In today’s business world, organizations rely on an agile and efficient supply chain to remain competitive and deliver quality products to consumers everywhere. Consequently, the systemized flow of materials is essential to productivity. That’s where cross-docking and transloading services can come in and be helpful. Technological advances have produced integrated systems and real-time information, making it possible to implement cross-docking services.
Cross-docking is a lean supply chain model that allows fast-tracking of goods from suppliers to customers or retailers with little to no handling or storage. This enables businesses to accelerate the fulfillment process and reduce costs and the time it takes for products to reach end destinations. This strategy also allows companies to conserve resources and realize significant cost savings.
Why else should you consider cross-docking for your business? Learn more about this effective strategy and all it offers below!
Why Use Cross Docking Services?
Companies deciding between intermodal drayage and cross-docking have several points to consider. First, companies who find themselves in the following situations should consider cross-docking solutions:
Companies who are shipping materials that:
- Do not need handling at a warehouse
- Do not need to be stored or repackaged
- Have similar endpoints near each other
- Can be screened quickly through automated systems and sent automatically, without needing a surplus inventory
- Are time-sensitive or perishable
- Are on a recurring delivery
- Have a destination point greater than 300 miles from the port of entry (ex.Port of Mobile)
Depending on the type of product and the demand, cross-docking can reduce inventory, operating costs, and distribution costs while facilitating just-in-time delivery. A thorough analysis should determine if products are suitable candidates for cross-docking from the list above.
About the Port of Mobile, AL
The Port of Mobile in Alabama is a well-connected port that manufacturers and industries worldwide rely on for a good reason. Seamless global trade to and from North America starts in Mobile because of the physical connections it has to rails, roads, rivers, and runways. Being an ideally situated location along the Gulf Coast also means that the import and export of goods always run smoothly and efficiently. You’ll be in and out in no time!
The Port of Mobile offers direct access to:
- 5 Class 1 railroads – with easy reach to Mexico, Canada, and the midwestern and southeastern United States
- 4 short line railroads, including our port-owned and -operated terminal railroad
- One marine highway to Mexico
- I-10 and I-65 interstate highways
- Over 15,000 miles of inland and Intracoastal waterways
Advantages of Cross Docking and the Port of Mobile
1. Faster shipping & receiving times
Since the labor cost to store products can be reduced or eliminated, goods reach the final destination much sooner when cross-docking is used. Shipping efficiency is also more possible when bigger batches are broken down into smaller shipments and loaded onto freight going in the same direction.
Receiving inventory also becomes less complex with cross-docking because receiving only requires accounting for inventory being received and then shipped. This eliminated the need for scanning inventory into a warehouse management system (WMS) to optimize the movement of goods back out of the warehouse space.
2. Reduced costs & time savings
Cost of goods sold (COGS) also accounts for a considerable portion of inventory expenses. Not only does a business have to purchase a product, but they are also required to pay for the first-mile and last-mile shipping and carrying costs.
With cross-docking, standard shipments get offloaded from one trailer and loaded back onto another per customer request. This request can be made for numerous reasons, such as a driver wanting to get home due to an emergency. In this case, a cross-docking provider like BR Williams can be called to unload the product, store it if needed, and reload it back onto another tractor & trailer for delivery.
3. Ease & convenience
Customers can receive palletized shipments that reduce their labor expense by having containers hand unloaded and palletized at a cross-dock. Loads can also be unloaded closer to ports that ship out products, meaning fewer stops and transfers are required.
Choosing A 3PL Near the Port of Mobile, AL
Cross-docking is effective and beneficial in many ways for businesses of all kinds. If you want to move products faster and more effectively, consider cross-docking with BR Williams at the Port of Mobile. As the only facility within almost 50 miles to even provide cross-docking services, we serve much of the state of Alabama out to the Georgia state line as the go-to cross-docking provider.
Work with a partner you can trust who provides reliable services and quality care daily. Contact us today to learn more about cross-docking opportunities for you and local cross-docking providers!