Work Environment – Crossdock vs. Warehouse

Earlier this week we published the blog post ‘Forklift Operators Wanted’. This post detailed the types of forklift work we have available at Breakaway and how you could go about applying for one of these positions. While our job postings outline many important details of the job such as pay rate, job description, location, and skills needed, it is also important for job seekers to know what type of work environment they will encounter on the job.

Many job seekers applying for a position within the Transportation and Logistics industry don’t fully understand the type of work environment they’re applying to work in.

Most of the available job positions we have at Breakaway require you to work in 1 of 2 environments: a crossdock or a warehouse.


work environment

What is a Crossdock?

A crossdock is a logistics procedure where there is little to no storage time for products. This takes place on a docking terminal where there are doors lining 2 sides of the facility.

The product arrives on inbound trucks that pull up to doors on 1 side of the building. The product is offloaded from the inbound trucks and is almost immediately reloaded onto outbound trucks staged at doors across the dock (hence crossdock).

Why use crossdocking?

Crossdocks can be used for products such as food that cannot sit on storage shelves for long periods of time. This method is also good if the products are already prepared for shipment and need to get to the customer immediately. There is little to no storage time within the facility therefore the product moves to its final destination must faster.

Working in a crossdock environment?

Employees operate forklifts, pallet trucks, and other transportation to move the products from one area of the dock to another. There is a sense of urgency in a crossdock that requires employees to be able to work in a fast-paced, busy environment. Forklift operators looking to get into a crossdock environment need experience loading and unloading trailers as the trucks must be loaded efficiently and effectively to get the most product to its final destination.


work environment

What is a warehouse?

A warehouse is a building used for the storage and accumulation of goods. Not only are products stored in racking in the warehouse but the products can also be packaged, processed, and graded within the warehouse environment.

Why use a warehouse facility?

Using a warehouse allows companies to store their products until needed. Products are delivered right to the storage area and can be dealt with accordingly based on customer need. Companies can use the warehouse to package and process their goods and keep them until customer demand requires shipment. Warehouses can also play a role in controlling pricing in a certain market. If there is an over abundance of a particular product in the warehouse it can drive the price down if companies need to get rid of the product immediately. If the demand for a product is higher than the amount available in warehouses, the price can go up.

Working in a warehouse environment?

Working in a warehouse can require forklift operators to be able to pick products, stage skids, and move products around the warehouse as required. Warehouses are more likely to have different types of forklifts available for use (check out our 5 most common types of forklifts blog post here) and warehouses will also have other workers hired to do manual order picking.

If you’re applying to work in the Transportation and Logistics industry as a forklift operator or a general labourer you are likely to encounter the two work environments listed above. The crossdock is a fast-paced, busy environment dedicated to moving product fast while the warehouse is a storage facility dedicated to storing and managing product efficiently and effectively until needed by companies.

Both environments pose their own sets of benefits and challenges so take into account the type of work environment listed in the job posting when applying for your next job.