What to Look For in a Cross Docking Service Provider
Cross docking services are quite popular, and while their benefits cannot be overlooked, it’s becoming increasingly hard to identify a great service provider.
The fact that there are so many service providers in this industry indicates the increase in demand for these services. This is now bringing about a new problem when it comes to identifying a good company to work with and with so many cross dock and cross docking companies, finding a good service provider is like looking for a needle in a hay stack.
How to Measure Cross Docking Effectiveness
You first need to have a great understanding on the services provided in this industry because that’s what you will use to gauge their services.
When measuring effectiveness, you need to look at factors such the service provider’s
- Weight or cube efficiency
- Flow of services
- Freight time
The difference between warehouse services and cross docking is that with a warehouse, your goods could be stored for a month before they can be shipped. On the other hand, cross docking is efficient and freight time is often really quick since they are handled immediately.
Pallet storage and reloading could take only a day or two and this significantly increases the turn time involved in shipping. Weight efficiency matters as well and you will need to look at the providers efficiency as far as weight or cubes is concerned. For example how they pair their products is essential and techniques such as pairing heavy duty products like bottled beverages with paper towels enables the company to have more outbound loads and better transport control as well.
This is just an example on what we mean by weight efficiency. Finally, on this point we have flow of services which can be measured by looking at the entire process. Usually, cross docking shaves off a day or two with delivery when you compare it with traditional shipment processes. You need to establish the timelines your cross docking facility has in place to identify how effective their services are
Cross Dock Considerations
Above and beyond the efficiency factors you need to look for, we give you three important considerations to keep in mind when looking for a great service provider
- Product handling
- Order placement
Cross dock facilities have trucks and dock doors. The facilities are ideally designed to facilitate product movement such as semi-trailer reloading and others. Ensure that you visit the facility to identify if it can meet your needs. How do they handle product? And by this we mean how many touches a product will undergo.
The less handling the docking facility has, the more efficient their services. Before you can sign that contract, find out their order placement procedure. What is their order placement process? Usually products are transported in bulk but sometimes pool distribution is used and this is usually a less flexible order handling process.
So there you have it, some points to help you identify a suitable service provider. Ensure that you only go for recognized companies and be sure to ask for referrals before you can hire any cross docking service provider.