CROSS-docking, where inbound cargo is unloaded from an incoming container, sorted and then loaded directly to outbound carriers, is an important logistics strategy that keeps supply chains moving in a productive, effective manner.
Dachser South Africa has recently expanded its Durban operations to a new 3600sqm warehouse in Pinetown.
“The new off-loading and loading bays have increased our capacity to handle a number of containers at a time, enabling us to offer excellent turn-around times,” Managing Director Detlev Duve.
“The facility provides a dedicated central site for products to be sorted for delivery to multiple destinations in the most productive way, saving costs. Ultimately, our customers benefit from a more efficient supply chain.”
The company’s Sea Freight Imports Manager Deidre Smith said, “We’re able to consolidate shipments, or even break down larger shipments into smaller loads, for easier delivery. Storage and handling costs can be reduced as products spend less time in the warehouse. Cargo also typically reaches its final destination faster, giving our customers a competitive edge.”
In addition to a spacious, well-equipped warehouse, Smith said that experienced staff and effective planning are the foundations of a successful operation. “Skilled staff are vital to the operation and management of the warehouse. From expert inventory control using Warehouse Management Systems, through to our material handling equipment operators and cargo handling teams, we ensure that all our staff are well-trained and clear on the different goods and requirements of our customers.”
Smith said the goods most conducive to cross-docking are those that are in steady demand, usually higher volume, fast-moving products scheduled in regular dispatches to pre-planned destinations.
She said the company also has the experience to handle large or complex items. “Of course, the preferred cargo to handle is stackable, palletised cargo that fits neatly into racks can be easily transported, but we’ve become experts in handling the odd and awkward cargo too.
“Taking care of customers cargo and avoiding damages is our top priority, and our Durban handling team has the experience to load the trucks safely and correctly. We also ensure that the appropriate handling equipment is available when off-loading a container and manoeuvring the cargo around the warehouse.”
The Dachser team handles both pre-distribution, where goods are unloaded and despatched according to set distribution instructions, and post-distribution processes, usually for retailers, which entails flexible picking and packing according to demand, based on in-store inventory, sales forecasts and trends.
Duve said it is also essential to partner with reputable transporters that offer a regular and reliable service to move the goods from warehouse to customer door.
“With all the right foundations in place, cross-docking has become part of the seamless supply chain solution Dachser South Africa offers to our customers, which further includes contract logistics, value-added warehousing, customs clearance and customs warehousing services,” he said.