More and more, companies are finding value in cross-docking's ability to take costs out, manage inventory levels, increase efficiencies and accommodate unpredictable customer demand, according to a study released by Saddle Creek Corporation, a logistics services provider.
The 2011 Cross-Docking Trends Report, based on online survey responses from more than 200 logistics industry decision makers, finds that cross-docking is on the rise. Respondents' backgrounds include warehousing, distribution and/or transportation.
A follow-up to the 2008 Cross-Docking Trends Report, this year's study explores the latest cross-docking practices, benefits and challenges, outsourcing trends and more. Research highlights include:
• Cross-docking has increased significantly in the past three years. More than two thirds of survey respondents (68.5 percent) currently cross-dock - up from 52 percent of respondents in 2008.
• Cross-docking is a viable strategy for adapting to challenging economic times for many respondents. Of those who have been cross-docking for four or more years, 40.3 percent say that recent challenging economic conditions have prompted them to increase cross-docking somewhat or substantially.
• The biggest benefits of cross-docking are improving service levels (37.9 percent), reducing transportation costs (32.4 percent) and consolidating shipments to destination (32.4 percent).
• More companies are recognizing the value of outsourcing cross-docking. In fact, a significantly larger percentage of today's cross-dock practitioners (40.4 percent) use a 3PL either exclusively or in addition to in-house resources than in 2008 when just 32 percent of respondents who cross-docked reported tapping a third-party.
"Survey results support what we're seeing firsthand in the marketplace today," said Tom Patterson, senior vice president of warehouse operations at Saddle Creek. "Companies are realizing that cross-docking can help them to increase speed to market and improve service levels while reducing warehousing and transportation costs. Outsourcing the function allows companies to leverage outside expertise and integrated logistics capabilities without making an overhead investment."
For the complete 2011 Cross-Docking Trends Report, visit http://www.saddlecrk.com/xdock
Source: Saddle Creek Corporation
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