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Cross-docking is a strategy used to reduce the time that inventory spends in the supply chain. This is achieved by accelerating inventory flow via the receipt of a product at an inbound dock and immediately moving that product crossdock for outbound shipment. The strategy has been used by companies such as Wal-Mart and Nabisco Inc. to improve their customer service. Examples of cross docking methods include hub and spoke, consolidation and deconsolidation arrangements. This paper focuses on deconsolidation, specifically the case where truck load (TL) shipments containing multiple orders are split into smaller quantities for delivery to individual customer sites using less-than-truckload (LTL) carriers.
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