”) responds to the need for companies to make changes in the transportation of their goods , in terms of destinations such as destinations transport.
During the transit of a product from its initial manufacturing or production to its final sale and arrival to the customer or consumer , different handling stages occur ( packaging , different design processes, storage, packaging processes …)
Obviously, it is a very widespread practice in the field of logistics and organizational design of companies. The most common is that the intermediate phase between incoming and outgoing goods that makes up this practice can be carried out in a period of less than 24 hours.
Purpose of cross docking distribution models
Mainly the companies look for by means of the adoption of these mechanisms a smaller slowdown of the productive processes or of delivery of merchandise, by lowering therefore costs and cutting times in their chains. That is, the reduction or disappearance of product stocks.
In the same way, its use implies for companies other advantages such as the reduced use of spaces or facilities for storage and labor costs in terms of lower need for workers operating in the storage and handling of products.
Types of cross docking
The use of one or the other will depend on factors such as the size and capacity of each company and the nature of the product in question (especially if it has an expiration date or not).
- Direct or pre-distributed, where the goods do not undergo any modification or transformation. Your labeling and organization is already set by the initial provider.
- Indirect or consolidated, where they have to be modified and labeled for later departure. For example, if the merchandise in question comes in large boxes or pallets and must be fragmented for later shipment.
In the food market it is usual that there are strong cross-docking mechanisms, since in large part it works with fresh and short-lived foods. A simple example is that of the fish markets, where the product arrives from the fishing boats to them and is marketed with wholesalers and carriers at the same time daily.