A facility that sorts and recombines a variety of inbound items from many suppliers for outbound shipment to many customers, such as assembly plants, distributors, or retailers.
A common example is a facility operated by a manufacturer with many plants in order to efficiently gather materials from many suppliers. When a truck loaded with pallets of goods from suppliers arrives on one side of the dock, the pallets are immediately unloaded, and taken to several shipping lanes for loading onto outbound trucks bound for different facilities (see illustration).
A cross-dock is not a warehouse because it does not store goods. Instead, goods are usually unloaded from inbound vehicles and moved to shipping lanes for outbound vehicles in one step. If outbound vehicles leave frequently, it may be possible to clear the floor of the cross-dock every 24 hours.