Recent Posts

Social media

International Forwarding Association Blog » International Forwarding Association » The benefits of using cross-docking by the companies from IFA

The benefits of using cross-docking by the companies from IFA

The practice of cross-docking which is becoming increasingly popular among the members of the freight forwarders association and among all storage and distribution services and warehouse logistic companies involves the delivery of products from the production plant to the end customer with minimal or even no material handling done in between.

The use of cross-docking also reduces the need for storage space for the products, because in most cases they are delivered to the loading dock directly and prepared by outbound delivery by the members of the International Forwarding Association.

Implementing effective cross docking solutions by the list of logistics companies allows for faster deliveries to the end customers which is often goal number one of a perfectly optimized supply chain. But keep in mind that such solutions also carry some risks, which need to be taken into consideration before implementing cross-docking.

Storage and distribution


The advantages of cross-docking offered by the European logistics network

  • A reduction of labor costs because there is no need for handling the products physically and sorting them in the warehouses
  • A reduction of the delivery time, as the products are delivered as fast as possible directly from the production plants to the clients
  • A reduction of the need for more storage space offered by the freight transport association

The different types of cross-docking

The type of cross docking used by the freight forwarders Europe largely depends on the type of goods being shipped.

  1. Manufacturing cross docking – this involves the receipt of the inbound and purchase products needed for the production. The warehouse can receive them and prepare sub-assemblies based on the production orders.
  2. Distributor cross-docking – this is when the inbound products from different producers are consolidated into special mixed pallet shipping deliveries and are combined by the international freight forwarding companies into one shipment for a certain customer.
  3. Transportation cross-docking – this is when different items and different shipments from various carriers are combined in small shipments in order to save money for transport and delivery.
  4. Retail cross docking – this is the process of the members of the European network for transportation receiving various goods from various vendors, and sorting them in outbound trucks for retail store delivery. This popular method was first made popular in the 1980s by Wal-Mart.
  5. Opportunistic cross-docking – this can be implemented in any warehouse and involves the direct transfer of the products to the outbound shipping dock from the receiving dock without being handled in the warehouse at all.

Which products are suitable for cross-docking

The companies from IFA are aware that some items are more suitable than others for this practice, including:

  • Perishable goods which need to be shipped immediately
  • High-quality goods which don’t require inspections during receipt
  • Pre-tagged and pre-ticketed goods
  • Promotional goods
  • Pre-packaged customer orders from other warehouses or production plants
  • Staple products which are in a constant demand

Overall, if the warehouse staff is trained properly to keep the inventory in perfect control during cross-docking, this can be a very profitable, time and space saving warehousing and delivery procedure for producers, the end customers and for the members of the freight forwarders directory.