Cross-docking is the moving of products from where they are manufactured and delivering them directly to the customer with very little handling between the manufacturer and consumer. Cross-docking reduces the need for storage of the goods in warehouses. Alternatively, cross-docking is a logistics procedure where goods produced from manufacturers or goods from a supplier are directly distributed to customers or retailers with little handling involved. It usually takes place in a distribution dock with two sides, the inbound and the outbound where goods are transferred from the inbound dock to the outbound transportation dock. There are various types of cross-docking which include; manufacturing cross-docking, distributor cross-docking, and retail cross-docking, opportunistic cross-docking, and click retail cross-docking.

Manufacturing cross docking involves reception of the purchased products which are required for manufacturing. The warehouse where the products are stored may then engage in assembling them as per the production orders. Distributor cross-docking is the process which involves receiving products from different manufacturers and making them into a one mixed products shipment which is then delivered to the customer. An example is car assembly products, one can buy different car parts from different manufacturers and then put them into one mixed products shipment to be delivered to car assemblies. Transportation cross docking combines the shipments of different carriers from small package industries and less-than-truckload shipments. Retail cross-docking is the process involving receiving products from many producers and then sorting the products for delivery to retail stores. Opportunistic cross docking involves transferring of a product directly from the dock where more goods are being received onto the out shipping dock.

Not all products are suitable for cross-docking however some are better suited than others. Perishable goods which are those that go bad fast require immediate shipping and are among those goods which are suitable for cross-docking. Promotional goods and new products which are being launched are also suitable for cross-docking. Products which have already been packaged as per customer's orders and constantly demanded retail products are also suitable for cross-docking. High-quality goods which do not need to be taken for quality inspections are products also suitable for cross-docking.

Cross-docking is very advantageous since there is very little material handling and as a result no need for storage of the products and thus no need for large warehousing spaces. Also, products move much quicker and there is the reduction of transportation cost and time to reach the customers.

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