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The 10 Flavors of Warehousing

When an acquaintance asked us how many kinds of warehouse services exist, the question caused considerable thinking. We identified 10 varieties:

#1: Overflow warehousing occurs when manufacturing or agricultural operations produce more material than can be consumed. The excess production is stored. This is probably the oldest and widest global use of warehousing service.

#2: Distribution warehousing places an inventory at a storage location that is close to a local market. Low cost bulk transportation moves product from factory to distribution center, and higher cost transport modes are used for delivery to the buyer.

#3. Retail warehousing includes merchandising functions, such as price marking and repackaging.

#4. Fulfillment warehousing handles orders received from consumers and shipped directly to the buyer's residence.

#5. Bulk warehousing involves the handling of unpackaged liquid or granular products, usually stored in tanks or silos.

#6. Parts distribution is dedicated to replacement parts rather than finished products.

#7. Reverse logistics warehousing is the handling and processing of customer returns.

#8. Temperature controlled storage includes the provision of frozen, chilled or heated environment to protect certain products.

#9. Facilities designed to protect and isolate hazardous materials are called hazmat warehouses.

#10. Household goods storage is dedicated to the handling of furniture and other personal effects.


K. B. Ackerman Company
2041 Riverside Drive
Suite 204
Columbus, Ohio 43221
Phone 614-488-3165
Fax 614-488-9243

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