In case you’re not familiar, cross-docking services are utilized when a shipment leaves the manufacturer and is delivered directly to the customer without spending time in a storage facility. It allows part of or a whole shipment to be transferred between carriers in a cross-docking facility to create more direct shipping routes, and it comes with many advantages. Here are a few of our favorites:
Decreased Shipping Timelines
Cross-docking your freight allows your supply chain to bypass the warehouse in the journey from manufacturing to delivery. In nearly all cases, this means that your shipments can take more direct routes to their final destination instead of veering off course to be stored. This means minimizing time spent on the road and wait time for customers as well. Selecting a cross-docking location at a crossroads like Indianapolis can allow your shipment to be broken down into smaller increments and sent in many directions at once.
Reduced Warehousing Costs
Just-in-time logistics practices give your business the opportunity to utilize minimal warehousing services and their associated costs. Good inventory management practices still suggest you keep safety stock on hand in the case of unexpected increased consumer demand or delays in manufacturing, but cross-docking can allow you to directly ship additional product and avoid the warehouse entirely, cutting warehousing costs out of the equation entirely.
Minimized Product Damage
When product goes to a warehouse before being shipped to the final customer, that product has to be packed by the manufacturer; loaded into a truck; possibly unloaded and reloaded into a train or plane; unloaded at the warehouse; picked and repackaged by fulfillment teams; loaded onto a truck; possibly unloaded and reloaded into a train, plane or ship; unloaded, unpackaged, and stocked by the retailer, and then finally picked, packed, and transported by the consumer.
It’s kind of exhausting to read, right? There are a lot of touchpoints that if handled inappropriately can lead to product damage. Cross-docking minimizes these touchpoints by eliminating the warehouse and creating more direct shipping routes, and it can save you some money on rework services to fix product when possible too.
Cross-docking your product shipment allows you to move directly from manufacturing to distribution without taking your product to a storage location first. This direct-to-consumer model not only minimizes warehouse costs, but the optimized distribution route also reduces the need for fuel as well. Because fuel pricing fluctuates enormously, this can have a stabilizing effect on costs that reverberates throughout your supply chain.
Optimized Labor Allocation
Streamlining your shipment’s distribution route means you won’t need to allocate as many hours for truck driving. Bypassing the warehouse means there won’t be any lumping or stocking labor needed. Fewer touchpoints and less product damage prevent inventory shrinkage and rework hours. Every advantage listed in this blog comes with a reduced headcount necessary to keep your supply chain running on time. And less headcount means less payroll, but it also means making your supply chain labor-shortage-resistant.
Cross-docking a shipment isn’t the right choice for every business, and for many businesses, it isn’t the right choice every time. But having cross-docking as a tool in your logistics-planning tool belt can help you strike quickly when the timing is right. It can save you a lot in labor, costs, and time too. Want to learn more about whether cross-docking services in Indianapolis are right for your supply chain? Reach out to our team of experts.