Cross-Docking Facilities & Satellite Depots
With prompt delivery times being increasingly critical while transportation and service costs continue to rise, cross-docking could be an ideal solution to ensure that time-sensitive shipments are made in time, and upmost freshness is consistently delivered to your customers.
Cross-docking has reshaped supply chain management in a variety of industries, and of course, has swept into the challenging landscape of companies who require temperature-controlled storage solutions for their products.
Given the many benefits, the demand for cross-docking facilities and satellite depots have surged within those who specialise in refrigerated, frozen and other temperature-controlled cargo, as we shall discuss.
What is cross-docking?
Cross-docking is a logistics procedure where cargo is unloaded from trucks/lorries (or any other means of transport) and then loaded onto another method of transportation for swift distribution to your retail chain or directly to the customer. Cross-docking is usually done immediately with marginal to no storage or handling time.
What is a satellite depot?
A satellite depot is simply a cross-docking facility, i.e. a remote depot where cross-docking takes place.
When is it used?
Satellite depots can advance the supply chain for a variety of products across a range of industries. Our focus is on temperature-controlled products such as foods. Unpreserved or temperature-sensitive foods must be transported quickly to ensure optimal quality, and hence benefit from cross-docking. The process can become quick and efficient if products are initially packaged and stored correctly.
Cross-docking facilities are also used in busy cities as regional distribution centres, where space is usually limited. Utilising these facilities strategically in central locations will allow you to reach retail chains, distributors and customers nationwide with ease. This also means that vehicles not at full capacity will make a reduced number of journeys, saving you time and money.
Additionally, satellite depots can be positioned and found at airports and ports for those involved in international exports and imports. Using one of these facilities can reduce the costs of carrying inventory since your stock is available sooner. Again, this drives down supply chain costs.
- Reduced transport costs
- Improved delivery times
- Freed up warehouse space
- Reduced product handling required
- Increased customer satisfaction
Benefits of Cross-Docking
Cross-docking is used widely amongst companies as the benefits are many and differ from one business to another. However, these are the main benefits of cross-docking:
- Reduction in transportation costs. Cross-docking requires optimised routing, meaning fewer miles and fuel is wasted. Less number of journeys per vehicle. Vehicle service costs also then reduce.
- Reduction in delivery times. Facilities are geographically located nearby final destinations. This means less travel, quicker delivery, fresher produce and happier customers.
- Reduction in facility space needed. Since cross-docking involves very little or no handling/storage time, small square footage will suffice.
- Reduction of material handling. This means less direct labour costs, allowing your business to introduce discounts for customers, which gives you a competitive advantage.
- Increases customer satisfaction if you deliver directly to the consumer. This stems from the improved product quality, reduced delivery times and discounts mentioned above. This will help retain existing clients and allow you to attract new segments of the market.
The above benefits work collectively to prove one thing; adopting cross-docking process correctly to your business will unveil a breadth of opportunities to provide better customer service, save cash and optimise your cold storage/transportation solution.