What Is the Difference Between Transloading and Cross-Docking?

The world of logistics can sometimes be confusing to navigate. There are a lot of terms to understand, some of which sound almost identical. 

For example, what is the difference between transloading and cross-docking? Although the words are sometimes used interchangeably, they actually refer to different processes of transporting goods.

Depending on the location of your customers, the distance of your supplier, and your storage capacity, one option may be more beneficial than the other.  

What Is Transloading?

Transloading refers to the process of a facility receiving an inbound shipment, breaking down the shipment pallets, and then storing them. When the facility is ready to ship the product out, they repackage some or all of it accordingly and create their own outbound shipment.

This term can also be used to describe a shipment that requires more than one mode of transportation. For example, if you’re shipping overseas, and then across the country, you will need multiple transloading procedures.

Benefits of Transloading

Transloading is most beneficial in scenarios where the product must reach multiple different locations. The storage facility should be located somewhere near the center of all these locations. Then, when a customer orders the product, it can be shipped out quickly and efficiently. This lowers wait time and boosts customer satisfaction.

This can also be the cheaper option for many businesses, especially if you utilize a third-party logistics provider. Without needing to manage and facilitate your own storage facilities, you can save time, money, and energy. 

What Is Cross-Docking?

Cross-docking, on the other hand, involves transporting materials from one facility to another with very little storage time in between. It can also refer to delivering the goods from a facility directly to the customer. 

You can think about the word quite literally; the product moves almost directly from an inbound dock to an outbound dock. Typically, it will stay on the original pallets without being broken down or repackaged. This expedites the process.

Benefits of Cross-Docking

This option can be cheaper if your business receives multiple small shipments, which can be combined on one truck and sent out. It is also ideal if the shipment only requires one method of transportation before it reaches the customers. 

Another major benefit of cross-docking is that it tends to reduce damage the product acquires during shipping. Since there is less unpacking, transporting, and repackaging, the product is more likely to stay in perfect condition.

Finally, without the need for storing individual products, cross-docking can make inventory management more simple. 

3PL Cross-Docking Services by Cannon Hill Logistics

If your business is stretched thin managing your own logistics, it may be time to switch to a third-party logistics provider. Cannon Hill Logistics can help!

We offer expert logistics services on the East Coast, including cross-docking and transloading services. Conveniently located on the East Coast, we can ship to half of the US population within two business days using ground transportation.

Call now to discover how we can help your business thrive. 

Food Fulfillment: How to Use Data to Increase Logistics Efficiency

Running a food-related business means you deal with incredibly tight profit margins – tighter than most other industries. This leaves very little room for inefficiencies in your fulfillment processes.

To keep your business as profitable as possible, it’s essential that you leverage all the data available to you in order to streamline your operations and enhance the efficiency of your operations. Here are some ways you can do that.

Using Multiple Data Sources

Thanks to the ease with which data can be collected and transmitted, you’ve got a wide variety of transportation and logistics data points coming from a wealth of sources. Collecting and making sense of this data allows you to gain a holistic picture of your operations, end to end, and make any necessary adjustments.

If you and the vendors you partner with are collecting data, you’ll be able to view and analyze real-time information from steamship lines, rail, truckload, intermodal, and drayage operators, allowing you to make quick decisions and gain historical insights that improves your strategic decision-making.

Organizing Your Data

Collecting data without organizing it meaningfully is a huge waste of your time, resources, and money. A big jumble of numbers isn’t going to help anyone, and you need a system that collects and organizes the data you have so that you can use it to draw up reports, track trends, and make decisions.

Whenever you’re able, use automated tools rather than manual data entry. This removes a lot of room for human error, and it’s also less expensive over time than all the man hours you’d spend plugging numbers into a spreadsheet.

Additionally, an important part of data organization is being able to know (and do away with) data that’s irrelevant. Too much data muddies the waters so you have to wade through a lot of extra to get to what’s really important and relevant to your needs.

Developing standards for what data you need to keep and how it should be organized will go a long way toward helping you make quick, educated decisions to protect your business’s profits.

Prioritizing Data Collection

Rather than treating the data you collect on your transportation and logistics as something that’s nice to have, prioritize it and invest in tools that make the process faster and, over time, less expensive. 

To make sure your data offers you the most value, it’s essential to invest in real-time dashboards, analytics, and reporting so that you can analyze and visualize all the information that moves through your logistics process with ease. Automated tools and programs built specifically for these purposes are far superior to attempting to collect and analyze this information on your own, giving you better insights and leading to more informed, profitable decisions.

Your Food Logistics Partner on the East Coast

At Cannon Hill Logistics, we know how difficult it can be to operate a food-based business on thin profit margins. You need all the help you can get to create a supply chain that works for you instead of against you, allowing your business to grow and thrive. That’s where our experienced third-party logistics team comes in. We can help you manage every aspect of your logistics, whether you need help with one piece or end-to-end service. Contact us for a quote!

3 Challenges to Health & Beauty Logistics

The health and beauty industry has grown explosively in the last few decades, but that growth has not come without its challenges.

Beyond facing strict compliance and regulatory requirements from governmental bodies, there are some key things that complicate the logistics process. Here are a few of the unique challenges that health and beauty companies face, and how third-party logistics (3PL) companies can help.

Temperature Control

Many formulations in cosmetics and wellness products are temperature-sensitive, so they must be transported in carefully controlled conditions. 

In some cases, substances can withstand a range of temperatures without risking damage or spoilage. Others, however, require a very strict temperature range in order to stay good enough to be sold and used. 

When managing your own logistics, finding temperature-controlled warehouse space and transportation can be difficult—and expensive. By working with a 3PL, you get access to these resources at a fraction of the cost of securing them on your own.


Consumers want to know where the ingredients in their health and beauty products come from. This includes you being able to pinpoint which companies and vendors are involved in each step of the fulfillment process, from ingredients all the way through delivery.

Finding out all the information you need can be incredibly time-consuming, taking your time and attention away from the important parts of running your business. When you work with a 3PL, on the other hand, you gain access to information you need to trace all your products without doing any of the leg work.

Condition Monitoring

Similar to temperature control needs, monitoring all the conditions that may impact your products is essential to ensuring you can sell them all. This may require specialized equipment and specialty shipping, which can get expensive.

If you partner with a 3PL, though, you’ll be able to have all the specialized equipment and other things needed to protect your products without the hassle and extra costs. Since your 3PL works with multiple small businesses, they’re able to spread out the costs of the equipment to all their clients, so you get access to more for less cost.

Top 3PL on the East Coast

At Cannon Hill Logistics, we work hard to make sure we’re supporting your business in the ways you need us to. From handling one aspect of your fulfillment to managing your entire logistics process, we’ve got the resources and experience you need to succeed. Call today for a quote!