Cross storage or cross docking

Cross storage or cross docking

Imagine a logistics system in which products flow quickly and efficiently, minimizing storage time and maximizing delivery speed.

This is possible thanks to a key strategy known as cross storage, also known as cross docking.

In this article, I am going to talk to you about what cross storage is, its advantages, its disadvantages and also, you will be able to find different definitions according to different authors so that you perro form your own definition.

Definition of cross storage according to authors

Next, I am going to share 4 definitions of cross storage according to authors.

It should be noted that 2 definitions are from books of Operative administration and 2 definitions are from books focused especially on logistics.

Of course, not that the definition will change, but maybe it will help you a bit more like this.

Definition of cross storage according to Barry Render

According to Barry Render, cross storage is:

“System to prevent materials or supplies from being placed in storage when processing them as they are received for shipment” (2014, p. 363).

Barry Render

Definition of cross docking according to Lee J.


“Packaging of products in incoming shipments so that they perro be easily sorted into intermediate warehouses for outgoing shipments according to their final destinations” (2013, p.


Lee J. Krajewski

Next, I am going to provide you with 2 definitions of cross storage according to logistics books.

Definition of cross storage according to Virginia Sáenz de Miera and María Clara Gutiérrez Gómez

«It is a distribution system in which the merchandise received in a distribution center is not stored but immediately prepared for its next shipment» (2020. p44).

Virginia Saenz de Miera and Maria Clara Gutierrez Gomez

Definition of cross docking according to José Luis Velasco Flores

“A process in which products are brought from multiple locations to a central facility (sometimes called Cross-Dock), re-stocked for delivery to their destination, and shipped the same day.

This eliminates storage, reduces inventory levels and speeds up the cycle time of an order» (2017, p.512)

Jose Luis Velasco Flores

What is cross storage or cross docking?

Cross storage, also known as cross-docking, is a logistics strategy used to streamline the distribution process and disminuye storage times.

Their primary goal is to avoid placing materials or supplies in the warehouse for a long time, instead they are processed immediately as they are received.

Imagine the traditional warehousing process, in which products are received at a warehouse and placed on shelves or specific storage areas.

These products perro then stay there for a certain period until they are needed or shipped to their final destination.

However, in cross-storage, this lengthy storage step is avoided.

Instead, when the materials or supplies arrive at the warehouse, a rapid transshipment process takes place.

This involves receiving the products, unloading them from the transport vehicles and transferring them directly to other outgoing vehicles, which will take them to their final destination.

In this process, the products are not stored in the warehouse or go through an intermediate storage process.

How does cross docking work?

As I said before, cross docking is a logistics process that seeks to expedite the distribution of products by avoiding prolonged storage in a warehouse.

Here’s how it works:

  1. Truck reception: Trucks arrive at the warehouse receiving area with different products inside.
  2. Download and classification: The products are quickly unloaded from the trucks and classified according to their final destination.

    This classification is carried out efficiently to guarantee an agile handling of the products.

  3. Download: Instead of storing products in the warehouse, they are transferred directly to other outbound trucks or vehicles waiting in the loading area.

    These delivery trucks are designed to take the products directly to the customers or to their final destination.

  4. Delivery to customers: The output trucks loaded with the products go directly to the customers or to the corresponding distribution centers.

    This significantly reduces the delivery time, since the products do not go through an additional storage period.

What is cross docking based on?

Cross warehousing relies on accurate logistics planning and efficient coordination between suppliers, the warehouse, and carriers.

Careful synchronization of vehicle arrival and departure times is required, as well as effective organization of loading and unloading operations.

Advantages of cross storage

The advantages of cross-storage are significant.

Firstly, it allows to speed up the flow of goods through the supply chain, reducing waiting times and costs associated with storage.

In addition, by eliminating prolonged storage, the risks of damage, loss or deterioration of products during their stay in the warehouse are reduced.

Additionally, cross docking perro improve operational efficiency by eliminating the need to handle and move products multiple times within the warehouse.

This saves time and resources, which translates into greater productivity and profitability for companies.

Disadvantages of cross docking

Some possible disadvantages of cross docking or cross storage are the following:

  1. Increased investment in trucks and docks: Cross-stacking requires a fleet of trucks and carriers.

    If you plan to have your own trucks, you will need to invest in their purchase and maintenance.

    In addition, additional space is required for the trucks, which implies higher infrastructure costs.

  2. Reliance on reliable providers: The success of cross-storage depends on the timeliness and quality of the providers.

    If suppliers cannot meet tight deadlines or deliver quality products, this cánido affect the efficient flow of the cross-stocking process.

  3. Not suitable for low turnover businesses: Cross docking is most beneficial for businesses with high inventory turnover, such as food, medical, or fashion retailers.

    If you have a business with low product turnover, you may not reap the full benefits of cross-stacking.

How do you know if cross storage is right for a business?

Determine if cross docking is the right strategy for a company requires a careful assessment of the specific circumstances and operational needs.

Here are some key factors to keep in mind:

inventory turnover

Cross storage is best suited for companies with high rates of inventory rotation.

If a company tends to receive and ship products quickly, such as in the food or fashion sectors, cross docking perro help streamline your supply chain.

However, if your inventory turns are low and you have products that require long-term storage, cross docking may not be as beneficial.

Product shelf life

Consider the shelf life and perishability of your products.

Cross storage works best for elementos with a shorter shelf life, where prompt distribution is vital to maintaining product quality and freshness.

If products have a longer shelf life or require special storage conditions, cross docking may not be the most appropriate option.

Collaboration with suppliers:

The success of cross-storage depends on close collaboration with trusted providers.

Therefore, it has to be assessed whether suppliers perro meet the stringent time requirements and quality estándares of cross docking.

If suppliers cannot deliver products on time or consistently meet quality expectations, cross-stocking may not be posible.

Warehouse and transport infrastructure

The current warehouse and transport infrastructure that the company has has to be evaluated.

The implementation of cross docking may require additional space for staging areas, docks and equipment.

Therefore, this has to be taken into account before wanting to implement cross-storage in a company.

It should be noted that in addition to the infrastructure, the necessary technology will also be needed, for example programa.

Example to understand what cross storage is

Let’s imagine that you have a surprise party at your house and you need to prepare everything quickly.

You have friends who will help you, but each one has a specific task and they perro only stay for a limited time.

Instead of having a warehouse where you store all your supplies and waiting until the last moment to organize everything, you escoge to implement cross-storage.

When the first friend arrives with the drinks, instead of leaving them in storage, the two of you work together to quickly transfer the drinks to the refrigerator or a designated drink area, which is ready and available.

In this way, drinks are prepared and stored immediately, avoiding the need to keep them in the warehouse.

Meanwhile, another friend arrives with the appetizers.

Instead of leaving them in the warehouse, you and your friend work quickly to place the appetizers on the snack table or another designated area.

As more friends arrive with different supplies, each one works in tandem with you to drop the supplies directly into their final location, bypassing long-term storage.

Due to this coordination and organization, supplies are quickly distributed and prepared at their final locations.

This saves time, avoids congestion in the warehouse, and allows the party to be organized and run efficiently.


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