Representatives of the leading players on the logistics market, DSV, JAS-FBG, Raben and DPD, talk about the factors that make warehouse space high quality and how to adapt it to streamline handling operations.
The demand for cross-dock warehouses is growing, among others due to the extremely competitive market that logistics operators are a part of, dynamic development of the e-commerce industry and pressure on shortening the delivery time, particularly in the so-called last mile, as well as the rising costs of warehouse operations caused by the growing pressure on salaries. Cross-dock warehouses are often built to accommodate the increasing number of shipments that need to be handled by the logistics operators within increasingly shorter time frames. Having accurately calculated the space needed for handling, larger and more expensive traditional warehouses become unnecessary.
Meet the challenge
To create a perfect facility for a logistics operator, the developer should pay attention to a few important things. The location is obviously crucial, as proximity to the city centre or the main transport routes is desirable. When constructing warehouses used for cross-docking operations, the developer should make sure the chosen solutions are ergonomic and cost-efficient, and install additional equipment, such as hydraulic ramps, loading ramps, loading bridges and comprehensive handling systems. Moreover, manoeuvring areas in such warehouses need to be of suitable size, much larger than in the case of a standard logistics facility. A large number of parking spaces and staging areas is also required. A typical cross-dock warehouse is a facility of a depth of 42 to 48 metres that is well-suited for logistics operations, and is typically brighter (at least 5% of daylight). Other important features include control and monitoring systems, and signals, which all have a direct impact on how smoothly work is carried out, how safe the warehouse is and whether the temperature inside is optimal. However, a sufficient number of loading and unloading gates is a priority in cross-docking warehouses.
“The perfect cross-dock warehouse is one with as many docks as possible occupying a small area. Warehouses of this type are small, their depth is kept to a minimum but they are wide, which makes it possible to fit a high number of docks on opposite sides. This makes handling operations highly efficient by reducing the time spent on moving goods”, comments Łukasz Piekarz, Regional Director for Domestic Forwarding at JAS-FBG S.A.
Apart from the appropriate number and size of loading gates, other features that improve the synchronization of logistics and transport processes are also important from the perspective of a logistics expert. The pace of work is high at such facilities, so it is important to implement appropriate solutions that improve efficiency.
–“A cross-dock warehouse should be equipped with forklift trucks suitable for unloading, transporting, and loading pallets. The number of trucks should be sufficient for both warehouse employees as well as drivers, who often also unload trucks on their own. Appropriate software should be available in such warehouses, as it makes it easier to integrate shipments”, adds Paweł Duda, Warehouse Coordinator at Raben Logistics Polska.
Pay attention to the tenant’s needs
For 7R SA, proprietary solutions and additional amenities for tenants from the logistics sector are the key to success. Modern warehouse space, excellent location and a developer providing tailor-made solutions turn out to be the magnets that attract the leaders of the logistics sector.
– “Creating a cross-dock facility is certainly a big challenge and it is important to remember that every project is different. It is impossible to have just one universal warehouse that would satisfy the needs of every client. A flexible developer must be prepared to meet the tenant’s individual requirements. 7R SA paid attention to that when developing warehouse space for such demanding logistics operators as DSV, JAS-FBG, Raben, and DPD. We chose different amenities in each of these projects. Every project required great commitment and attention to the clients’ needs. I think this is the recipe for success: listen carefully and respond to the individual needs of the tenants”, comments Maciej Krawiecki, Leasing Director at 7R SA.
DSV Road, the global provider of transport and logistics services, expected tailored solutions. Due to their rapid growth and large scale of operations, DSV needed modern cross-dock space and an IT system in place. There was an additional requirement: the cross-dock was to be connected with a high-bay warehouse. This was important for the final design of the DSV Road building in Wroclaw, located in the 7R Park Wroclaw logistics centre.
“Convenient location, the number of ramps and the building ergonomics were of key importance to us when choosing warehouse space. Delivering a wide range of additional amenities was not a problem for 7R”, comments Maciej Trójnara, Transport Director at DSV Road.
DPD, that delivers around 3 million parcels worldwide every day, required something completely different. What the operator needed the most were systems for optimising packaging and delivery of parcels. It turned out that the 7R Park Beskid warehouse, located in Czechowice-Dziedzice, was the perfect facility that meets all the needs of JAS-FBG, one of the leaders in the logistics sector in Poland. The developer provided custom solutions also in this case.
“Out of all of the solutions prepared by 7R, we especially appreciated the concept of an internal corridor used for unloading and loading trucks. This solution helps keep our processes orderly and effective. The warehouse in question will be our branch, where courier parcels will be sorted”, comments Krzysztof Suchenia, Property Manager at DPD.
“The most important thing for us was to have the facility adapted to our individual needs. I am talking about an L-shaped layout of the docks. Although this is not typical for cross-dock warehouses, it has additional operational advantages. In addition to traditional cross-docking operations, the warehouse leased by us also allows for storage of goods, which expands our services portfolio”, comments Łukasz Piekarz, Head of Domestic Forwarding at JAS FBG.
Raben Group, which offers comprehensive logistics and transport services, paid particular attention to energy-efficient and environmentally friendly solutions apart from the cross-dock system and the additional parking spaces ensured by 7R.
“We are pleased that, just like Raben, 7R is committed to ecology. The warehouse has LED lighting and skylights allowing daylight inside (which is extremely important for the comfort of our employees), and eco-friendly gas radiators are used for heating. Thanks to such solutions, we will not only be able to provide our clients with high quality services at the new facility, including timely pick-up and delivery, but also considerably reduce the operating costs of the warehouse. The warehouse developed by 7R in Czechowice-Dziedzice is one of the strategic handling facilities in the Raben Logistics Polska distribution network in southwestern Poland”, says Małgorzata Kacyrz, Branch Manager at Raben Logistics Polska.
“To ensure the best possible solutions, we here at 7R SA strive to adapt the buildings to the individual needs of our tenants in each project. Thanks to our many years of experience, we understand business. That is why we are looking for and introducing innovative solutions that allow our clients to optimize their processes. We are also aware of the importance of protecting the natural environment. Therefore, all new warehouses will be BREEAM-certified. The projects we are currently working on include both large-area warehouses and City Flex warehouses. We will deliver total warehouse space of over 400,000 m² throughout Poland. It is a big challenge to meet the different requirements of our tenants across so many projects, but their satisfaction and recommendations are the greatest reward and motivation for us to keep going”, concludes Maciej Krawiecki, Leasing Director at 7R SA.