A warehouse is a commercial facility commonly used for the accumulation or storage of goods. Warehousing is the process of handling goods, proper storage, and cargo using the latest techniques in the warehouse and making them available smoothly and easily when needed. They often use forklifts and crane for moving heavy pallets of goods from one end to another.
Today, warehousing is considered one of the crucial aspects of the trade. It may seem like a straightforward process, but they involve a range of different types that have their own niche. The type of warehousing that is right for you depends on your location, specific industry, and needs.
From distribution centers, private warehousing, and climate-controlled warehouses, there is an option to suit every business requirement. Learn more about the functions and types of warehouses and find out which one is right for you:
Functions of Warehouse
- The traditional need for a warehouse is storing goods. These goods are stored at the time of their purchase or production until their usage or consumption.
- Warehouses keep the goods safe from losses or damages due to dust, heat, and moisture, etc. It offers special arrangements for different goods according to their nature and narrows down losses due to spoilage or wastage during storage. Further, these goods are safely handled by the forklift operators who have a forklift certificate to avoid tip-overs and accidents at the work facility.
- Since warehouses are bound to return the products in good condition, so they become responsible for any loss or damage. They take over these risks to the storage of goods.
- Some commodities are not consumed the way they are produced. Processing is needed to make them consumable. For instance, timber needs to be seasoned, paddy is polished, and fruits are ripened. Some warehouses undertake these activities on behalf of the owners.
- Sometimes, the warehouse performs grading and branding of goods on behalf of the manufacturer or wholesaler for the convenience of handling. It also offers transport arrangements to the bulk of products on the request of depositors.
Types of Warehouses
These are privately owned generally by engineering companies or retail corporations that need a private space to store their inventory. Usually, these companies buy goods in bulk and store them to fulfill the order delivery that is bound to come their way. Private warehouses need capital investment by the owner, but usually found to be cost-effective in the long run.
Public warehouses can be rented to companies with short-term distribution needs. For instance, business owners with their private warehouse might seek out extra storage space at a public warehouse just to store a surplus of inventory on a temporary basis. Once they have free spaces in their own warehouse, they shall discontinue using public space.
Distribution centers are specialized building or a warehouse where storing a set of products is a very temporary activity. These types of warehouses often involve air conditioning or refrigeration stocked with products to be redistributed to wholesalers, retailers, or directly to customers. For instance, a distribution center handles perishable goods where the workers ensure to distribute the shipments that they get in the morning by the end of the same day.
Warehouses store a variety of different products, often including goods that need to be stored at a specific temperature. This type of warehouse helps prevent environmental discrepancies and creates consistent, controlled conditions all over the operations.
An example of a climate-controlled warehouse might range from humidity-controlled environments to keep the delicate botanical products to freezing temperatures to store frozen products intact to even dirt-free space to keep sensitive electrical equipment safe.
Warehouse logistics are not fixed. They change depending on your inventory, physical needs, your employees, and other factors that they govern. While you can implement procedures and tools to help govern warehouse logistics, smooth operations hinge on attentiveness, evolving policies, and proper training!