Value Added Logistics: Cross-docking in the Midwest

There is a lot of value in value added logistics

When you look at a map of the United States, cities look so close together…but they are not. Those inches on a map actually add up to hundreds miles. That means product crossing the country by way of truck can rarely go directly from point A to point B without needing to transfer their contents. So…what is a retailer to do?

The answer is cross-docking! Here’s the low down on this process. Cross-docking is the practice of unloading product from a container, rail car, or truck and loading these materials directly into outbound trucks, trailers, or rail cars, with little or no storage in-between – meaning these products will not see the inside of a warehouse.

The major advantage is obvious; cross-docking will reduce the need for having products stored in a warehouse. In most cases, the product is only there for a very short time before being transferred. The process is almost like a track meet, where the baton is handed to the next runner without delay.

While this process sounds like a piece of cake, that’s not the case. You will need a value added logistics provider who has the facilities to make cross-docking possible. That can include the shape of the dock and the location in relation to the interstate or rail. Remember, cross-docking is meant to add efficiency, not slow the process. You will need a logistics provider with a convenient location.

And you will need a value added logistics provider who will manage the process, so that product arrives at its destination on time. Still not convinced cross-docking will add efficiency to your supply chain? Here are a few other advantages of cross docking:

  • Reduction of handling of materials, compared to warehousing
  • Time of product in transit is reduced
  • Each trip has fuller loads, saving on the cost of transportation
  • Processes like ‘order picking’ and ‘pick location’ are eliminated.

If cross-docking is a consideration, you may also have an interest in the large number of value added logistics that are available. These are the “other services” that you will benefit from which will enhance your companies efficiency and save on costs. Here are a few of those services:

  • Small assembly or kitting
  • Shrink wrapping
  • Labeling
  • Sequencing
  • Sorting
  • Blister packs
  • Repackaging

If there is one take away from this message it is: Value added logistics and the cross docking operations help you to reduce costs and streamline your processes.

Because cross-docking and value added services can raise additional questions, we welcome you to “drop us a line below.” We can answer any questions and would like to reach out to you.

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