Cross-docking is not a new practice for shippers, but it is one that is increasingly being relied upon in the age of just-in-time supply chain management. Here are some of the factors driving increased use of cross docking as a logistics practice and the ways today’s TMS platforms are making the process easier and more efficient in driving performance and cost savings.
Logistics timelines are growing more compressed at the same time as costs for transportation and associated supply chain activities are on the rise. Competitive advantage in many industries has grown significantly reliant on shippers’ ability to deliver more quickly while keeping costs in check. Cross-docking ticks off all the boxes for shippers seeking to attain and protect their competitive advantage.
Cross-docking aids in the reduction of delivery times by positioning facilities in locations closer to final delivery routes and, properly optimized in TMS, eliminates excessive travel saving on fuel, empty miles, driver pay and other associated transportation costs.
What price can you put on customer satisfaction and repeat business? Cross-docking, in addition to the aforementioned delivery time reductions, also reduces frequency of OS&D claims for damage incurred during materials handling because it limits handling to loading, staging and unloading, avoiding picking and put-away activity. This means products not only arrive on time, but also in great condition which makes customers happy and more likely to return.
Cross-docking reduces costs associated with storage and warehousing of product because product is only passing across the dock from inbound shipments and quickly loaded on outbound trucks for delivery. This significantly reduces the footprint of a shipper’s facilities and staffing needed for storage which reduces the associated costs.
To capture maximum benefit of cross-docking strategies, a shipper needs a TMS powerful enough to manage the often complex shipment planning, optimization and execution of cross-docking activities. How well does your current TMS support cross-docking? Talk to UltraShip today to learn all about our robust, new cross-docking functionality and how it can help you improve your logistics operations.