Companies across diverse markets use cross docking services to help expedite their shipping processes, shorten supply chains, and reduce storage and labor costs. At Mulder Brothers Brokerage, we’ve specialized in transport logistics since 2008. Our dedicated team offers reliable cross-docking, warehousing, and a range of related services to provide world-class support to your business and faster order fulfillment for satisfied customers nationwide.

What Is a Cross-Docking Warehouse?

The goal of cross-docking is to reduce the need for storage in your supply chain as products move from the manufacturer or supplier to retailers. Upon their arrival at an inbound dock in a cross docking warehouse, products promptly go through sorting and shipping preparation based on final destination, with workers sometimes loading goods directly onto trucks standing by at the outbound dock. Warehouse employees may also break down shipments, consolidating them into smaller or larger loads to facilitate delivery and potentially use fewer trucks.

Requiring little to no storage and material handling at these distribution centers, cross-docking significantly increases the efficiency of the shipping process while decreasing costs. Using this lean model for distribution and order fulfillment logistics, Mulder Brothers and our partners can assist you with everything from transportation to inventory management and quality control, helping you get the most from cross-docking services.

Advantages of Utilizing a Cross-Docking Method

The cross docking method and cross docking services offer numerous benefits for businesses, including:

  • A central distribution facility. A cross-dock warehouse creates a centralized location for more efficient product handling and distribution, sorting goods to expedite last-mile delivery by destination.
  • Expedited shipping and order fulfillment. Cross-docking minimizes storage and handling needs by optimizing your supply chain, resulting in tighter timeframes from shipping to delivery. This has the added benefit of helping you build a positive reputation among your customers for fast order fulfillment.
  • Inventory maintenance. Cross-docking shipments for retailers allows them to replenish their inventory at a faster rate.
  • Decreased costs. Using cross-docking, you won’t need to spend as much money on warehouse facilities, labor to staff it, and middle- and last-mile fees for shipping.
  • Minimized product handling. Cross-docking is ideal for decreasing delivery times on products with shorter shelf lives, such as foods, pharmaceuticals, and cosmetics. Also, reduced handling typically equates to reduced damage to your goods to better maintain product integrity. Lastly, you can increase inventory turnover and facilitate tracking with reduced product handling.
  • Enhanced environmental-friendliness. With fewer transport vehicles typically being necessary, you can decrease your company’s carbon footprint through decreased emissions.


Pre-Distribution vs. Post-Distribution Cross-Docking

Depending on your needs, you can select either pre-distribution or post-distribution cross docking services.

Pre-Distribution Cross-Docking

In pre-distribution cross-docking, the manufacturer or supplier has a specific customer waiting for the products. This means the order instructions are already set before the goods arrive at the distribution center. Workers can unload goods from an incoming transport, sort and consolidate the products based on their final destination, and quickly reload them onto outgoing vehicles for distribution. This technique minimizes the amount of time that products sit at the warehouse, making it a good choice for retailers with warehouses and established relationships with suppliers and customers.

Post-Distribution Cross-Docking

With post-distribution cross-docking, goods remain in the distribution center until there’s a customer or defined end destination for the products. As a result, shipments remain at the warehouse for a little longer than with the pre-distribution method. A significant logistical benefit to this technique is that it allows retailers and distributors to ensure they have enough product going to the right place at the right time based on existing inventory availability and demand forecasting.

Three Common Cross-Docking Methods

There are three main types of cross-docking to choose from:

  • Continuous cross-docking. As the name suggests, this method processes inventory continuously and quickly as it moves from incoming to outgoing transport vehicles, resulting in minimal warehousing time.
  • Consolidation arrangements. This method prepares inventory for distribution by combining multiple smaller shipments into a single large one. The consolidation process does necessitate some warehousing time until a shipment reaches truckload (TL) capacity, but it saves on shipping fees.
  • De-consolidation. Ideal for direct-to-consumer applications, de-consolidation breaks larger shipments down into smaller ones. This method simplifies shipping for faster transportation.

Cross-Docking Services From Mulder Brothers

The right cross-docking services will help you save time, space, and money for efficient distribution operations. If you’ve been asking for “dependable cross-docking near me from experts I can trust,” Mulder Brothers is here to help with a solution that’s tailored to your operation. Over the past 15 years, we’ve developed a consistent, trusted independent carrier base as part of our commitment to being your one-stop shop for transportation, storage, and third-party logistics (3PL).

In addition to cross-docking, we’re also experienced in warehousing, frozen less-than-truckload (LTL) shipments, redelivery, and more to serve you with comprehensive logistics solutions and 24/7 support. To learn more about our capabilities or for help streamlining your deliveries, contact us today.