How to Improve Freight Efficiency Through Cross-docking With a Tech-First 3PL

Posted by Port City Logistics on May 12, 2022 1:35:07 PM

Cross-docking is distributing products from a supplier or a manufacturer directly to the customer or retailer. It involves the distribution occurring in a terminal where inbound trucks transfer goods to outbound trucks. Cross-docking provides a centralized area to store specific products and their similar counterparts easily accessible by the shipper and receiver, mainly when unforeseen circumstances like delays, driver and capacity shortages occur. 

Freight management is complex. Multiple processes, operations, partners, and technologies need to make transport effective. When distributors and retailers incorporate cross-docking, they can eliminate much of traditional logistics and transportation confusion. A great way to implement cross-docking is through a tech-first 3PL. This blog will explore leveraging this procedure to further improve transportation processes and freight efficiency.

Take a Local Approach and Perspective That Enables a Faster Response to Issues

Some common issues that plague the freight industry include delayed loading and unloading times, docking, and miscommunication, to name a few. Unloading a vessel container and getting them accessible to shippers can take one to three days. Meanwhile, rates are still subject to change, and according to Hellenic Shipping News, “Container shipping giant A. In the first quarter, P. Moller-Maersk expects to see a strong rise in freight rates amid ongoing pressure on supply chains; in its Q1 interim results May 4.”Those rates also depend on the ability to load and unload vessels faster. 

Cross-docking allows for faster and more accurate loading and unloading times. When suppliers and retailers have agreed to a specific timeframe for the delivery, cross-docking makes it easier for distributors to honor their turnaround times by directly sending their product to the customer through terminals.

Leverage Dedicated Solutions Built for Cross-Docking in Drayage

Since drayage covers only a short distance during a delivery, cross-docking is appropriate to ensure that it doesn’t take longer than it should. Cross-docking will reduce dwell time and costs for drayage with the two parties involved transporting their goods directly, decreasing the time spent at the docks. This is also integral for fuel efficiency since it reduces its use during transport and dwell times, and trucks can proceed quicker. 

Keep Team Members Involved and Working Together With Clear, Concise Communications

Since cross-docking enables shorter load times between shipper and receiver, this procedure immensely improves communication. Since there is no mediator involved, both parties can give and receive statuses on the load quickly and efficiently. Cross-docking reduces the confusion and establishes a clear line of contact between the two parties involved to know where they are. These decreases dwell time because both sides know when and where the meeting point is.

Integrate Systems and Tools to Do More With Less

Cross-docking accomplishes multiple things. It gets the shipper and receiver to a warehouse on time as both parties get notified of each other’s whereabouts making the exchange right then and there. While traditionally, both parties have to go through several processes just to get from one point to another, cross-docking integrates many systems and tools to load and unload freight quicker, explains Supply Chain Game Changer

Choose 3PLS With a Local Warehousing Footprint

Using third-party logistics service providers (3PLs) that have warehouse experience can help lighten the load literally and figuratively, especially for big deliveries. 3PLs and cross-docking are vital to maximizing throughput, especially with high shipping volumes. 3PLs will piecemeal deliveries, especially significantly larger ones, across multiple carriers so that it doesn’t fall on the back of only one entity. That’s even more true when a 3PL has a dedicated warehouse space that can be used at a moment’s notice. 

Know When to Expand Your Carrier Network.

Networking is necessary to be at the forefront of any industry in today’s day and age. Having a good network of carriers is essential to help consolidate the shipping and delivering process for all companies. When a company has a strong carrier network, more candidates will cross-docking to streamline the time and resources used to complete deliveries.

Improve Freight Efficiency Through Cross-Docking Services From Port City Logistics

Cross-docking makes moving freight across warehouses to the final destination more efficient. Port City Logistics uses emerging technologies and methodologies to help make the process smoother and faster for shippers and carriers alike. To learn more, contact a Port City Logistics specialist today.

Topics: asset-based 3PL companies