What is Cross docking?

Cross docking is a practice in logistics of unloading materials from an incoming semi trailer truck or rail road, car and loading these materials directly into outbound trucks, trailers, or rail, cars with little or no storage in between. This may be done to change the type of conveyance, to sort material intended for different destinations, or to combine material from different origins into transport vehicles.

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Cross Dock is a fairly straight forward concept, goods are moved directly from one truck to another, without spending any time being warehoused at the facility where the cross docking occurs. This might be the case in for example a Walmart warehousing center where shipments are coming in from several different vendors, that need to be shipped quickly to individual stores. T.V.s from vendor A, radios from vendor B, and microwaves from Vendor C, might be cross docked from the three trucks that brought them to the facility directly to the trailers that are delivering these goods to the stores.