6 Key Benefits of a Cross Docking Warehouse

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Considering using a cross docking warehouse can be one of the best decisions you make today.

A cross dock is where your goods never enter a warehouse once they are shipped but are loaded straight onto the lorry to be sent on their way.

It reduces the amount of time and money spent on delivery and it means you or your customers goods will spend less time in storage and more time on the road, which is exactly what you want.

If you’re interested in cross docking advantages and how you can use them for your business then here are 6 key benefits which might make you consider switching.

1. Reduces Warehouse Rental or Property Costs

Owning or renting a warehouse is a big cost for any business. They have to be big with wide entrances to allow lorries and vans to get in and out and because of the high value of the goods, they also have to be secured with 24/7 security.

Cross docking allows you to remove most of those costs as you no longer need to rent the warehouse, you can move the goods easily from A to B. You will need to rent a smaller facility to allow you to unload your lorries but the costs involved with this will be far less than renting an entire warehouse.

2. Reduces Staff Costs

A warehouse cannot run itself. It requires a host of staff not just for security but also to transport the goods from the containers into the storage. You also need managers to ensure the warehouse runs smoothly and that there is constantly enough space for incoming shipments.

Whilst cross docking doesn’t remove all staff from your shipping operation, it does reduce the numbers who are needed to ensure a quick turnaround and that your customers are kept happy whilst keeping costs down and profits up.

3. Your Products Get On the Road Faster

The most important factor in ensuring any delivery company works effectively is speed. Customers want to know their products are going to get to them in record amounts of time. Cross docking makes that a reality by reducing the amount of time the goods spend in transit.

With cross docking most goods can get on the road straight away if not within a couple of hours. This is great for your customer, particularly in an age where customers can see exactly where their package is at all times.

Seeing that their package is on the road and moving is always going to look better than seeing it sitting still in a warehouse.

4. Reduces Transport and Fuel Costs

There is an argument cross docking is good for the environment because it means every lorry or van leaving has to be full rather than some lorries being used for just a few deliveries from the warehouse. This also means using fewer lorries and vans.

Furthermore, there are costs associated with running a warehouse such as heating and electricity that will be eliminated.

5. Reduces Handling of Products

The worst mistake a shipping company can make is breaking a product. This means they have to compensate the customer after the good has been shipped.

Accidents do happen from time-to-time but these largely take place, not whilst the goods are being transported, but during the handling process: when workers at a warehouse have to move the product around the warehouse using forklifts and if they want to create an inventory of all the products in the warehouse.

It makes sense then that the less the products are handled, the less likely they are to break. Cross shipping reduces the contact the products have as there is less transportation involved. The goods go straight from the shipper and onto a lorry rather than being loaded and moved around in a warehouse.

6. Cross Docking Is Future-Proof

Cross docking is great because it has the potential to reduce the costs of your business even more in the future. Driverless lorries are already being tested in Sweden and also in the U.K. They may soon be able to transport your goods across the country without the attached labor costs.

Soon the entire process of cross docking might be automated, with no need for anyone at a shipping company to be present during the handover from the shipper to the lorry, nor will you need to employ drivers.

If your business has already ditched warehouses then you are already halfway there to future-proofing your business and will not have to make a drastic change to compete when new technology starts to transform the industry in ten or twenty years time.

A Cross Docking Warehouse is What Your Business Needs to Thrive

Making a change away from the traditional warehouse model can be a challenge. Having a large warehouse feels like it offers security as you have a base where you know you can physically store your goods.

But whilst it might seem appealing, psychologically, there is not much to be gained from a physical warehouse. Ditching the normal warehouse for a cross docking warehouse is a great solution that can offer lots of advantages.

You can ensure your business runs more effectively and your customers get their goods quicker meaning they are more satisfied.

Yet at the same time, you can massively reduce your overall costs, reducing the amount of staff you have and even the amount of lorries or trucks you need to use. This means there is a potential to make more profit or to use the extra cash freed up by reducing the costs on expanding, a win-win situation.

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