Cross-Docking: Current Research Versus Industry Practice and Industry 4.0 Adoption

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Cross-docking is a supply chain distribution and logistics strategy for which less-than-truckload shipments are consolidated into full-truckload shipments. Goods are stored up to a maximum of 24 hours in a cross-docking terminal. In this chapter, we build on the literature review by Ladier and Alpan (2016), who reviewed cross-docking research and conducted interviews with cross-docking managers to find research gaps and provide recommendations for future research. We conduct a systematic literature review, following the framework by Ladier and Alpan (2016), on cross-docking literature from 2015 up to 2020. We focus on papers that consider the intersection of research and industry, e.g., case studies or studies presenting real-world data. We investigate whether the research has changed according to the recommendations of Ladier and Alpan (2016). Additionally, we examine the adoption of Industry 4.0 practices in cross-docking research, e.g., related to features of the physical internet, the Internet of Things and cyber-physical systems in cross-docking methodologies or case studies. We conclude that only small adaptations have been done based on the recommendations of Ladier and Alpan (2016), but we see growing attention for Industry 4.0 concepts in cross-docking, especially for physical internet hubs.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationSmart Industry - Better Management
EditorsTanya Bondarouk, Miguel R. Olivas-Luján
Number of pages36
ISBN (Electronic)978-1-80117-712-2, 978-1-80117-714-6
ISBN (Print)978-1-80117-715-3
Publication statusPublished - 18 Jul 2022

Publication series

NameAdvanced Series in Management
ISSN (Print)1877-6361


  • Cross-docking
  • Industry 4.0
  • materials handling
  • physical internet
  • supply chain distribution
  • systematic literature review


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