Using Cross-Docking to Improve Your eCommerce Operations


As an eCommerce business, there’s no doubt that you understand the importance of operational efficiency for improving financial returns. You might have heard about eCommerce cross-docking as a means to streamline and optimize existing processes. This can be especially valuable in distribution and inventory management, where minor improvements often create significant cost savings. 

In this blog post, we’ll explore how leveraging cross-docking techniques can help your eCommerce operation become more efficient and profitable.

What does cross-docking mean?

Cross-docking is a logistics technique that allows goods to be delivered straight from a supplier or manufacturer to a consumer or retail chain.

This implies no need for storage or warehousing because inbound freight is unloaded straight onto an outbound container. In this case, sorting items takes priority over using the distribution center as a warehouse or place to store inventories.

Using Cross-Docking to Improve Your eCommerce Operations

At practice, this implies that the distribution center in a cross-docking facility serves as a hub where inventory is promptly processed and transported to the next stage of the shipping process.

When is eCommerce cross-docking useful?

Perishable products

Cross-docking may be a real advantage if your supply chain includes perishable items like food, beverages, or even medicine.

Perishable items have a shorter shelf life, therefore you need a logistics plan that uses the least amount of storage possible. eCommerce cross-docking allows items to travel straight from the source of supply to the end location with the least amount of storage time required.

Supplier components and raw materials

It is advantageous for the end user from a logistics perspective if raw materials and manufacturing inputs aren’t kept in storage at any stage in the supply chain because this might affect production timeframes.

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Cross-docking can assist in resolving this problem by ensuring that goods go as quickly as possible through the supply chain to their intended location.

Using Cross-Docking to Improve Your eCommerce Operations

Pre-packed and sorted goods

These commodities, by definition, do not require any sorting or arranging when they arrive at a distribution location. Keeping these items for more than 24 hours is frequently a needless cost.

Cross-docking enables you to transfer these things through the supply chain without spending time or human resources on storage.

Cross-docking practices

Continuous Cross-docking

Products are continually moved via a central location in continuous cross-docking. Inbound products are received, processed, and transported outbound to their next destination as soon as possible.

This is the most straightforward eCommerce cross-docking method of the three. Once your operation is set up, it tends to operate on its own as long as you have strong automation tools and a robust transportation system in place.

Consolidation Arrangements

Consolidation arrangement is the technique of grouping multiple small shipments or items into a bigger outgoing package. You carry out this within your cross-docking facility.

When using this method, extra storage is frequently required since you must typically store some products while you wait for other deliveries because the items are combined into one single shipment.

By combining your shipping, this strategy might help you save money if you have the storage capacity.

Using Cross-Docking to Improve Your eCommerce Operations


For simpler transit or quicker delivery periods, big goods are received and subsequently divided into smaller shipments using the deconsolidation process.

When a product or material is delivered directly from your distribution center to a customer, this strategy is frequently employed. In the shipping facility, a huge quantity of merchandise is separated before being delivered to a customer.

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In Conclusion,

eCommerce Cross-docking can only be successful if businesses are open about their inventory and supply chain procedures and dedicate themselves to developing an automated infrastructure that can keep up with the quick speed of this logistics strategy.

BackOrder is delighted to assist you with that, whether it be by giving information and assisting you in making a better-educated decision or by offering a software solution that improves the effectiveness of your inventory management. Don’t hesitate to contact us today!


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