Enhancing Efficiency with Cross-Docking: Its Important Role in Supply Chains - Broekman Logistics

Enhancing Efficiency with Cross-Docking: Its Key Role in Supply Chains

Question & Answer

Efficiency in logistics is the culmination of numerous strategies working in harmony, and among these, cross-docking stands out as a specialised technique that brings its unique set of advantages. It’s about optimising the process for smoother, quicker turns. Leonard Bruynzeel, Branch Manager at Broekman Logistics Maasvlakte, sheds light in this extensive Q&A on how incorporating cross-docking into existing operations can fine-tune supply chain performance. This conversation explores the specifics of cross-docking and why it’s becoming an indispensable expertise for businesses seeking to enhance their logistical efficiency.

What is Cross-Docking?

Leonard: “Cross-docking is when goods are directly loaded from one truck to another, skipping the warehouse. It’s a way to move products quickly through the supply chain. This method helps to eliminate unnecessary storage time, optimise the flow of goods and eliminates demurrage detention. We often handle goods that involve further distribution in less than 24 hours.”

The process of cross-docking typically follows these steps:

  1. Receiving: Goods arrive our Maasvlakte cross-dock facility in inbound trucks or trailers. Each shipment is designated for a specific outbound vehicle based on its final destination.
  2. Sorting and screening: Upon arrival, goods are sorted. This can involve breaking down pallets into smaller units. Items are screened to identify their destination and priority. This step includes pre-clearance, documentation review, such as checking customs declarations, and a security screening from our in-house Customs team. Enhancing quality control through advanced systems during cross-docking is key.
  3. Staging: After sorting, goods are moved to a staging area on the dock. Here, they are organised according to their outbound destinations. This staging area acts as a temporary holding spot to facilitate quick, organised transfer to outbound trucks. A reduction in handling of goods minimises the risk of damage.
  4. Loading: Sorted and staged goods are then loaded onto outbound trucks. This step is carefully managed to ensure that items are loaded in an order that optimises delivery routes and schedules.
  5. Dispatching: Finally, the outbound trucks, now loaded with the sorted goods, depart the facility to deliver the items to their final destinations.

Who Benefits from Cross-Docking?

Retailers, manufacturers, and distributors all benefit from cross-docking. It generally saves time and money by moving goods faster and more efficiently. Additionally, end consumers gain from quicker delivery times, thanks to the streamlined supply chain. The environmental impact is positive as well, as cross-docking reduces the carbon footprint by minimising storage needs and decreasing fuel consumption through optimised transport routes.

Customised Terminal Solutions - Cross Docking - BDP (2)

What are the Advantages of Cross-Docking?

Cross-docking in the Port of Rotterdam revolutionises supply chain management by enabling direct transfers from inbound to outbound transport, significantly reducing storage and handling costs. This strategic location, a hub of global connectivity, accelerates the delivery  process and reduces environmental impact through optimised routes.

What Type of Cargo is often Cross-docked?

“Cross-docking works best for perishable goods, products in high demand, and shipments that need to get somewhere quickly. This includes both hazardous and non-hazardous goods. We handle, among others types, deep sea cargo that arrives in 40ft containers and is further distributed into 45ft containers. The deep sea cargo is then transformed into short sea cargo. Cross-docking is also suitable in vice versa handling processes, short sea to deep sea.” mentions Leonard Bruynzeel.

Customised Terminal Solutions - Cross Docking - BDP (2)

A Cross-Docking Partner in the Port of Rotterdam  

Broekman Logistics Maasvlakte is only a few minutes removed from the deep sea terminal in the Port of Rotterdam, which has scheduled deep sea services with over 1,000 international ports. “Excellent intermodal connections from the port into the Netherlands and Europe, allow us to provide comprehensive end-to-end supply chain solutions. Prior to the cross-docking activities, we define the specifications of the cargo, including the type of goods (e.g. hazardous, non-hazardous) size, weight, or special handling requirements. And to fully unburden our partners, our team is able to arrange transport pre- and post-cross-docking activities.

For more information about our cross-docking facilities and your enquiries, Leonard is ready to answer all your questions.

Contact our cross-docking expert

Leonard Bruynzeel

Branch Manager
[email protected]

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