New Articles

E-Commerce Boom and Its Impact on Logistic Operations

iot market suppliers EMO logistics fuel warehouse

E-Commerce Boom and Its Impact on Logistic Operations


The world of commerce has undergone a seismic shift in recent years, with the relentless rise of e-commerce. In this article, we delve into the profound implications this e-commerce boom has had on logistic operations. As online shopping becomes the norm, logistics has emerged as the unsung hero of the digital age, playing a pivotal role in ensuring goods reach consumers efficiently and on time.

The Challenges of E-Commerce Logistics

Last-Mile Delivery Complexities

In the realm of e-commerce, the final leg of delivery—the last mile—is often the most challenging. Navigating through congested urban areas and ensuring timely doorstep deliveries poses logistical puzzles that demand innovative solutions. Drone deliveries and autonomous vehicles are just a glimpse of the technologies reshaping the last mile.

Inventory Management in the Digital Age

E-commerce demands a level of inventory agility that traditional retail seldom does. Real-time inventory tracking and demand forecasting are now paramount. Warehouse automation and RFID technology are helping businesses stay ahead of the curve.

Seasonal Fluctuations and Demand Forecasting

Seasonal shopping peaks and unforeseen demand surges require logistics to adapt rapidly. Machine learning algorithms are being employed to analyze historical data and predict future buying patterns, enabling more agile supply chains.

Returns Management and Reverse Logistics

The convenience of online shopping has given rise to a corresponding surge in product returns. Efficient returns management and reverse logistics are now integral parts of e-commerce logistics, demanding sophisticated processes and infrastructure.

Technological Advancements in E-Commerce Logistics

Automation and Robotics in Warehousing

Warehouses are transforming into high-tech hubs. Automated robots are efficiently picking, packing, and even conducting inventory checks, reducing labor costs and enhancing accuracy.

Data Analytics for Demand Prediction

The power of big data is harnessed for predictive analytics. Algorithms crunch vast datasets to anticipate consumer preferences, allowing for proactive stock replenishment and optimized distribution.

Artificial Intelligence for Route Optimization

Logistics providers are harnessing AI to optimize delivery routes, considering factors like traffic, weather, and real-time demand fluctuations, ensuring quicker deliveries.

Blockchain for Supply Chain Transparency

Blockchain technology is elevating supply chain transparency to new heights. Consumers can trace the journey of their products from source to doorstep, fostering trust and integrity.

Sustainable Practices in E-Commerce Logistics

Eco-Friendly Packaging Solutions

The environmental impact of e-commerce packaging has raised concerns. Biodegradable and recyclable materials are being embraced, reducing the carbon footprint of e-commerce logistics.

Green Transportation and Carbon Footprint Reduction

Logistics companies are adopting electric vehicles and exploring alternative fuels to reduce emissions. The focus on eco-friendly transportation is in line with growing sustainability expectations.

Sustainable Warehousing Practices

Energy-efficient warehouses with smart lighting and climate control systems are becoming the norm. Solar panels and rainwater harvesting further exemplify sustainable warehousing.

The Global Impact of E-Commerce Logistics

Cross-Border E-Commerce and International Shipping

E-commerce transcends borders, making international shipping an everyday occurrence. Navigating customs regulations and ensuring timely global deliveries are now integral aspects of logistics.

Customs and Trade Compliance Challenges

As e-commerce connects buyers and sellers worldwide, customs compliance becomes paramount. Navigating intricate trade regulations requires expertise and precision.

Supply Chain Resilience in a Globalized World

Global supply chains, while offering vast opportunities, are vulnerable to disruptions. Robust contingency plans and diversified sourcing are critical for supply chain resilience.

The Evolution of Fulfillment Centers

Multi-Channel Fulfillment Strategies

E-commerce businesses often operate on multiple platforms. Streamlined multi-channel fulfillment strategies are essential for efficiency and consistency.

Micro-Fulfillment Centers for Urban Efficiency

In urban centers, micro-fulfillment centers are emerging to meet the demand for swift deliveries. Compact, tech-savvy hubs are reducing last-mile delivery times.

Dark Stores and Their Role in E-Commerce Logistics

Dark stores, or retail locations solely dedicated to fulfilling online orders, are reshaping logistics. They facilitate faster picking and packing, reducing delivery times.

The Importance of Customer Experience in E-Commerce Logistics

Timely Delivery as a Competitive Advantage

In the era of e-commerce, timely delivery is a competitive differentiator. Logistics that fail to meet delivery promises risk customer dissatisfaction and attrition.

Personalization and Customer Expectations

E-commerce logistics isn’t just about delivering products; it’s about delivering experiences. Personalization and catering to unique customer expectations are crucial for brand loyalty. 

This becomes especially vital in the context of fashion products, such as stylish leather pants, suits, jackets, and the like. Personalization has the potential to significantly impact customer satisfaction and loyalty, as it enables customers to feel appreciated and recognized in a competitive digital marketplace

Managing Customer Communication

Effective communication throughout the delivery process, from order confirmation to tracking information, is vital in managing customer expectations and building trust.

E-Commerce Marketplaces and Their Influence on Logistics

The Dominance of Amazon and Its Logistics Network

Amazon’s logistical prowess has redefined e-commerce. Its vast network, including fulfillment centers and delivery services, has set new standards for speed and efficiency.

Emerging Marketplaces and Their Logistics Models

As e-commerce diversifies, new marketplaces emerge with distinct logistics models. Understanding these models is essential for businesses seeking to expand their reach.

Independent E-Commerce Retailers and Their Unique Challenges

Smaller e-commerce players face distinct logistic challenges. Balancing cost-effective logistics with customer expectations is a constant juggling act.

The Future of E-Commerce Logistics

Hyperlocal Delivery and Instant Gratification

Consumers are increasingly expecting hyperlocal deliveries and instant gratification. Hyper-local fulfillment centers and real-time delivery tracking are poised to meet these demands.

Integration of Augmented Reality in the Supply Chain

Augmented reality is revolutionizing logistics training, maintenance, and even order picking. Its integration promises greater efficiency and reduced errors.

Sustainability as a Key Driver of Innovation

Sustainability isn’t just a trend; it’s a driving force behind logistic innovation. Businesses that prioritize sustainability are poised to lead in the evolving e-commerce landscape.


Adapting to the E-Commerce Boom: Key Takeaways for Logistics

In closing, the e-commerce boom has fundamentally transformed logistics. To thrive in this digital age, logistics operations must adapt, innovate, and embrace sustainability. The future of logistics is intertwined with the continued growth of e-commerce, and those who navigate these changes effectively will emerge as the leaders of tomorrow’s supply chain landscape.


automation tompkins

Advanced Warehouse Automation: Don’t Forget to Train and Upskill Your Employees

The distribution centers (DCs) at the heart of today’s global retailers reflect the velocity of business, from the instantaneous purchasing made possible by e-commerce to the fulfillment operations that enable same-day deliveries. What makes this high-speed commerce possible is an increasingly wide array of high-performance automated warehouse systems and robotics.

Within DCs, sophisticated systems integrated with advanced software move materials faster, more effectively, and more accurately than ever before. Roaming shuttles deliver items directly to goods-to-person workstations, often supported by an automated army of fork trucks, palletizing robots, and robotic pickers.

Of course advanced automated systems and robots don’t operate in a vacuum. It is easy to forget the human side of these systems and the role it plays in their success. Like all technologies and tools, even the most advanced automated systems and robots must be backed up by people who are skilled in their use and best practices required to realize their full potential, maintenance and upkeep. 

Any system implementation is incomplete if it does not also include strategies to train and upskill employees. To do so, consider the following:

  • Focus on the opportunities that come with automation and robotics. For those in roles that are being augmented with automation, the opportunity to learn about the care and use of such systems represents a significant career advancement to acquire highly marketable skills. Additionally, this limits the manual, highly-repetitive tasks that make warehouse roles some of the most injury-prone according to recent estimates from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Leadership should stress these and other positive impacts.
  • Experience in manual warehouse roles is often very valuable in the operation of automated systems and robots. I recently worked with a client’s pickers during the initial planning sessions for a new, highly automated high-capacity DC. As in other deployments, many of the most experienced and longstanding employees in manual roles possessed the most comprehensive understanding of the business processes that would need to be considered. Their knowledge of workflows was particularly valuable. These individuals are therefore some of the first that should be considered, not only for new roles focused on the operation and upkeep of automation, but also the upskilling required.
  • Look for employees who possess the talents and desire to work with automated systems like robots, AS/RS, autonomous vehicles, etc. Candidates should be driven employees, but those who are mechanically inclined are not the only ones to consider. Gamers, for example, are typically very strategic and adept at seeing patterns – an inclination directly applicable to fast-based warehouse environments. Remember that desire and attitude are key: the skills required to use, perfect and maintain automated systems can be learned and honed. Ideal candidates should also be self-starters who can take advantage of the autonomy automation gives to end users.
  • If possible, involve your top-pick employees and members of your automation team during the construction phase of automated and robotic systems. This is particularly important when new DCs are built or facilities are modernized. A large DC for a multi-channel retailer can include innumerable components. You want your workforce to be immediately familiar with the system when you turn it on – not a year after its operational. Early in your automation project is also the perfect time for your employees to learn from those who implement the systems and robotics and creates an opportunity to upskill in-house staff that should not be missed.
  • Create opportunities to invest in your employees. Access to a formal “Higher Education” course of study is inaccessible for many, and at times over-emphasized in the corporate world. There is, however, an alternative. Many colleges and universities now offer established training programs and certifications in robotics and engineering-related topics that can be used to strengthen in-house automation teams. Often such programs can be designed to directly address your operational imperatives.

Behind every great automated warehouse are knowledgeable and skilled people. Today, when the pace and scale of business requires more automation and innovation than ever before, it has never been more important to focus on the human resources needed to operate it, maintain it and perfect it over time. Keeping that in mind is the first step in realizing the full potential of the most promising innovations now revolutionizing materials handling.

Author’s Bio

Colin Thompson has more than two decades of experience in materials handling. He currently serves as the Vice President of Operations at Vanderlande, North America, where he oversees day-to-day operations. Colin received his Bachelor of Science in Computer Sciences from the University of Liverpool and also serves on the Robotics and Mechatronics Engineering Industrial Advisory Board at Kennesaw State University.



The Future of Warehousing

In September of 2018, Forbes Insights published a survey of 400 senior haulage executives. They reported that more than two-thirds of the respondents believed seismic changes had to occur within the logistics sector, otherwise its warehouses would risk not being able to facilitate the growing demand for freight delivery.

Three years and a global pandemic later, and demand for warehouses is higher than ever. So how has the industry endured this tumultuous period? The simple answer is greater investment in technology! Innovators within warehousing have continued to incorporate intuitive software into their models to cut costs, speed up delivery time and improve efficiency.

With this trend of incorporating technologies into the haulage sector only set to continue, the mind boggles at what warehouses could be capable of in the future. To that end let’s unravel the warehouse innovations set to be introduced in the coming years and what the biggest names are doing today to ensure they won’t be left behind.

Warehousing the Amazon way

We would be remiss not to mention Amazon in a discussion about the future of warehousing. After all, their network accounts for over 150 million square feet of warehouse space across the globe.

The company has, since its emergence in the ‘90s, being trailblazers for cutting-edge warehousing models. In the mid-2000s they popularized fulfillment centers whereby sellers could leverage the vast network of warehouses Amazon had to store, pack and ship their customer’s orders for the same standardized fee – no matter where an item was being sent.

Since then, many warehouses have attempted to adopt something similar to the Fulfilment By Amazon (FBA) program and offer to not only store their client’s products but package and deliver them as well. However, none have been able to even rival the FBA. Namely because of one very appealing benefit that FBA offers sellers: Prime eligibility.

This legacy of advancement was further solidified by the recent announcement that Amazon was opening its first robotics fulfillment center in Alberta, Canada. The automated warehouse, slated to open in 2022, is the result of almost a decade-long investment.

In 2012, Amazon purchased robotics company Kiva Systems for $775 million which gave them ownership of a new fleet of mobile robots which were capable of carrying shelves of products from worker to worker and intuitively navigate a warehouse according to barcodes on the floor. Like the FBA program, it’s expected that many warehouses will use Amazon as inspiration and invest in some form of robotics to aid with automation.

Automation for all

As Amazon recognized, automation is the silver bullet when it comes to boosting a warehouse’s operations. Having a workforce that never tires, runs 24/7, and provides a near-perfect output is invaluable. It’s likely that every stage of warehouse infrastructures will have some form of automation in the next few years if they haven’t already.

Drones are expected to have a significant role in the future of warehousing, specifically in aiding inventory control. MIT conducted research in 2017 where they programmed drones to fly above a warehouse floor to read RFID tags from more than ten meters away. The study was a success with the drones only having a 19cm margin of error.

There are currently some safety concerns delaying the immediate integration of drones in warehousing but the continual developments of the technology suggest that we’re not too far away from seeing them introduced.

Automated conveyors and sortation systems have been staples of warehouse infrastructures for decades, now experts are predicting that a third system will become part of every warehouse’s arsenal. The ARC advisory group’s warehouse automation and AS/RS research forecasts that the shuttle systems market is going to grow exponentially.

For context, a warehouse shuttle system is a mobile cart that transports items in pallet racking. It replaces the need for an operative to use a forklift to retrieve stock totes, trays, or cases in a storage buffer. The system, which is also being touted as an essential by various trade groups, provides warehouses with high throughput, scalability, and storage density.

Considering that repetitive tasks can be mechanized fairly easily, there’s plenty of reasons to be excited for what other types of automation could be introduced into warehouse infrastructures and the benefits that they will no doubt yield.

Big Data & AI

Big data and machine learning have revolutionized many industries since their proliferation in the early 2000s and it’s expected to do the same to warehousing.

Order and inventory accuracy, as well as fulfillment time, are all Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) that could be improved through the use of Artificial Intelligence (AI). AI can also evaluate more general drivers that may affect a warehouse’s overall performance including safety, facility damages, and employee productivity. Using this aggregated data AI is able to start automating tasks, collecting the necessary information, and making decisions on its own.

Some industry leaders have already made the transition and began using AI. For example, Alibaba recently fully automated its stocking and shipping warehouses in China by using robots controlled by a sophisticated machine learning algorithm.

Further down the line, many experts believe that more advanced metrics will come into play as well, such as predictive analytics which will give operators a helping hand when it comes to forecasting and drive smarter decision making in the warehouse’s overall operations. Predictive analytics will help with evaluating demand for warehouse space, planning inventory location, responding to supply chain issues, and reducing risks associated with more complex supplier networks.

It’s clear to see that the prospects for warehousing in the near future are bright with plenty of exciting technology currently in use and on the horizon. The industry’s willingness to constantly evolve is truly admirable, with interest in big data, automation, innovative models, and AI at an all-time high. We should all be very excited about the future of warehousing.


WESCO Doubles its Robot-Enhanced Warehouse Zone with Scallog

Wesco – a specialist for healthy child development with products such as furniture, games and school utensils  – is rapidly expanding its range and is therefore doubling the Scallog Goods-to-Person robot zone at its Cerizay logistics platform in summer 2021.

Wesco, a French SME established in 1975, creates, manufactures and distributes fun and innovative products for children: furniture, games, educational material, motor skills modules, etc. It markets its 15,000 products to families and professionals working with children via mail order and via its e-commerce website. Today, the company exports its goods to 60 countries.

In response to its growing activity, Wesco will be doubling the Scallog robotized storage area at its logistics hub in the West of France in the summer of 2021. The company’s growing B2B and B2C order flows require increased storage density, a boost to productivity and an accelerated order picking rate. This logistics expansion project will allow better product availability and shorter delivery times, thereby increasing satisfaction amongst Wesco’s wide range of customers.

Arnaud Gaborieau, Wesco’s Logistics Manager, states: “Our logistics performance must reflect our company’s image, which combines innovation and quality with the enduring aim of satisfying our clients. Building on the success of our first Goods-to-Person project with Scallog, we are doubling the capacity of our robotized storage zone to increase our productivity and responsiveness. Once again, Scallog is supporting us in our growth, helping us to absorb our ever-increasing order picking loads and the peaks in our activity that typically occur at the start of the new school year and in the lead-up to the end-of-year holiday season.”

In summer 2021, the robotized storage zone will double to 1,000 m2: it will include 20,000 storage locations and 24 Scallog Boby robots, which will service four ergonomic workstations. These workstations will be able to be used for both picking and replenishment operations.

Furthermore, Wesco has also worked with Diplex on constructing a mezzanine above the Scallog zone to increase storage density. 

In conjunction with the INFFLUX BEXT WS solution, Scallog’s warehouse control system will optimize orders and the management of storage locations, accelerating picking rates and the ability to handle the company’s ever-increasing number of products.

Guided by a Pick-to-Light system, each operator will be able to manage up to 100 orders in parallel at its workstation, which is coupled with a conveyor system that enables goods to be routed to a number of further warehouse zones.

Doubling the size of the existing simple and easy-to-install Scallog Goods-to-Person robot system will take less than a month. With the new facility, Wesco anticipates a 100% increase in the number of order lines processed per hour, and ensures optimum use of the warehouse area.

warehouse automation

Leading Trends in Warehouse Automation and Management

The warehouse economy is getting stronger and stronger, with more jobs available each month. Still, there is a struggle to fill all available job positions. Luckily, many warehouses already found an effective solution to their labor, operations, and production challenges – advanced robotics and innovative automation and logistics. In this article, we will introduce you to leading trends in warehouse automation and management.

Warehouse robotics

Robotic autonomous forklifts are at work in a large number of warehouses and distribution centers. Remarkable new technologies have enabled reduced warehousing operational costs, optimized workflows, and improved the bottom line. Technology continues to evolve, and calculations around return on investment are currently more favorable than ever.

Automated guided vehicles and autonomous mobile robots

Automated guided vehicles and autonomous mobile robots are robotics innovations that are changing the game in warehouse management and operations. They typically include automated forklifts, floor cleaners, and pallet movers that come in various sizes and vary in capabilities. Each one is designed to support the function of a warehouse and manufacturing system. Advanced software and systems are used to upgrade traditional forklift equipment and provide autonomous robotic functionality. Robotics software allows scaling and controlling of all operations just with a simple click of a button. Managing the material flow and increasing the efficiency of operations has never been easier.

Automated guided vehicles changed warehouse practices for same-day shipping. Innovative solutions include robotic arms for lifting, barcode scanners for automatic inventory management, automated forklifts that move pallets, and much more. Products are shipped faster than ever, and the end result is a happier customer.

Automated picking process

Picking is probably the most time-consuming activity in every warehouse worldwide as it requires countless work hours and more labor work than any other operation. Going from aisle to aisle and product to product eats up so much production time. Fortunately, there is a way to reclaim that valuable time and take productivity to the next level. Many warehouses are introducing automated picker robots into their operations. They gather products and bring them to a central location, where the human workforce can fulfill the next job tasks much faster.

Automated cleaning machines

Autonomous machines have improved the way warehouses operate. Furthermore, warehouse cleaning also became automated. Robotic floor care is possible since the AI system enables the robot to navigate complex warehouse environments. Autonomous cleaning machines work safely and efficiently alongside employees in warehouses.

Big data and analytics

It’s required to analyze performance data to find the areas of manufacturing or warehouse operations that can be improved. Advancements in big data analytics can help businesses and manufacturers collect their data. They identify operational drawbacks and deficiencies – in order to eventually improve them. The use of barcode scanners on a product changed the way of moving through a warehouse. Each step of the process is scanned, and it’s easy to see where time is lost and what slows the system. Big data analytics solutions provide valuable information from daily operations and enable warehouse management to make smart decisions that can improve many aspects of performance.

The Internet of Things

For successful warehouse automation and management, multiple moving parts need to communicate with each other continuously. The Internet of Things (IoT) can make this happen. This technology can connect all devices and systems and keep them in sync while collecting operations data. Warehouse management can see and trace everything 24/7- from inventory and production levels to shipments going in and out, and much more. Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) attaches a tag to a package or a whole pallet to automatically track the item’s exact location at every moment. When everything in the warehouse is easily tracked and coordinated, it’s possible to achieve maximum efficiency.

Forklift telematics

Forklift telematics is an advanced smart technology system that uses sensors to track every truck in a fleet through online software accurately. It provides a 360-degree view of equipment and offers information about active trucks – where they are currently, and if any needs scheduling maintenance. To use wireless fleet management, a warehouse needs to install modules equipped with sensors, GPS, and telemetry technology onto their machines. By doing so, they can collect valuable data that provides new insight into various aspects of warehouse management and operations. The system generates instant alerts about possible vehicle impacts that can cause damage or injury and provide information about potential problem areas in a warehouse or outdoor environment.

Final thoughts on warehouse automation and management

Since we know all advantages of warehouse automation and management, it’s understandable why workers worry that automated systems and robots will eventually replace them in all activities. Nevertheless, automation actually improves the lives and jobs of everyone in this industry. That’s primarily because of enhanced worker safety – automated devices handle all stressful, daunting, and repetitive tasks. It allows workers to focus on more value-added tasks and therefore boosts their morale.


Samuel Jefferson is working for PortaBox Storage Seattle. Eight years of experience gave him expertise in many areas of advanced warehouse management and automated operations, so he likes to share his knowledge occasionally by writing blogs. In his spare time, Samuel practices martial arts and enjoys outdoor activities with his son.


What Warehouses Should Keep in Mind When First Implementing Cross-Docking

Warehouses that want to improve labor and space utilization without expanding to a new location or breaking ground may consider cross-docking because of its potential efficiencies. Unfortunately, it can also come with many pitfalls for those trying it for the first time.

Cross-docking requires a detailed understanding of your team, space, partners, and technology. For new warehouses, that means implementing cross-docking should come with significant testing and preparation, especially in terms of your inventory management, scheduling, spatial allocation, and the training you give your team and partners.

Test inventory management tools

Cross-docking prepares companies for just-in-time (JIT) shipping and distribution, making immediate use of inventory as it arrives. Companies that want to start utilizing cross-docking will need a robust inventory management system that can understand and differentiate these inbound shipments.

Your tools must be able to understand inventory utilization. If half of the goods on an inbound shipment are for JIT purposes, then the inventory platform must be able to split received goods and correctly update both inventory levels and the number of products you list for sale. If this action would require ongoing intervention from you or additional inventory counts, it could introduce higher labor costs that negate cross-dock benefits.

Ultimately, cross-docking can help with inventory management and often keep companies from needing to expand physical infrastructure for the products they hold. It might also help you expand operations to support backorders. This takes time, however, and requires tools that help you understand and manage inventory levels without adding burden.

Robust scheduling includes flexibility

Cross-docking is intense choreography. You’re going to need smart people and reliable technology to manage the planning of how people and trucks are moving in and around your site. Cross-docking and JIT operations demand having the people available to handle inbound shipments and process them while helping your team know what inventory is ready to use and what needs to be put away.

Dock availability and the time of truck arrivals and departures must be flexible so that your operations can run normally. Every cross-docking team plans on a smooth day where everything runs on schedule. However, that’s rarely a reality. Paperwork, traffic delays, accidents, or even someone needing to use the bathroom can cause a small delay. Something as simple as an employee driving through the parking lot can force a truck to wait.

If you schedule everything down to the minute and don’t give your team and partners flexibility, it’ll cause greater delays. In most cases, as you’re expanding and learning, arriving trucks will end up waiting because it’s hard to predict the time people need, but you also don’t want docks sitting empty for extended periods. So, ensure that you have people ready when trucks are there and test the time you give teams for inbound and outbound.

Dock door assignments should consider space and traffic

One other caveat that many warehouses don’t consider when they first start cross-docking is the physical space that people, trucks, and inventory required. Cross-docking effectively requires that dock door assignments be efficient and allow incoming and departing trucks enough space to maneuver safely and quickly. Adding extra points to a turn will slow the entire process down, for example.

If your warehouse wasn’t built with cross-docking in mind, test this thoroughly. Often, warehouses need significant reconfiguration of internal elements or will install new doors and adjust the building design to facilitate cross-docking. Multiple teams, doors, trucks, and the equipment everyone is using are going to take up extra space and need to be able to move freely and safely. Start by giving everything and everyone more leeway than you think they need.

Some new inventory and dock management platforms support cross-docking and can make suggestions based on timing, assignments, and other aspects of your operations based on historical and current data. When your tools offer this, try out their analysis and recommendations to see if you can maximize your efforts.

The entire supply chain requires competencies

Cross-docking is an advanced management and utilization technique for any warehouse or distribution center. You’re managing dock door assignments, transshipment, vehicle routing, product allocation, barcode scanning and putaway, new warehouse layouts, and the network and systems required to manage it all.

Your team needs competency in each of those areas and activities. Partners should have their own understanding plus the ability to support you. Inbound expertise is required, across the board, for JIT requirements and scheduling to be effective.

You’ll eventually want to build out appropriate penalties for time windows to keep things running smoothly, but that requires your team not to cause delays. In many instances, cross-docking is complicated mathematics disguised as people and trucks.

Take your time to test and implement it. Work with partners proactively to help understand what they need from you and explain what you need from them. Train your team specifically on the new processes and requirements. Simulate, test, and optimize procedures and layout continually.

Cross-docking can save warehouses significantly on a variety of costs and size requirements. You might reduce material handling and make labor more efficient. Customer satisfaction can be improved, too, as you’re relying less on backorders or older products. Achieving all of those wins is a lengthy process, and it’s important to walk into the situation with patience.


Jake Rheude is the Director of Marketing for Red Stag Fulfillment, an ecommerce fulfillment warehouse that was born out of ecommerce. He has years of experience in ecommerce and business development. In his free time, Jake enjoys reading about business and sharing his own experience with others.