5 Tips to Help Prep Your Warehouse for Cross-Docking

cross-docking strategy

What are the Benefits of Warehouse Cross-Docking?

When a truck arrives at a facility that utilizes a warehouse cross-docking strategy, the goods are taken off the inbound truck and immediately transferred to an outbound truck. There is no storage phase in-between.

Switching the goods from the incoming truck to an outgoing one immediately achieves a couple of things:


Improved Efficiency

The most obvious advantage of cross-docking is an increase in a company's standard operations efficiency. Without a cross-docking system, workers manually unload the goods from a truck and place them in storage. 

The final step is to load the goods onto the next available truck. Compare the aforementioned storage system with a cross-docking strategy, where goods are taken from one truck, briefly processed at the warehouse dock, then sent back out in another truck almost immediately.

It is easy to see why cross-docking is a beneficial strategy for food shippers to adopt when it is feasible to do so.


Reduced Cost

The storage of a large number of refrigerated goods for a prolonged period of time requires a large amount of space, energy, and manpower. With margins razor-thin, inflation on the rise, and workers in short supply, cutting costs is extremely important.

Implementing a cross-docking program has numerous other benefits, as well. However, the two benefits discussed above are by far the most significant.


Warehouse Cross-Docking Checklist


Create Space for Cross-Docking

Dock space is an incredibly important part of your warehouse. This area should be large enough for easy maneuverability and compact enough for workers to travel as little distance as possible when loading and unloading goods. 

Pay close attention to your warehouse layout if you're considering switching to cross-docking. Any necessary changes to the spacing carry long-term benefits.


Emphasize Staff and Facility Organization

The goal of cross-docking is to maximize efficiency and reduce the time goods spend in warehouses.

It is important to account for the timing of incoming and outgoing shipments, the weight difference between different loads, and maintaining designated areas where workers can find anything they might need to facilitate a quicker loading/unloading process.


Modify Your Transportation Management System

An organization must consider its TMS's ability to handle cross-docking when implementing it. In order to plan the most efficient delivery routes, it is often necessary to make minor or major changes. 

Cross-docking is only successful when all the pieces are utilized effectively. A TMS is one such piece.


Don’t Forget About Quality Control

Cross-docking offers a number of benefits, but it is easy to overlook the basics of warehousing, such as quality control. 

The companies must develop an efficient system for ensuring that the goods arrived and subsequently ship out in the proper quantity and quality.



Cross-docking is a great choice for many warehouses. Those with a high turnover of goods are able to benefit from this strategy, increasing profits and improving efficiency.

For this reason, cross-docking is also an excellent decision for most food shipping companies.

Make sure that you follow the preparatory steps outlined in this article before implementing a cross-docking program for your business. Also, consider working with a 3PL like Redwood Logistics to help you navigate the changes and more easily transition to cross-docking.