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Warehouses Explained

Warehouses Explained

Warehouses are large facilities that are used and accessed by various sectors, such as manufacturers, exporters, and importers. According to, they are primarily used for storing and housing goods as they make their way from production to the end user or retailer.

Warehouses will usually unload the goods from the manufacturer, inspect the goods, organize stock and inventory, and provide storage and dispatch. Depending on the good being stored, the warehouse may serve a specific function – such as cold storage or protection of dangerous goods. Further, they play a major role in the supply chain and for inventory management.

Here is a list of the various types of warehouses available:

Shipyard Warehouses

These types of warehouses are located on or near the docks or ports of coastal cities. As these kinds of facilities are usually bringing in the majority of overseas shipments contained in large shipping containers, and as such are bringing in a large influx of goods, they are often managed or controlled by the government.

Government control allows for customs to monitor and inspect the goods that are coming into the country. The goods are stored in these warehouses until cleared and sent off to their respective destinations.

Cold Storage Warehouses

These warehouses are used for storing goods that are perishable, such as food products, milk, meats and fish, vegetables, poultry, and more. Because of the time-sensitive nature of the products that are stored in types of warehouses, they are usually located close to city centres, airports or docks, as they have a quick turnaround to be delivered to other facilities.

These warehouses are generally state of the art, with control technology that tracks expiration dates, shelf life rotations and high levels of movement. This technology is essential to the utilization and nature of the products that they store.

Private Warehouse

Private warehouses are owned and operated by suppliers or resellers that control their own distributions. Major retailers are examples of those who own their own private warehouses, and these facilities may exist nationally to accommodate the retailers.

Public Warehouse

The public warehouse is a space that can be leased to solve a company’s short-term distribution needs. These are usually rented to retailers that need additional storage, as their facilities have reached maximum capacity.

For example, these types of facilities are used at peak times of the year, such as Christmas, or during large in-store sales and promotions.

automated warehouses

Automated Warehouse

These types of warehouse rely on the technological advances in computer and robotics to allow their automated functions to perform. This can range from conveyor belt transportation to full automation where humans are not needed at all.

These warehouses can be huge – some are the size of a few football fields – any may process thousands of goods and packages per day.

Distribution Warehouses

Distribution warehouses are usually public warehouses that receive large quantities of goods from a variety of manufacturers. These products are stored in the warehouse until they are transferred to the retailer or the new buyer.

It is the warehouse’s responsibility to ship these goods to their ultimate destination, so a distribution warehouse essentially acts as a midpoint for the goods.

Value Adding Warehouses

These warehouses are involved with adding value, such as labelling, repacking, or gift with purchase, to the goods. The workers that are employed with these types of warehouses help to keep track of the goods received by them, and as the name suggests, exist to increase the retail price (or value) of the products that they process.

Long Term Storage Warehouses

Some warehouses will often lease a section of their premises to various entities, such as banks and businesses. The space is usually used to store sensitive documents, and the organization and privacy of these documents are paramount.

These documents, which are typically stored and organized in coded cartons, are maintained by the warehousing company.

Trans-loading Warehouses

These warehouses are a midway point for rail car goods and are temporarily stored until they receive approval to continue on their way to their ultimate destination.