Supply Chain Optimization and Cross-Docking

Supply Chain Optimization and Cross-Docking

In order to understand the role of cross-docking in supply chain optimization, first we need to define some terms. In today’s blog we will look at both supply chain optimization and what cross-docking means within that context. 

Supply Chain Optimization 

Supply chain optimization refers to the art and science of optimizing the efficiency of a supply network. The optimized supply chain uses shipping and logistics in the most efficient and cost-effective way to get products from the producer to the end user. Also included in this equation is the needs of the end-user and getting to product to him or her when and where it is needed. 


Cross-docking refers to minimizing warehouse storage time during the shipping process. When shipping and logistics companies use cross-docking, products spend little or no time stored in a warehouse, but come out of one mode of transportation and are immediately entered into a different mode. For example, products arriving by container ship are unloaded and reloaded immediately onto trains to continue their journey. 

Often in shipping, some warehouse time and space is needed to store products short term. Warehousing adds to the time, expense, and complexity of shipping, although it is often necessary. If cross-docking is possible, then cross-docking makes the shipping faster, simpler, and cheaper, and is one of the many variables affecting the supply chain optimization. 

If you need any help with shipping, logistics, and/or warehousing of your products in southern British Columbia, give us a call in Vancouver at (604) 439-8938. We can discuss the best ways to optimize your shipping and see if cross-docking is possible for you.


For over 30 years, 18 Wheels Logistics has strived to be the most customer-centric trucking, warehousing, and logistics company around. Based in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, 18 Wheels relies on experience and integrity to make customers happy and remain on the cutting edge of shipping and logistics management. 

If you have any questions about this article or you would like to talk to us about your shipping needs, please call us at (604) 439-8938.