With the internet now reaching out into the suburbs and rural areas, it is enabling not just consumers but also businesses to tap onto e-commerce and online bulk shopping to purchase supplies. What used to be the typical model of offloading at the ports and then trucking it straight to the shop now has developed legs where goods are now off-loaded from one mode of transport to another, heading onwards to another destination which may or may not be the final one.
Let’s see how they work
Transloading is commonly done at ports of entry, where the mode of transport is changed from sea to land or from land to air, etc. At times, the goods have to be stored for an amount of time awaiting the transit on the next mode of transport, or to await additional cargo (consolidation) or re-labelling. Some concerns about this mode of transfer include possible damage during handling, theft during storage and short-loading of cargo.
Cross-docking typically takes place further inland, for distribution in smaller quantities in several locations because no storage or re-working of the cargo is required. It literally means for the cargo to go across from one dock to another and the transfers are done within hours of arriving at the warehouse.
Should I use transloading or cross-docking for my shipping?
Depending on the cargo volume, your geography and the final delivery place, most times a combination is used when items need to reach townships in the outskirts or within countries without a sea border. Other than this, take a look at these other determining factors:
At the consolidation warehouse, the shippers will be informed of the final measurements and package count and the apportionment of charges which will be billed back to the individual shippers.
If it is a case of multiple recipients, after the container is offloaded it needs to be brought to a warehouse to have its contents divided into the different quantities required by the individual recipients before the final quantities are delivered & billed accordingly.
Cargo delivered “as is”
If the cargo sent from the manufacturer doesn’t require any re-work done, e.g.:
If your shipment is due to arrive on or close to a public holiday, transportation by road to the port might be an issue due to road bans on heavy vehicles. Some customers will store their goods in a warehouse close to the port to avoid the road ban, thus minimizing the effect of the holiday on their shipping schedules.
For some goods which are restricted in the local market according to a quota, transloading your goods for storage in a bonded warehouse when they arrive before the quota ends, would help with your cash flow. This is so that you can save on payments of duties & SST until the quota re-opens and your goods can enter the local market.
In the end, the planning of goods transported via direct, transloading or cross docking methods should be something a good logistics partner can help you plan for when you need to balance time and cost for your shipping. Psst, get in touch with us - we're a good logistics partner!