Cross docking

Cross-docking is a logistics method that can help businesses deliver products faster and increase supply chain efficiency.

The two primary factors that are imperative to a supply chain to ensure company growth are productivity and speed. One helpful strategy many companies consider for obtaining a competitive advantage is cross-docking. Cross-docking can substantially increase handling times and efficiency when incorporated appropriately and under ideal circumstances.

Tacna shelter services – logistics and cross-docking solutions for companies in Mexico

Tacna Shelter Services offers logistical and cross-docking services to assist companies succeeding in Mexico. The process involves a logistics procedure where products are distributed directly from the manufacturer or supplier to retail chains or customers with little storage time or handling. Cross docking happens at the distribution docking terminal that typically consists of two dock doors (on both sides – inbound and outbound) and trucks with minimal storage capacity. 

Cross-docking refers to receiving goods via an inbound dock and moving them across the dock toward the outbound transportation dock. Simply put, your inbound goods arrive via transportation using trailers or trucks and are dispatched to the receiving dock on the opposite side of the cross-dock terminal. Once inbound transportation is docked, the goods can be indirectly or directly moved to the outbound terminuses, after which they can be offloaded, sorted, and evaluated to determine their last stops. After sorting, the products are transported to the opposite end of the cross-dock with a forklift, pallet truck, conveyor belt, etc., to the destined outbound terminal. Once outbound goods are loaded, the products will be transported to customers.

In which instance is it appropriate to make use of cross-docking?

Cross docking is not a suitable solution for every warehouse’s requirements. Therefore, deciding whether cross-docking is the right solution to boost your productivity, customer satisfaction, and costs for your particular business is crucial. Cross docking can be advantageous to a supply chain for various goods. For instance, temperature-controlled or unpreserved food items are an excellent example of goods that must be moved quickly and efficiently to their destination. Besides that, already sorted and packaged goods ready for moving to a specific customer can be done much more efficiently and faster using a cross-docking transportation method.

Primary reasons why cross docking is chosen as a preferred option:

  • A central site is used for goods to be sorted with similar types and transported to multiple destinations most quickly and productively.
  • Various smaller product loads can be combined into a singular method of transportation (also known as consolidation management) to save on distribution costs.
  • Large product loads can be divided into smaller ones to transport, generating a more straightforward delivery process to customers (also known as deconsolidation arrangements).

Here are some benefits of cross-docking:

Reduced storage time and cost

Cross-docking removes the storage link of the supply chain. Products are unloaded from a truck or railroad car, sorted, and reloaded onto outbound trucks or rail cars.

Reduced handling costs

Cross-docking can minimize or eliminate the need for warehouse storage and reduce handling costs.

Reduced lead times

Cross-docking can help optimize the supply chain by eliminating unnecessary steps and reducing lead times.

Labor cost savings

The reduction of material handling needs leads directly to the labor cost savings associated to these activities.

Improved operations

Cross docking improves overall operations and makes distributing directly to a customer or retail chain easier with minimal idle, handling, or storage time. 

However, cross-docking can be challenging for small companies since it requires close coordination and real-time visibility. These can be difficult to achieve if you don't have the right technology or enough staff.


We hope that you have benefited from reading our post and that we’ve helped you better understand cross-docking and why companies and supply chains choose this transportation method to boost productivity.