According to Peter, Hahn, Zhang Cross-docking has to be considered as mechanisms and tool which is being practiced in logistics from a purpose of minimizing or bringing reduction in the transportation and other related expenses in the system of supply chain. And this is done by unloading the carriages which has been received by the semi-trailers and loading of the same goods and carriages is to be done directly into outbound trailers with little or no storage in between. For packaging and uploading of incoming full trailers the Strip doors are to be considered as the docks or the ports (Guignard, Hahn and Zhang, 2013). There is a separate place where the outgoing empty containers are sent for the collection of the carriages which will be then sent to some specific destinations, these places are known as stack doors at the docks. Both the stack doors and strip doors are found side by side i.e. one on one side and second one on another side on the cross docks. But mostly the income carriages and the goods are unloaded on stack door side of the cross-dock and outgoing trailers loaded on the strip door side. Moreover as per the OR and transportation literature, the management of the operations of the cross dock has been considered static or dynamic (Vis, 2004). While carrying out the process of static optimization, the contents of the incoming trailer comprising the destination volumes for the next period are known and also optimization is done of the door assignments and the carriages for bringing reduction in the distance of travel of goods through the cross dock. Door assignment which has to be considered as an excellent guide fails to take into account or ignores to considers the realities of the dynamic situation which has expected to be encountered during the processing period. According to the research carried out on cross-dock and which has been done for addressing the changes occurring outside and inside the cross-dock over the planning period, usually no more than a day, incoming and outgoing of the carriages and goods are scheduled for the optimization of efficiency (Lee and Whang, 2001). There is difference in the criteria such as for costs of labor, costs of delays, total busy time, etc. and also the assumptions differ such as all the incoming cargos and the shipments are expected to be kept waiting in the yard side at the beginning of the planning period, or the arrival time of the carriages is expected as per the given times with a certain amount of uncertainty while the outgoing shipments are provided with a given schedule, or can be called to the gates when needed, etc.
Moreover according to Panousopoulou1, Papadopoulou2, Manthou (2017) from the last few years it has been observed that the business organizations has started trying for finding better and improved mechanisms and methods for bringing an enhancement in the profitability of supply chain management and this will also bring a reduction in the expenses which are related to logistics (Rushton, Croucher and Baker, 2014). Mainly three methods were found which will be proven beneficial for the business corporations in this concept. Distribution network optimization, shipment consolidation and cross docking, and in this concept the main focus has been provided to cross docking. The core idea or thought behind the concept of cross docking is directly making shipment ready after they have come from the production line for delivery without the carriages or the goods being kept stored in the warehouse. In fact, the prime concern or the motive of this mechanism is to make possible for the business corporations, the integration of the shipments or the cargos of different sizes to a unique shipment with full truck loads, which will be proven beneficial in bringing reduction in the transportation costs (Heizer and Barry, 2013). Also it has been mentioned by the author that an improvement brought in the quality of an organization has a positive impact on the growth and development of the supply chain effectiveness. Also a discussion was done on the following five methods which are stock management, the connections and bonds between the organization and its suppliers, the increase of response time to the customers, the development of sustainability and competitive advantage, the emergence of innovations and modern mechanisms and also enhancement in the communication mechanisms (Weele, 2009). But here the development of the methods and tools by which a reduction in the cost of supply chain management has not been mentioned. However cross-docking has not been mentioned by a number of researchers when they did analysis over the characters or the components which had contribution to the effectiveness and excellence of the supply chain management process. The interest of the research conduction has been raised due to the the lack of many researches with regard to cross – docking and as well as its importance in logistics. Further it has been also observed that the main aim of the cross-docking process is to minimize transportation costs and increase supply chain effectiveness and providing such kinds of benefits this methods has been developed. Cross-docking also enhances gaunt manufacturing, by making minimization of time wastage, tools and equipment’s, manpower and by this optimization of the distribution process is possible (Nabuurs, Wagener and Vlieg, 2007). The factors that have to considered, so that cross-docking is properly implemented, are the effective products’ and information flow, the use of information technology, the distance between suppliers and their customers, the location of the cross-docking terminal, the coordination between inbound and outbound flows and the demanded quantity of goods. The following are the benefits which are attained by the business organizations due to the cross-docking mechanism, decrease in the supply chain management expenses and decrease in the cycle time of order, improvements in the service provided to the consumers and the clients, reduction in inventory and storage space. But this has not been proved that cross-docking is suitable for all types of organizations. Apart of a number of advantages there are number of obstacles which have been faced by this advanced and expensive information technology and mechanism (Myerson, 2012). By simulation mechanisms and tailor made software’s the effectiveness of cross-docking can be evaluated and this has to be done for meeting the needs and the requirements of each company. The research has also investigated the operational aspects of a cross-docking system and this has been done by analyzing the case of a 3PL provider, operating in Thessaloniki. The aim of this research is also to discuss the effectiveness of cross docking implemented by a leading company in outsourcing (Trego and Murray, 2010).
Reeves (2007) has stated that “a cross dock is simply an intermediate staging area for freight”. In fact, cross-docking has considered as the solution to the problem which has been faced by many of the business corporations with regard to their shipment of finished goods and this problem also comprises of concept of lean manufacturing. As per the author, “one of the fundamental tenets of lean manufacturing is the use of small batch sizes and just-in-time deliveries of materials directly to the point of use on the assembly line”. The concept of lean manufacturing has been based on the continuous improvement and the reduction of waste in all aspects of production process: time, raw materials, equipment (Graham, 2011). According to the author lean manufacturing has been also focused on the maximization and development and growth of the process speed, by decreasing all the potential wastes. However, one of the biggest issues faced by business corporations come up is that when 2nd INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE ON SUPPLY CHAINS and which showed the distance between dealers and clients has been increasing and hence the business entities also find many difficulties in succeeding in the effective and minimized direct shipment. The mechanisms of cross-docking have been addressing these issues. Author also points out that there are mainly three methods of cross-docking in supply chain management system (Villarreal and et al, 2012). The first method is manufacturing cross-docking, the second method is the distribution center cross-docking, the third method is the terminal cross-docking. From the above carried out analysis it can be concluded that having the information about where and how to eliminate the wastage is a crucial concept and also significant for the operations of supply chain management process (Farahani, Rezapour and Kardar, 2011). And this all has been bases on the principles of lean manufacturing.
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