Cross docking is a method for transferring product or materials during the process with no warehousing or little. It involves unloading incoming cargo; consolidation and sorting; and then instantaneously loading them on trucks or rail cars. Instead of warehousing, the distribution center is essentially just a sorting center which materials quickly pass through.

Simply put, cross-docking services involves transferring your cargo from an incoming shipping medium to a different, outgoing shipping medium with little or no time spent in storage.


A normal cross docking facility might seem like a long, narrow building with loading docks on both sides. The objective is minimize the quantity of floor space and to maximize the number of loading docks. Materials arrive on one side of the building; are sorted; and loaded onto trucks and sent out from the other side of the building. Whenever possible substances are transferred straight to an outbound truck from an inbound truck.

There’s no reason for them to sit in the distribution center waiting to be “sold.” They might be transferred directly to an outbound truck. Sometimes materials spend less than an hour in the distribution center. A longer residence time might be required at times to permit time for enough materials to come back in to make a full outbound truck to certain destinations. Nevertheless, materials infrequently spend more than 24 hours in the distribution center.

The hub and spoke systems utilized by airlines might be considered a cross docking system for transferring folks. People arrive from a large number of individual locations at an airline’s hub airport. The individuals are sorted and consolidated onto airplanes that were outgoing and sent to their destinations. Ideally people spend the absolute minimum period of time in the airport, although when traveling to or from less popular locations there may be longer airport wait times. In a simplistic viewpoint the airplanes simply move forth and back along identical courses. People gather and outgoing traffic back along the exact same route, then reverse way and distribute bring individuals to the hub.


Cross docking’s advantage include:

  • Cross docking minimizes the requirement for warehouse space.
  • Cross docking reduces inventory carrying costs.
  • Cross docking reduces labor prices for putaway and picking.
  • Cross docking reduces material handling, reducing costs and reducing the opportunities for goods to be damaged.
  • Cross docking reduces the time range to customer from merchandise production to delivery.
  • Cross docking consolidates shipments, allowing smaller quantities to be shipped and better utilizing transport resources.
  • Cross docking produces an increased throughput.


While cross docking is not appropriate for all businesses, it provides strong economical, quality, and customer satisfaction advantages that make cross docking a persuasive method of managing movement of goods and materials.


There are a number of cross docking scenarios that can be used.

  • Retail Cross Docking – This is the most common application of cross docking. A distribution center receives product from a number of suppliers. The products are sorted, combined and sometimes repacked onto pallets, and then sent out to multiple retail locations. An simplistic example of retail cross docking would be: Three trucks arrive each carrying a full load of a different product: a truck load of laundry soap; a truck full of facial tissue; and a truck loaded with light bulbs. An hour later three other trucks leave the distribution center each headed for a different retail store. Each truck has a full load of a combination of laundry soap, facial tissues and light bulbs.
  • Manufacturing Cross Docking – Cross docking in manufacturing works when a centralized distribution point receives incoming materials and products, then sorts and configures them to be shipped to various manufacturing locations. Each manufacturing location receives just what is needed for a defined amount of production. Manufacturing locations might be within a single facility or located in a number of facilities or locations.
  • Transportation Cross Docking – This type of cross docking takes in shipments from numerous locations, sorts them, and then sends them out to their final destinations.

Laney & Duke offers everything you need for cross-docking services in Jacksonville, FL including drayage to and from the Jacksonville ports. Whether it’s stripping full trailer loads or trans-loading onto overseas containers or stripping full container loads for domestic delivery, Laney & Duke has you covered. No matter your shipment or needs, Laney & Duke can meet your unique supply chain requirements.