• Leah Barrier

To Crossdock or to Transload. That is the Question. Oh, and What's the Difference?

Heavy machinery and equipment movements come with their fair share of nuanced difficulties. Add to that the vast array of logistical services offered and watch as the impending confusion realizes full potential, instantaneously.

Allow us first to clear up any of these thwarted misunderstandings. While both warehousing services aim to streamline delivery optimization, they are in fact two very different practices.

Crossdocking and transloading work to utilize consolidation and negate long term storage, allowing for an efficient time line from production to market.

“Cross-docking is a practice in logistics of unloading materials from an incoming semi-trailer truck or railroad car and loading these materials directly into outbound trucks, trailers, or rail cars, with little or no storage in between. This may be done to change the type of conveyance, to sort material intended for different destinations, or to combine material from different origins into transport vehicles (or containers) with the same or similar destinations.” []

“Transloading is the process or transferring a shipment from one mode of transportation to another. It is most commonly employed when one mode cannot be used for the entire trip, such as when goods must be shipped internationally from one inland point to another. Such a trip might require transport by truck to an airport, then by airplane overseas, and then by another truck to its destination; or it might involve bulk material loaded to rail [at origin] and then transferred to a ship at a port. Transloading is also required at railroad break-of-gauge points, since the equipment between lines is not compatible.” []

While both supply chain management services have their pros and cons, deciding on the technique that fits your logistics needs relies heavily on your particular industry, geographical requirements, commodity, and final destination.

Crossdocking eliminates the potential for having your goods temporarily stored in a warehouse with the accompanying charge, but requires meticulous logistical planning to avoid coordination delays. Transloading facilitates palletization and proper handling, but could tack unwarranted time to the original ETA.

Regardless of your supply chain management needs, CLN Worldwide can help you plan, coordinate, and strategize a best practice methodology to your logistics needs. Feel free to contact us to see how your current process can be restructured in the most efficient manner possible.