The benefits of cross-docking for your online business in 2023


Understanding the concept of cross-docking

Cross-docking is an effective logistics procedure for distributing products from a supplier or manufacturing plant directly to a customer or retail chain with limited handling or storage time. Cross docking occurs in a distribution dock terminal, which typically consists of trucks and dock doors on two sides (inbound and outbound) with little to no storage space. The term ‘cross docking’ describes the process of receiving products at an inbound dock and then transferring them across the dock to the outbound transportation dock.


Incoming products arrive at the docks via transport and are then placed on one side of the terminal. From there, the products can be moved either directly or indirectly to their next destination. They can be unloaded, sorted, and screened so that their end destination is known. After being sorted, the products are moved to the opposite end of the terminal via another form of transportation to their dock. When the outbound transportation arrives, the products are loaded and sent off to their customers.

How can cross-docking benefit your business and customers?

Cross-docking is a supply chain efficiency strategy that can be extremely effective in modern companies where timescales are often prioritised. When done correctly, cross-docking can lead to drastic reductions in delivery times. Our logistics team has the experience necessary to provide a cost-effective cross-docking service within our facility.

Cross-docking at our facilities is the perfect solution for an efficient supply chain. Our skilled staff and powerful loading technology work together to get your products where they need to go as quickly as possible. That means fewer stops per trailer and faster turnaround times from concept to market, meaning a more streamlined and cost-effective supply chain for your business.

We manage an inventory of your supplier’s goods in our cross-dock warehouse. State-of-the-art scanners at our pack desk allow us to quickly and accurately read barcodes on units as they come in, which are then quarantined until further processing. This system eliminates the need for handling goods in process, saving time and labour costs.

  • Mango Logistics provide a site to sort and combine your products being delivered to multiple destinations using a fast and productive method. 
  • Combining product deliveries saves on transportation costs and keeps our carbon footprint to a minimum. 
  • Larger product orders can be broken down into easier-to-manage deliveries to support your customers. 

There are several significant benefits that come with incorporating cross-docking into your retail supply chain strategy. The main advantage is that products spend less time in the warehouse – or no time at all – which in turn reduces inventory handling and storage costs. Additionally, goods usually arrive at their final destination much quicker, which gives the retailer an advantage over its competitors.

Is cross-docking right for your online business?

Cross-docking is a process that can benefit some warehouses, but it’s important to do your research to see if cross-docking will actually increase productivity, lower costs and improve customer satisfaction for your particular business. Cross docking can help move the supply chain along more quickly for a variety of products. Cross docking can benefit many types of businesses, but it is especially helpful for those who need to transport unpreserved or temperature-controlled items like food. Additionally, cross-docking can make the process of transporting already packaged and sorted products to a particular customer faster and more efficient.

Cross-docking is a term that is commonly used by businesses with stable, consistent demand and high inventory turnover. But almost any kind of business can adopt this process if it fits with their supply chain strategy and infrastructure. The following types of businesses are those most likely to benefit from a cross-docking supply chain model:

  • Manufacturers
  • Importers/exporters
  • Retailers
  • E-commerce businesses

Pre-labelled, barcoded and sold goods are the best type of products to use for cross-docking because they are already prepared to be sent to the customer, they have already been paid for, and they can be quickly dispatched. This is a great model for goods that are going to be used in a promotion or that have just been launched because they need to be sent out urgently in large quantities.

Cross-docking is most effective for items that are ordered in consistent volumes due to constant demand, as well as for short shelf life products which require a quick turnaround. This is because cross-docking cuts out the process of ‘put away’, and the ideal scenario is that the volume of incoming goods matches the amount that leaves. However, cross-docking is not suitable where orders are made up of multiple SKUs or where the stock will sell through over a period of days/weeks, or months.

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Mango Logistics can support your cross-docking needs

If you are running an online business, you know that a streamlined supply chain is crucial to getting your products to market as quickly as possible. Historically, the best way to save time and money was to close the distribution centre and move distribution to the supplier. This became known as cross docking. The benefits of cross-docking were twofold: it saved time and money by reducing transportation costs and inventory while increasing productivity and providing better inventory management. Today, with e-commerce booming and online shopping becoming more prevalent, cross-docking has never been important. 

If you would like to incorporate cross-docking into your business in 2023, get in touch with Mango Logistics and see how we can help you deliver your products easily and effectively. 

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