If you are a business owner then you definitely realize the importance of transportation services and the role they play in transferring the finished product to their destination. If your business transcends the domestic bounds and requires your products to be exported worldwide then you will need to know the concepts of cross docking services and transloading services. In this article, we will explore these concepts, the companies that provide a cross dock facility, a cross docking warehouse and the difference between cross docking and transloading.
Cross Docking Services Explained
A Cross dock facility consists of, among other things, a cross docking warehouse. Cross docking is defined as the process of taking the products from an inbound transport service, transferring it to the distribution dock and putting them into an outbound transport service. Cross docking reduces or even removes the storage time.
The cross docking warehouse has temporary storage facilities. This helps the businesses save the money spent on storage charges. It also cuts costs when it comes to goods that have to change routes. Cross docking saves time and introduces efficiency. It is a method that is generally deployed when one has to collect goods from several transports and amalgamate them into one.
Cross docking companies usually describe a shipment as drayage. A dray is a container that is moved from one location to another through a rail yard. The container after being emptied at the cross docking warehouse is sent back to the initial drop off point. The quick unloading and return of containers to their initial spot is necessary to not pay additional fines.
Transloading Services Explained
Transloading services are used to transfer goods from one mode of transportation to another. It is especially relevant for international shipping and consists of several steps since worldwide cargo requires to be shifted from the dock to the transloading facility.
These facilities are generally located near the port that receives the shipment. A lot of people confuse transloading with intermodal transportation. In intermodal transportation however, the goods are not taken out of their containers. However, just like in cross docking and transloading, the goods are shipped from various modes of transportation
Basic Distinction Between Transloading and Cross Docking
The process of transloading utilizes container cargo. For international or other shipments, the goods are transloaded into the corresponding vehicle. For instance, if the products came via a ship then they are transloaded to another ship. If the cargo comes in through an ocean liner then it is transloaded to railways, airplanes or trucks.
Cross docking on the other hand is a faster process because generally, the product is already palletized. In transloading, it takes time to palletize the product from its container. However, one similarity in both these processes is the fact that they require good communication for proper organization and management.
Cross Docking vs Transloading – What is the Better Option?
Both cross docking and transloading have their pros and cons. In order to decide which option to choose, you can ask yourself the following questions:
- What is the location of the business?
- What is the size of the business?
- What is the demand of the products and the turnover like?
- What modes of transportation are required?
- What is the location of the shipping point?
Answering these questions will help you reach the right decision.
Importance of Transloading and Cross Docking
The processes of transloading and cross docking are crucial in any supply chain. Both of these procedures are used to process goods for transportation. However, these procedures have different roles.
Transloaders help in getting the shipping containers ready near the port and manage the cargo to enable it to follow the other steps in the supply chain. They are also involved in preparing freight transport and looking after the packaging to make it suitable for expedited handling.
For instance, if the goods arrive at the Port of San Francisco, once they are removed from the ship they will be directed to a transloader. The next step is unloading, palletizing, classification and packaging for further shipping. In some instances however, the intermodal cargo will be transferred directly from the ship to another mode of transport without processing.
Transloaders offer the following services that add efficiency and value to the supply chain:
- Customs management
- Transfer of goods from one point to another
Transloaders are different from cross docking in the sense that they will store and palletize the cargo until the next step on the supply chain is enacted. Cross docking facilities are present at crucial points in the supply chain and reduce the resources required for handling and storing the cargo. They can be envisioned as pitstops for inbound and outbound transport.
Cross docking is located at the end of the supply chain. It is required to transport raw materials and finished products from manufacturers to the users. Unlike transloading, cross docking does not involve cargo ships, it just involves the receipt of cargo on trucks and its transfer to other trucks. It is especially useful for quick transportation of products to their destination.
The goods supply chain is a dynamic process that constantly evolves to become more efficient and fulfill the client’s demands. Transloading and cross docking are essential components of this chain without which transportation would not be possible.
Companies that offer top quality transloading and cross docking services have sprung up to keep up with the demands and to further optimize the chain. They are also evolving innovative new ways to make the chain smarter and efficient.
- Posted by admin
- On April 17, 2021