I am happy to share my latest publication “Synchronization in cross-docking networks: A research classification and framework” published in European Journal of Operational Research. The paper presents an overview of the crossdocking literature and highlights the need for better synchronization at the supply chain level. The paper may be downloaded free until October 4, 2014 at
ABSTRACT: Cross-docking is a distribution strategy that enables the consolidation of less-than-truckload shipments into full truckloads without long-term storage. Due to the absence of a storage buffer inside a cross-dock, local and network-wide cross-docking operations need to be carefully synchronized. This paper proposes a framework specifying the interdependencies between different cross-docking problem aspects with the aim to support future research in developing decision models with practical and scientific relevance. The paper also presents a new general classification scheme for cross-docking research based on the inputs and outputs for each problem aspect. After classifying the existing cross-docking research, we conclude that the overwhelming majority of papers fail to consider the synchronization of local and network-wide cross-docking operations. Lastly, to highlight the importance of synchronization in cross-docking networks, two real-life illustrative problems are described that are not yet addressed in the literature.