The Guide to Warehouse Types and Their Functions in Logistics
If you deal with goods, your business will need a warehouse. But warehouses are much more than just space for storing products. Here’s your guide.
If you deal with goods, your business will need a warehouse. But warehouses are much more than just some ample space for storing a large number of items.
Choosing the right warehouse type is essential to the efficiency of your business, and that will depend on its primary function. And if you add in effective warehouse management, your business will run smoothly and effectively for more significant profits.
For that reason, we’ve prepared this guide to warehouse types and their functions where you’ll find the most important information in one place.
What Is Warehouse Management?
Warehouse management encompasses where to keep goods and how to store them effectively to aid in increasing business efficiency. It is critical for any supply-based businesses where goods are for sale or distribution, as companies with the most efficient warehouse management can be 30-70% more profitable than others.
Although the term warehouse management is often confused with inventory management, these tasks are not identical.
Warehouse management includes all of the day-to-day operations of the warehouse, including layout, planning, labor, goods fulfillment, and reporting. In addition, it encases all behind-the-scenes activities critical for supply and demand operations by determining the best way to stack stock for easy order filling to ensure enough staff is on hand to perform job duties.
Elements of Warehouse Functions and Management
Managing warehouse space includes several elements for productive operations. These warehouse functions include:
- Climate Control
- Receiving and Shipping Goods
- Storage Planning
- Tracking Inventory and Supplies
Warehouse Climate Control
When storing goods for any length of time, managing the climate can be critical. Some products will require special conditions, like specific temperatures or humidity settings for perishable foods or electronic equipment. Therefore, it is vital to have the necessary space and technology to monitor climate control continuously to avoid any loss or damage.
Climate control is also critical in areas with extreme temperatures to protect the goods in the warehouse from any harmful outside elements.
Receiving and Shipping Goods
Receiving and shipping goods in warehouse management is not about inventory counting but how the products are moved or stored until they can be processed accordingly. Dedicated spaces for incoming and outgoing items help ensure a smooth transition within a warehouse.
For many businesses, storage needs are not static and will be continuously changing. Depending on the time of year and the goods, storage planning can be quite dynamic. It may alter significantly according to the supply and demand of the business operations.
Tracking Inventory and Supplies
Inventory tracking is only a small portion of warehouse management. Ensuring that all the necessary supplies are on hand to perform the day-to-day operations is vital for warehouse efficiency.
7 Different Warehouse Types and Their Functions
Proper warehouse management ensures that it functions efficiently and effectively for the businesses’ needs. Not all types of warehouses will work in every situation, making a company’s requirements a fundamentally important aspect of the business.
There are many advantages to having the correct type of warehouse when businesses use e-commerce regularly. Some of the warehouse types you will find include:
- Distribution Centers
1. Bonded Warehouses
Bonded warehouses function specifically for imported goods that require custom duties paid on them. They can be government or privately owned warehouses and are an effective way to deal with products that require importing paperwork before sales or a holding space before finding buyers.
2. Consolidated Warehouses
As the name suggests, consolidated warehouses are ideal for areas that bring together goods from several suppliers in a close geographical location to combine into one shipment for customers. This warehouse type is highly efficient in keeping inventory and shipping costs low.
3. Distribution Centers
For many supply chains, having an efficient distribution center is critical for business operations. These warehouses typically serve as a temporary space to store products before moving them to other warehouses or customers. Perishable items, including food products, are often pushed through distribution centers daily.
4. Government-Owned Warehouses
Government-owned warehouses belong to an assortment of local or regional governing bodies. These facilities may include seaport shipping locations or railway storage facilities, to name a few. While they can have reasonable rates, these warehouses have more authority to take possession of any goods with a lapse of rental payments from their renters.
5. Private Warehouses
Private warehouse space is familiar with many large corporations, retailers, and other businesses that have the budget to make this significant capital investment. They are often beneficial to hold out-of-season stock as a way to store goods until they are needed, making it a cost-effective way to run the business.
6. Public Warehouses
Public warehouses are ideal for small organizations that cannot afford to own warehouse space privately or do not need a long-term warehousing solution for goods. The local government body or third-party organization can hold a public warehouse and make it available for other businesses or individuals for varying needs.
7. Smart Warehouses
Naturally, smart warehouses rely on AI (Artificial Intelligence) equipment to process, manage, and fulfill orders from the inventory on hand. The level of AI can vary significantly from automated inventory software to drones or robotics for packing and shipping purposes. So, while there is a more considerable up-front investment, they can save money in the long term.
Choosing the Best Warehouse Type for Your Business Needs
Thankfully, choosing the best warehouse type for your business can be easier with help from the professionals at Coastal Cartage. Whether you need short-term storage or require a distribution center, we can help make the logistics of storing, managing, and shipping your goods more manageable and efficient.
Using proper warehouse and shipping freight methods allows your organization to see the benefits of using these specialized services. It can make a significant difference in lower operating costs and greater customer satisfaction overall.
There is no reason that your business should suffer because of inadequate warehousing capabilities. Some of the many Coastal Cartage services include:
- Fulfillment and Distribution
- Palletizing Strapping
- Short-Term Storage
- 24-Hour Controlled, Monitored, and Secure Facilities
If you are unsure what solution is right for your warehousing and shipping freight needs, talk to the experts at Coastal Cartage today. There are many ways they can help keep your company’s goals on track with productive warehouse management.