6 Types of Warehouses in Supply Chain Management

The warehouse of yesterday may have been nothing more than a storage facility, but today’s warehouse is a dynamic hub of activity. And while warehouse space may seem like a commodity, the type of warehouse you use can mean the difference between efficiency and chaos. Before you choose any old warehouse, consider your business needs and the various options available because each warehouse type has its strengths and weaknesses. So, keep reading to learn more about the ten most popular warehouse types. Because when it comes to warehouse management, one size does not fit all.

1. Distribution Center

The distribution center is the ultimate busy bee of warehouse types, where inventory comes in by the truckload and leaves just as quickly to fulfill orders. These facilities may seem like simple storage units, but they play a vital role in the supply chain process. They are the middlemen between suppliers and retailers, ensuring that products get to their destinations efficiently and effectively. So next time you place an online order and eagerly await its arrival at your doorstep, remember to thank the hardworking folks at your nearest distribution center for getting it there on time. It’s not just a warehouse – it’s a veritable hive of activity!

  • Generally affordable to utilize for companies selling to wholesalers.
  • Designed to increase overall efficiency for inventory management.
  • Less money is wasted on long-term storage of product.

2. Pick, Pack, and Ship Warehouse

In a pick, pack, and ship warehouse, orders come in from online stores or brick-and-mortar stores and are then filled by people or automated systems. The products are picked from their shelves, packed into shipping containers, labeled, and then finally shipped off to the customer. It’s a complex process, but one that ensures you receive your products safe and sound – and as quickly as possible. 

  • Save time and money with the most efficient picking methods
  • Reduce labor costs and order processing times
  • Streamline your fulfillment process for faster, more accurate orders

3. Smart Warehouse

It used to be that warehouses were simply large squares with 4 walls. But warehouse types are evolving to keep up with demand and technology, and the latest warehouse on the block is the smart warehouse. And trust us, this warehouse is no dummy. With automated systems and interconnected technologies, a smart warehouse knows exactly what products it has in stock and where they’re located. It can quickly fulfill orders without any pesky human error getting in the way. Plus, it adds an extra layer of safety and security for both products and warehouse employees. Investing in a smart warehouse is a smart move if you want your business to stay ahead of the game.

  • All the work in this warehouse is automated with the help of machines.
  • Since machines do all the work, there is no scope for human error.
  • CCTV cameras and other security systems enhance the security of smart warehouses.

4. Bonded Warehouse

In a world where global shipping and trade are omnipresent, warehouse options can make or break a business. Enter: the bonded warehouse. This warehouse type allows importers to store their products until customs duties are cleared, offering peace of mind and protection from lost profits. And talk about versatility – bonded warehouses can accommodate a variety of products, making them an attractive option for businesses that deal with cross-border trade.

  • Companies do not need to pay duties until items are released from storage for delivery.
  • Facilities tend to be versatile to accommodate a large variety of products.
  • Ideal for companies or businesses that deal with cross-border training.

5. On-Demand Warehouse

Don’t want to commit to a warehouse lease but still need extra inventory space? On-demand warehousing might be the solution for you. Think of it as the Airbnb of warehouse space – connect with companies with spare space and only pay for what you need. It’s a great option for businesses with fluctuating storage needs or just starting and unsure about warehouse commitment. And in a world where e-commerce continues to boom, on-demand warehousing is becoming increasingly popular.

  • Great for businesses dealing with a sudden spike in inventory.
  • Appealing to similar companies that can easily store goods together.
  • Cost-effective for seasonal or temporary warehousing needs.

6. Cold Storage

When it comes to warehouse types, cold storage is certainly the coolest. These warehouses store temperature-sensitive items that need to be kept at low temperatures to maintain quality and longevity. Common items in cold storage warehouses include medicine, perishable foods, plants, cosmetics, and artwork. Cold storage warehouses also use refrigerated shipping for both incoming and outgoing inventory. These warehouses have special environmental conditions and equipment to ensure that all stored inventory stays perfectly chilled until it reaches its final destination.

  • Ideal for companies or businesses that sell perishable inventory.
  • Attractive for businesses that require certain conditions for rare products.
  •  Commonly used by pharmaceutical companies.

Warehouse Types: Which is Right for You?

There’s no such thing as a one-size-fits-all solution. Do you need to store perishable items? Opt for a refrigerated warehouse. Do you have bulky or oversized merchandise? A warehouse with high ceilings may be your best bet. The possibilities are endless – and choosing the right warehouse type can make all the difference in the efficiency and success of your business operations. 

Don’t rush into a decision without considering your specific needs and long-term goals. Take the time to find the warehouse that will meet those needs and set you up for success now and in the future. After all, even warehouse spaces have their specialties – just like businesses do. Choose wisely, and your warehouse will be an asset rather than a burden.

Do You Need A Fulfillment Center?

So, whether you’re in the market for a brand-new warehouse or want to make sure your current one is being used to its full potential, be sure to use our list of the six most popular warehouse types. And if you’re still unsure which type of warehouse is right for you, don’t worry—ShipHero can help! We offer fulfillment solutions that will suit many types of businesses and budgets.

For More Information About ShipHero 

Whether you want to let go of running your own warehouse, or run your warehouse better, you can do both – and so much more – with ShipHero.

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