Cross-Docking

  1. Inbound shipments are received and directed to their appropriate destination
  2. Individual shipments can be cross-docked — moved directly from the inbound dock to the outbound dock, avoiding the need to put them away in the warehouse and subsequently pick them
  3. Parts to be combined into finished-goods or sub-assemblies can be moved directly into the Value-Added Services Work Center (VAS)
  4. Material is moved to, and put away in, the Forward Pick Area if it is destined for short-term storage
  5. Material is moved to, and put away in, Reserve Stroage if it is destined for longer-term storage. As necessary, material can be picked and moved from Reserve Storage to the Forward Pick Area, or from the Forward Pick Area to VAS
  6. Whether shipments arrive directly from the receiving dock, from a VAS process, or from storage, loads are staged and assembled on the shipping dock for transport to the ultimate consignee

Complex Retail or Manufacturing transportation networks (consisting of multiple suppliers shipping to a customer with multiple receiving locations) can benefit significantly from employing Cross-dock facilities. If suppliers send LTL shipments to each destination, it maximizes transportation costs. If suppliers ship in truckload quantities to each destination, it maximizes storage and carrying costs for the buyer.

Cross-docking allows the customer to buy just the quantities that they need for each location and minimizes the transportation costs for all parties. It allows suppliers to ship in economic quantities. A supplier consolidates the orders for all of the customer’s destinations into a truckload and sends that load to the Cross-dock. The Cross-dock, then deconsolidates that load into individual shipments for each unique destination.

The individual shipments are moved directly from the inbound dock to the outbound dock, avoiding the need to store and replenish them in a warehouse (and avoiding the putaway and picking processes). The Cross-dock then consolidates the smaller shipments from multiple suppliers into full loads, then moves them on pre-appointed schedules, and in truckload quantities, direct to the manufacturers’ plants or the retailers’ DCs.

Both transit and scheduling are tightly-controlled. Our Cross-dock facilities maintain a master dock schedule by time and dock for inbound and outbound shipments with standing “windows” for live unloading. Traffic flow paths are optimized for minimum travel time, reduced congestion, and increased safety. Universal does not hold inventory in its Cross-docks. All inventory that comes in during a day goes out that same day.


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