Cross docking is 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 are possible from a logistical efficiency point of view.
Implementing cross docking actions (also known as "dock crossing") responds to the need for companies to make changes in the transport of their goods within their development of processes, either in terms of destinations or means of transport.
During the transit of a product, from its manufacture or initial production to its final sale and arrival at the customer or consumer, different handling stages take place (packaging, different design processes, storage, packaging processes, etc.).
Obviously, cross docking is a very widespread practice in the field of logistics and organizational design of companies. The most common is that the intermediate phase between entry and exit of goods that makes up this practice can be carried out in a period of time less than 24 hours.
Purpose of cross docking distribution models
Mainly, companies seek, through the adoption of these mechanisms, an acceleration of the production processes or the delivery of goods, thereby lowering costs and cutting times in their chains. That is, it points to the reduction or disappearance of product stocks.
In the same way, its use supposes other advantages for companies such as the less need for spaces or storage facilities, and a reduction in labor costs in terms of less need for workers to operate in the storage and handling of products.
Types of cross docking
The use of one or another type of cross docking will depend on factors such as the size and capacity of each company and the nature of the product in question (especially whether or not it expires).
- Direct or pre-distributed: Where the goods do not undergo any modification or transformation. Its labeling and organization is already set by the initial supplier.
- Indirect or consolidated: Where the products have to be modified and labeled for later release. 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 common for there to be strong cross docking mechanisms, since to a large extent we work with fresh and short-lived food. A simple example is that of fish markets, where the product arrives from fishing boats and is marketed with wholesalers and carriers on a daily basis.
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