Some Common Kinds of Warehouses

Warehouses are buildings that store goods as part of various supply chains. However, there are several different types of warehouses that are commonly used. Read on to find out more on some of the main kinds of warehouses today.

Distribution Centers

These centers play an important role in the earlier part of the supply chain. Distribution centers are designed to help store and ultimately sell goods in large quantities. Often, manufacturers will house their goods in these centers where they can then sell them to retailers.

Fulfillment Centers

Further down the supply chain are fulfillment centers. These are usually third party owned and handle storage, order processing, packing and shipping for a retail company’s goods. Many online retailers send their goods to fulfillment centers because this is cheaper and more logistically manageable than owning a warehouse. Once customers place orders, the fulfillment center handles order fulfillment (hence the name).

Cross-dock Warehouses

Sometimes, goods do not need to be actually stored at all, just transferred from one transportation mode to another. Cross-dock buildings work as distribution centers where goods often go straight from one carrier to sorting, and then out the door with a truck. These warehouses are helpful for sorting goods for a single retail store into one truck for delivery. This avoids having trucks deliver for multiple stores, which would be inefficient.

Temperature-controlled and Climate-controlled Buildings

These warehouses are helpful for managing perishable or sensitive goods. Temperature control in a warehouse entails a series of heating and/or cooling units that keep a steady temperature range for products. Climate control is a bit more involved. It allows warehouses to control humidity and airflow as well, enabled by insulation, dehumidifiers, and other systems. These complex warehouses help protect against mold, dust, pests, and more for very sensitive goods.

Hazardous Material Warehousing

When a company needs to store flammable, caustic, radioactive, and otherwise hazardous materials, they use specialized warehouses. There are specific storage containers these warehouses use to store hazardous materials. They tend to be located further out from populated areas as well, given their risk. Plus, the employees in these warehouses often have training to handle hazardous materials. They have specialized protective equipment to help them safely manage the goods they store.

Automated Warehouses

Automation in warehouses is a key way to improve efficiency. An automated warehouse can leverage tracking technology, modern equipment, and distribution software to dramatically decrease risk and improve turnaround time. Today, most warehouses have some element of automation involved, from software to hardware and more.

Private Warehouses

Some large companies may invest in their own warehousing for their goods. This requires a huge investment on the front-end to plan and build a warehouse. However, for large enough companies, this can save money over the long term. This also gives them control over custom warehouse features like climate control, hazardous material management, automation, and the like.

Moon Warehousing specializes in customized warehousing for our clients’ needs. We understand the ebb and flow of business. We can also work with you to come up with a tailor-made solution for your products. Whether you need seasonal storage space, long term warehousing, or anything in between, we are happy to accommodate your needs. Interested in learning more? Give us a call at 502-550-7126 or visit our website today to learn more and request a quote!

a rendering of the coronavirus

Coronavirus and the Warehousing Industry

The coronavirus pandemic has caused significant impacts on most industries. Warehousing is no exception- with an expected market decline and changing logistics, there may be a new normal for the industry going forward. Here’s a look at some of the ways the coronavirus is impacting warehousing.

Coronavirus drove unpredictable demand 

One of the primary impacts on the warehousing industry has been unpredictable consumer behavior. During the pandemic, some products have experienced severe drops in demand, while others have soared. This means disruption for supply chains and warehouses that must attempt to meet demands that shift daily. Some products have experienced significant backlogs, while others have piled up in warehouses across the world.

A driving factor of this behavior has been the differing timelines of disease spread and response around the globe. Early in the pandemic, the disease was primarily spreading and being responded to in China, and Western demand for Chinese-made products remained high. As China exited lockdown and began shipping products West in anticipation of demand, the coronavirus took hold in Europe and North America, where demand sharply decreased. The products that had been shipped then simply sat in warehouses, with little demand to move them into consumers’ hands.

Current market decline and expected recovery

The coronavirus pandemic has already taken a toll on the warehousing industry. A report from April 2020 titled “Warehousing And Storage Global Market Report 2020-30: Covid 19 Impact and Recovery” projects that the global warehousing and storage market will experience a -0.1% compound annual growth rate (CAGR) in 2020. This means an expected market value of $450.7 billion in 2020, after a value of $451.1 billion in 2019. It’s not all bad news, though. While this decline seems certain, there is hope for a recovery in the next few years. The report projects a recovery with a 10% CAGR from 2021-2023, with the market value soaring to $582.9 billion by 2023. So, while there has definitely been a significant impact, the report projects a significant recovery and growth long-term.

Acceleration of automation and smart warehousing

Automation and smart warehousing are not new practices. However, given the challenges a pandemic imposes upon people in workplaces, they will likely accelerate as solutions. Greater technology in warehousing will create more resilience and efficiency, and a greater ability to adapt in the face of disease outbreaks. Plus, with many interest rates dropping and government incentives for capital purchases, investing in technology is more appealing than ever. These factors will likely converge to drive automation and smart warehousing in the industry.

With a swiftly changing market, flexibility has never been more important in warehousing. Moon Warehousing specializes in customized warehousing for our clients’ needs. We understand the ebb and flow of business and can work with you to come up with a tailor-made solution for your products. Whether you need seasonal storage space, long term warehousing, or anything in between, we are happy to accommodate your needs. Interested in learning more? Give us a call at 502-550-7126 or visit our website today to learn more and request a quote!