Cross Docking

Affordable Cross-Docking Services in Summit, IL

Furex Transportation is conveniently located in Summit, IL, just outside Chicago. Our facility is very close to rail, major truck routes and Midway International Airport. We offer no-nonsense, affordable, in-and-out cross docking services to increase efficiency and reduce costs. Furex is equipped with the right type of facilities to handle cross-docking related tasks and our staff is well-trained and able to handle large volumes of freight in an orderly and speedy manner.

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What is Cross-Docking?

cross-docking warehouse furexCross docking is a process of unloading freight from one trailer or rail car to another without storing the freight. It is widely used throughout the LTL freight industry to facilitate quicker and more efficient deliveries.

LTL carriers generally use the cross-docking method to move freight from one trailer to another to allow more efficient and timely deliveries. Alternatively, they may unload the trailer and place the freight in a staging area to sort and stage the freight with several shipments for optimizing the delivery route.

Cross docking is a process of unloading freight from one trailer or rail car to another without storing the freight. It is widely used throughout the LTL freight industry to facilitate quicker and more efficient deliveries.

LTL carriers generally use the cross-docking method to move freight from one trailer to another to allow more efficient and timely deliveries. Alternatively, they may unload the trailer and place the freight in a staging area to sort and stage the freight with several shipments for optimizing the delivery route.

Advantages of cross docking

  • Reduces handling and limits risk of damage
  • Reduces costs associated with storage and warehousing
  • Products can be delivered to the customer much quicker than conventional delivery methods
  • Freight coming from different areas throughout the country heading to a single destination can be consolidated into a single truck load shipment
  • Frees up trucks and trailers for use on other shipments thus reducing the required fleet size
  • Products are delivered to customers quicker, as freight flows through the system more efficiently

Is your warehouse ready?
Cross-docking facilities require a large selection of dock doors and a large area for staging freight and to allow the movement of equipment required for loading and unloading. A storage area is also required to facilitate storage of freight that requires longer storage before delivery. 

Your staff must be well-trained and able to handle large volumes of freight in an orderly and efficient manner. Logistics software is the best solution for high volume. This allows computers to better track the freight movement from one trailer to the next to avoid possible errors. Any mistake done at the cross-dock facility will have a tremendous negative effect on the final cost to the product.

Cross-docking is definitely a great opportunity to reduce costs and increase delivery times. However, it does require some pre-planning and organization. Your customers have to be willing and able to produce enough volume of freight to make the system work. A good understanding of your customer and their needs is vital to a good cross-docking facility.

Re-Palletizing and Consolidating into Profits

chicago cross-dockingWhen it comes to optimization, you may already have streamlined your warehouse by installing a computerized inventory system complete with bar coded products and up-to-the-minute inventory reports, or you may have a direct link to customs so your cross-border paperwork is automated. Have you ever thought of consolidating your freight shipments? The cost savings can be substantial as long as you have the ability and knowledge of how to handle it.

In order to make consolidation work, you need to have direct sight of where your freight is and where it is going. Lose track of it for just an instant and you have a major headache that could cost you the profit you would have made in selling it. This is when having a Third Party logistics company or 3PL (like MidAmerica Enterprises of Chicago) can be of great benefit to your bottom line.

A 3PL company can take all of your shipments, no matter where they are coming from, and manage the freight from its origins to its final delivery, arranging with specialized cross-dock facilities that can unload, sort, re-palletize your freight, and reload trailers in a very short time period. They will sort through the paperwork and decide what the best route is for your freight, stockpiling it if necessary, while other LTL shipments come in. When all the freight is in one location, they will load a trailer, and the 3PL company will arrange for its final delivery.

Think of the cost savings you can realize from this. Those small, LTL shipments you are getting from a supplier, so remotely located, that you had to pay FTL rates just to get it shipped to you, now comes to a central terminal not far away from its point of origin. It is then unloaded, re-palletized with freight from other locations that you purchased from, and then shipped directly to you with several other of your domestic and foreign shipments. You then pay for a FTL and actually get a FTL of freight when it arrives instead of a couple of skids.

This method, handled by the 3PL company to save yourself many hassles, will actually save you money which you can then pass on to your customers, thus increasing your sales and lowering your overall costs even more. If you have enough shipments coming in from overseas and cross-country but not the quantity required for TL shipments, then consider having your freight consolidated, and re-palletized by a 3PL company. You may be surprised at the savings.