Warehouse Cross Docking

date 7/23/2019   people By Krishnamurthy Molukuvan

Many a times in Supply chain discussion you would have heard about Cross Docking, wonder what it means and how it is used in the industry?

Cross docking is more of logistics optimization procedure that keeps supply chain moving transferring finished materials and product components to customer or retail chain with marginal to no storage or handling time. Some of the industries that especially benefit from
this process are Food and beverages with expiry, Parcel, Packed and sorted products, raw materials & components suppliers.

In standard distribution center cross docking is more of sorting and routing place where goods quickly pass through. The basic steps are:

  • Inbound shipment arrives in warehousing facility.
  • Items received into staging/sorting/loading area.
  • New shipment built by sorting and consolidating the inventory.
  • Outbound shipment dispatched to the destinations.

We have few types of cross docking mainly catering to various requirements, listed below in the order of importance:

  • In Retail Distribution – Warehouse receiving products from multiple vendors and they are combined into one or more shipments and sent out to retail stores.
  • For Manufacturing cross docking – Receiving of Inbound and purchased products to ship them to manufacturing facility.
  • In Transportation distribution – Combine small shipment load into full truck for economies of scale.
  • Distributor – Finished product is shipped to Warehouse by suppliers and they are sorted and grouped for delivery to consumers from the facility.

Steps followed in the SCM applications for Cross docking:

In SCM application Cross docking can work against Order or Order at later stage.

Against the Order flow:

  • Receive by ASN, update the ASN status.
  • Generate the receiving Transactions / Events for HOST ERP
  • Receive Inbound LPN and the LPN moved to consumed status and create Outbound LPN in pack status.
  • Order status moved to Pack.
  • Generate Order status Transactions / Events.
  • Once at the shipping dock order is loaded, Order status changed to Shipped.

Order at the later stage:

  • Receive by ASN, update the ASN status.
  • Generate the receiving Transactions / Events for HOST ERP
  • Inbound LPN will be in inventory not putaway status.
  • Once Warehouse receives the Order, manually perform LPN disposition.
  • Order status moved to Pack.
  • Generate Order status transactions / Events.
  • Once at the shipping dock order is loaded, Order status changed to Shipped.

Krishnamurthy Molukuvan ( Krish) is Director and VP of Operations at S3 Group India since 2016, where he supports and manages Supply chain projects. Previously he was working with Manhattan Associates and Scientific Games. He can be reached at



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