Cross-docking's research gaps and directions
Article Type:
Review Article (دارای رتبه معتبر)

Cross-docking deals with the goals of lean supply chain management. It is a distribution strategy. In this structure, goods are shipped from inbound to outbound trailers on the same day or overnight without putting them into storage. Cross-docking can realize transport efficiencies at reduced material handling and storage costs by eliminating the storage and order-picking activities from the main warehouse operations. These advantages make cross-docking an interesting logistic strategy that can give companies considerable competitive advantages. This paper aims to introduce cross-docking, its characteristics and its problem types, comprehensively. The focus of this study is on distinguishing research gaps.


Systematic review is "review research by explicit, rigorous and accountable methods". Reviews and their findings can vary on many aspects of the 'dimensions of different'. One such review is the 'review of reviews'. A systematic review of primary research is the second level of research analysis. A review of reviews (sometimes called 'overview' or 'umbrella' review) is a tertiary level of analysis. It is a systematic map and/or synthesis of previous reviews. The 'data' for such reviews of reviews are previous reviews rather than primary research studies. This can be an efficient method for examining previous research. In this paper, cross-docking literature systematic review (review of reviews method) has been discussed by introducing, clustering cross-docking decision problems, and drawing future research directions.


Bibliography, cross-dockings, and classified characteristics of cross-docking based on the decision levels (strategic, tactical and operational levels) were the major findings of this study. Also, the cross-docking problem types were addressed and the gaps in the field of cross-docking were determined. This study highlighted two frequent gaps that would need to be filled by focusing on the research areas of taking deadlines for the trucks into account and dealing with uncertainty.

Research limitations/implications:

 Book chapters and conference papers were excluded from this research. Reviewed papers were published in a certain period and the English language.Practical implications: Today firms use different types of distribution strategies. Cross-docking with eliminating the storage and order-picking activities from the main warehouse operations is an interesting logistics strategy. products with predictable, high cubic volume flow, and perishable products are ideal candidates for cross-docking. Cross-docking is nowadays used by many companies and industries such as the retail industry, automotive industry, telecommunications and electronics industries.

Social implications:

Cross-docking results in smaller volumes of more visible inventories that are delivered faster and more frequently. Several other advantages of cross-docking are addressed in the literature compared to traditional distribution centres. Some advantages are reduced cost (warehousing costs, inventory-holding costs, handling costs, labour costs), shorter delivery lead time (from supplier to customer), improved customer service, reduced storage space, faster inventory turnover, fewer overstocks, and reduced risk for loss and damage.


 Due to the advantages and extensive applications of cross-docking, in this paper a "review of reviews" was performed, and after introducing cross-docking terminals and their problem types, distinguish research gaps were determined for the future research study. Therefore, researchers were suggested to concentrate on the addressed gaps in their models to get closer to real-life constraints.

journal of Production and Operations Management, Volume:13 Issue: 4, 2023
39 to 60  
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