Flow-Through Distribution

Tags: Glossary

A process in a distribution center in which products from multiple locations are brought into the D.C. and are re-sorted by delivery destination and shipped on the same day. Typically involving a combination of TL and LTL carrier resources, this practice eliminates warehousing, reduces inventory levels, and speeds up order turnaround time. Also known as a 'cross-dock' process in the transportation business. See Cross Docking.

What is Flow-Through Distribution?

Flow-Through Distribution

Flow-through distribution is a highly efficient process used in distribution centers to streamline the movement of products from multiple locations to their respective destinations. This process involves bringing products into the distribution center (D.C.), where they are quickly sorted based on their delivery destination and shipped out on the same day.

The primary objective of flow-through distribution is to eliminate the need for warehousing and minimize inventory levels. By swiftly moving products through the distribution center without storing them for an extended period, companies can reduce costs associated with warehousing, such as rent, labor, and inventory holding expenses. This practice also helps to prevent product obsolescence and reduces the risk of damage or loss during storage.

To facilitate flow-through distribution, a combination of truckload (TL) and less-than-truckload (LTL) carrier resources are often utilized. TL carriers are responsible for transporting larger quantities of products from the suppliers to the distribution center, while LTL carriers handle smaller shipments from the D.C. to the final destinations. By leveraging both types of carriers, companies can optimize transportation resources and ensure timely delivery to customers.

One of the significant advantages of flow-through distribution is its ability to expedite order turnaround time. Since products are quickly sorted and shipped on the same day, customers can receive their orders faster, leading to increased customer satisfaction. This accelerated order fulfillment process is particularly beneficial for businesses operating in industries with high customer demand and expectations for quick delivery.

Flow-through distribution is also known as a "cross-dock" process in the transportation business. This term emphasizes the concept of efficiently transferring products from inbound trucks to outbound trucks without the need for storage. Cross-docking is a crucial component of flow-through distribution, as it enables the seamless movement of products through the distribution center.

In conclusion, flow-through distribution is a highly efficient process that optimizes the movement of products in a distribution center. By eliminating warehousing, reducing inventory levels, and speeding up order turnaround time, companies can enhance their operational efficiency and customer satisfaction. The combination of TL and LTL carrier resources, along with the cross-dock process, plays a vital role in facilitating the smooth flow of products from multiple locations to their respective destinations.

Ready to Get Started?

Cargoz provides solution for all your storage needs

Share this Article