What is Cross Docking?

Sometimes also simply called a cross-dock, cross-docking is the receipt, temporary storage, and release of a shipment where the warehouse involved does not control the freight in or out.

Warehousing companies will often facilitate cross-docking in which they have little or nothing to do with the inbound or outbound freight. These warehouses simply act as a temporary storage facility for the shipment.

Cross Docking Speed

Cross docking is designed to be a quick turnaround service. How is it faster?

Cross docks usually involve moving products from an incoming truck onto an outbound truck, with very little storage time between receiving and reshipping. Sometimes there is no storage time at all. While this type of service is often quick, it can last for weeks or months based on client needs. Whatever the timeline, cross-docking shipments are always dropped off and picked up intact without any alterations (product being removed or added).

Types of Cross Docking

These types of shipments come in two main kinds: packages and pallets. The majority of warehouse cross docks are palletized shipments dropped off for less than one week. However, individual packages and boxes can also be run through a cross-dock program. Vehicles are also considered a viable cross-dock item.

When is Cross Docking Used?

Freight forwarding shipments will be cross-docked at carrier terminals while they are switched from one carrier to another. Freight shipping from or to Canada will be cross-docked while the shipments await proper paperwork or are switched onto a different carrier.