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A warehouse is a building for storing
goods In economics Economics () is the social science that studies how people interact with value; in particular, the Production (economics), production, distribution (economics), distribution, and Consumption (economics), consumption of goods ...

goods
. Warehouses are used by
manufacturer Manufacturing is the creation or production Production may be: Economics and business * Production (economics) * Production, the act of manufacturing goods * Production, in the outline of industrial organization, the act of making products (g ...

manufacturer
s,
importer An import is the receiving country in an export An export in international trade International trade is the exchange of capital, goods, and services across international borders or territories because there is a need or want of go ...
s,
exporter An export in international trade International trade is the exchange of capital, goods, and services across international borders or territories because there is a need or want of goods or services. In most countries, such trade represen ...
s,
wholesaler Wholesaling or distributing is the sale of goods or merchandise Merchandising is any practice which contributes to the sale of products to a retail consumer A consumer is a person or a group who intends to order, orders, or uses purchased ...
s,
transport Transport (commonly used in the U.K.), or transportation (used in the U.S.), is the Motion, movement of humans, animals and cargo, goods from one location to another. In other words, the action of transport is defined as a particular movement ...

transport
businesses,
customs Vienna Convention road sign for customs Customs is an authority In the fields of sociology Sociology is the study of society, human social behaviour, patterns of social relationships, social interaction, and culture that surrounds every ...

customs
, etc. They are usually large plain buildings in
industrial park , Canada An industrial park (also known as industrial estate, trading estate) is an area zoning, zoned and planned for the purpose of industrial development. An industrial park can be thought of as a more "heavyweight" version of a business park ...
s on the outskirts of cities, towns, or villages. They usually have
loading dock A loading dock or loading bay is an area of a building where goods vehicles (usually road or rail) are loaded and unloaded. They are commonly found on commercial and industrial buildings, and warehouses in particular. Loading docks are part of a ...

loading dock
s to load and unload goods from trucks. Sometimes warehouses are designed for the loading and unloading of goods directly from
railway Rail transport (also known as train transport) is a means of transferring passengers and goods on wheeled vehicle A vehicle (from la, vehiculum) is a machine A machine is a man-made device that uses power to apply forces and contro ...

railway
s,
airport An airport is an with extended facilities, mostly for commercial air transport. Airports often have facilities to park and maintain aircraft, and a . An airport consists of a , which comprises an aerially accessible open space including a ...

airport
s, or
seaport The Porticciolo del Cedas port in Barcola The thumb is the first digit of the hand, next to the index finger. When a person is standing in the medical anatomical position (where the palm is facing to the front), the thumb is the outermost digit ...
s. They often have cranes and
forklift A forklift (also called lift truck, jitney, fork truck, fork hoist, and forklift truck) is a powered industrial truck used to lift and move materials over short distances. The forklift was developed in the early 20th century by various companie ...

forklift
s for moving goods, which are usually placed on
ISO The International Organization for Standardization (ISO ) is an international standard An international standard is a technical standard A technical standard is an established norm (social), norm or requirement for a repeatable technical task w ...
standard
pallet A metal pallet with removable beams, in this case for firewood A pallet () (also called a skid) is a flat transport structure, which supports goods in a stable fashion while being lifted by a forklift, a pallet jack, a front loader, a jac ...
s loaded into pallet racks. Stored goods can include any raw materials, packing materials,
spare part A spare part, spare, service part, repair part, or replacement part, is an interchangeable part that is kept in an inventory and used for the repair or replacement of failed units. Spare parts are an important feature of logistics engineering and su ...
s, components, or finished goods associated with agriculture, manufacturing, and production. In India and Hong Kong, a warehouse may be referred to as a "godown". There are also godowns in the
Shanghai Bund The Bund or Waitan (, Shanghainese Shanghainese (rarely "Shanghaiese", without second "n"), also known as the Shanghai dialect, Hu language or Hu dialect, is a variety of Wu Chinese Wu (Chinese character: , , Mandarin: ) is a group of ...
.


History


Prehistory and ancient history

A warehouse can be defined functionally as a building in which to store bulk produce or goods (''wares'') for commercial purposes. The built form of warehouse structures throughout time depends on many contexts: materials, technologies, sites, and cultures. In this sense, the warehouse postdates the need for communal or state-based mass storage of surplus food. Prehistoric civilizations relied on family- or community-owned storage pits, or ‘palace’ storerooms, such as at
Knossos Knossos (also Cnossos, both pronounced ; grc, Κνωσός, Knōsós, ; Linear B Linear B is a syllabic script that was used for writing Mycenaean Greek, the earliest attested form of Greek. The script predates the Greek alphabet ...

Knossos
, to protect surplus food. The archaeologist
Colin Renfrew Andrew Colin Renfrew, Baron Renfrew of Kaimsthorn, FBAFBA may refer to: * Federation of British Artists * Federal Bar Association * Fellow of the British Academy * Filsports Basketball Association * First Baptist Academy (Houston, Texas), Unite ...
argued that gathering and storing agricultural surpluses in Bronze Age Minoan ‘palaces’ was a critical ingredient in the formation of proto-state power. The need for warehouses developed in societies in which trade reached a critical mass requiring storage at some point in the exchange process. This was highly evident in ancient Rome, where the horreum (pl. horrea) became a standard building form.  The most studied examples are in
Ostia
Ostia
, the port city that served Rome. The
Horrea Galbae The Horrea Galbae were warehouses (''horrea A ''horreum'' (plural: ''horrea'') was a type of public warehouse used during the Ancient Rome, ancient Roman period. Although the Latin language, Latin term is often used to refer to granary, granaries, ...
, a warehouse complex on the road towards Ostia, demonstrates that these buildings could be substantial, even by modern standards. Galba's horrea complex contained 140 rooms on the ground floor alone, covering an area of some 225,000 square feet (21,000 m²). As a point of reference, less than half of U.S. warehouses today are larger than 100,000 square feet (9290 m²).


Medieval Europe

The need for a warehouse implies having quantities of goods too big to be stored in a domestic storeroom. But as attested by legislation concerning the levy of duties, some medieval merchants across Europe commonly kept goods in their large household storerooms, often on the ground floor or cellars. An example is the
Fondaco dei Tedeschi 250px, The new facade and the panoramic roof. The Fondaco dei Tedeschi ( Venetian: ''Fontego dei Tedeschi'') is a historic building in Venice Venice ( ; it, Venezia ; vec, Venesia or ) is a city in northeastern Italy Italy ( it, Ital ...

Fondaco dei Tedeschi
, the substantial quarters of German traders in Venice, which combined a dwelling, warehouse, market and quarters for travellers. From the Middle Ages on, dedicated warehouses were constructed around ports and other commercial hubs to facilitate large-scale trade. The warehouses of the trading port
Bryggen Bryggen (''the dock''), also known as Tyskebryggen (, ''the German dock''), is a series of Hanseatic The Hanseatic League (; gml, Hanse, , ; german: label=German language, Deutsche Hanse; nl, label=Dutch language, Dutch, De Hanze; la, Hansa ...

Bryggen
in Bergen, Norway (now a World Heritage site), demonstrate characteristic European gabled timber forms dating from the late Middle Ages, though what remains today was largely rebuilt in the same traditional style following great fires in 1702 and 1955.


Industrial revolution

During the industrial revolution of the mid 18th century, the function of warehouses evolved and became more specialised. The mass production of goods launched by the industrial revolution of the 18th and 19th centuries fuelled the development of larger and more specialised warehouses, usually located close to transport hubs on canals, at railways and portside. Specialisation of tasks is characteristic of the
factory system (Slovakia Slovakia (; sk, Slovensko ), officially the Slovak Republic ( sk, Slovenská republika, links=no ), is a landlocked country in Central Europe. It is bordered by Poland to the north, Ukraine to the east, Hungary to the south, Au ...
, which developed in British textile mills and potteries in the mid-late 1700s. Factory processes speeded up work and deskilled labour, bringing new profits to capital investment. Warehouses also fulfill a range of commercial functions besides simple storage, exemplified by Manchester's cotton warehouses and Australian wool stores: receiving, stockpiling and despatching goods; displaying goods for commercial buyers; packing, checking and labelling orders, and dispatching them. The utilitarian architecture of warehouses responded fast to emerging technologies. Before and into the nineteenth century, the basic European warehouse was built of load-bearing masonry walls or heavy-framed timber with a suitable external cladding. Inside, heavy timber posts supported timber beams and joists for the upper levels, rarely more than four to five stories high. A gabled roof was conventional, with a gate in the gable facing the street, rail lines or port for a crane to hoist goods into the window-gates on each floor below. Convenient access for road transport was built-in via very large doors on the ground floor. If not in a separate building, office and display spaces were located on the ground or first floor. Technological innovations of the early 19th century changed the shape of warehouses and the work performed inside them: cast iron columns and later, moulded steel posts; saw-tooth roofs; and steam power. All (except steel) were adopted quickly and were in common use by the middle of the 19th century. Strong, slender cast iron columns began to replace masonry piers or timber posts to carry levels above the ground floor. As modern
steel framing frame at 30 St Mary Axe, London, UK. Steel frame is a building technique with a "skeleton frame" of vertical steel columns and horizontal i-beam, -beams, constructed in a rectangular grid to support the floors, roof and walls of a building which a ...
developed in the late 19th century, its strength and constructability enabled the first skyscrapers. Steel girders replaced timber beams, increasing the span of internal bays in the warehouse. The
saw-tooth roof A saw-tooth roof is a roof comprising a series of ridges with dual pitches either side. The steeper surfaces are glazed and face away from the equator to shield workers and machinery from direct sunlight. This kind of roof admits natural light int ...
brought natural light to the top story of the warehouse. It transformed the shape of the warehouse, from the traditional peaked hip or gable to an essentially flat roof form that was often hidden behind a parapet. Warehouse buildings now became strongly horizontal. Inside the top floor, the vertical glazed pane of each saw-tooth enabled natural lighting over displayed goods, improving buyer inspection. Hoists and cranes driven by
steam power from Stott Park Bobbin Mill, Cumbria, England A steam engine is a heat engine In thermodynamics Thermodynamics is a branch of physics that deals with heat, Work (thermodynamics), work, and temperature, and their relation to energy ...

steam power
expanded the capacity of manual labour to lift and move heavy goods.


20th century

Two new power sources, hydraulics, and electricity, re-shaped warehouse design and practice at the end of the 19th century and into the 20th century. Public
hydraulic power network A hydraulic power network is a system of interconnected pipes carrying pressurized {{Wiktionary Pressurization or pressurisation is the application of pressure Pressure (symbol: ''p'' or ''P'') is the force In physics Physics ( ...
s were constructed in many large industrial cities around the world in the 1870s-80s, exemplified by
Manchester Manchester () is the most-populous city and metropolitan borough in North West England and Greater Manchester, England. The city has the country's List of English districts by population, fifth-largest population at 547,627 (as of 2018) and li ...
. They were highly effective to power cranes and lifts, whose application in warehouses served taller buildings and enabled new labour efficiencies. Public electricity networks emerged in the 1890s. They were used at first mainly for lighting and soon to electrify lifts, making possible taller, more efficient warehouses. It took several decades for electrical power to be distributed widely throughout cities in the western world. 20th-century technologies made warehousing ever more efficient. Electricity became widely available and transformed lighting, security, lifting, and transport from the 1900s. The
internal combustion engine An internal combustion engine (ICE or IC engine) is a heat engine In thermodynamics Thermodynamics is a branch of physics that deals with heat, Work (thermodynamics), work, and temperature, and their relation to energy, entropy, and ...

internal combustion engine
, developed in the late 19th century, was installed in mass-produced vehicles from the 1910s. It not only reshaped transport methods but enabled many applications as a compact, portable power plant, wherever small engines were needed. The
forklift A forklift (also called lift truck, jitney, fork truck, fork hoist, and forklift truck) is a powered industrial truck used to lift and move materials over short distances. The forklift was developed in the early 20th century by various companie ...

forklift
truck was invented in the early 20th century and came into wide use after
World War II World War II or the Second World War, often abbreviated as WWII or WW2, was a that lasted from 1939 to 1945. It involved —including all of the great powers—forming two opposing s: the and the . In a total war directly involving m ...
. Forklifts transformed the possibilities of multi-level
pallet racking slotted angle Pallet rack is a material handling storage aid system designed to store materials on pallet A metal pallet with removable beams, in this case for firewood A pallet () (also called a skid) is a flat transport structure, which ...
of goods in taller, single-level steel-framed buildings for higher storage density. The forklift, and its load fixed to a uniform
pallet A metal pallet with removable beams, in this case for firewood A pallet () (also called a skid) is a flat transport structure, which supports goods in a stable fashion while being lifted by a forklift, a pallet jack, a front loader, a jac ...
, enabled the rise of
logistic
logistic
approaches to storage in the later 20th century. Always a building of function, in the late 20th century warehouses began to adapt to standardisation, mechanisation, technological innovation, and changes in supply chain methods. Here in the 21st century, we are currently witnessing the next major development in warehousing– automation.


Typology

Warehouses are generally considered industrial buildings * * * * * * * * and are usually located in industrial districts or
zones Zone or The Zone may refer to: Places Climate and altitude zones * Death zone (originally the lethal zone), altitudes above a certain point where the amount of oxygen is insufficient to sustain human life for an extended time span * Frigid zone, a ...
(such as the outskirts of a city).
LoopNet LoopNet is an online marketplaceAn online marketplace (or online e-commerce marketplace) is a type of e-commerce website where product or service information is provided by multiple third parties. Online marketplaces are the primary type of m ...
categorizes warehouses using the "industrial" property type.
Craftsman Book Company Craftsman may refer to: A profession *Artisan, a skilled manual worker who makes items that may be functional or strictly decorative *Master craftsman, an artisan who has achieved such a standard that he may establish his own workshop and take on ...
's 2018 National Building Cost Manual lists "Warehouses" under the "Industrial Structures Section." In the UK, warehouses are classified under the
Town and Country Planning Act 1990 The Town and Country Planning Act 1990c 8 is an act of the United Kingdom Parliament The Parliament of the United Kingdom is the supreme legislative body A legislature is an assembly Assembly may refer to: Organisations and meetings ...
as the industrial category ''B8 Storage and distribution''. Types of warehouses include storage warehouses,
distribution center 330px, Sainsbury's distribution centre in Waltham Point, Hertfordshire, United Kingdom">Hertfordshire.html" ;"title="Sainsbury's distribution centre in Waltham Point, Hertfordshire">Sainsbury's distribution centre in Waltham Point, Hertfordshir ...
s (including fulfillment centers and truck terminals), retail warehouses, cold storage warehouses, and flex space.


Retail warehouses

These displayed goods for the home trade. This would be finished goods- such as the latest cotton blouses or fashion items. Their street frontage was impressive, so they took the styles of Italianate Palazzi.Warehouses are now more technologically oriented and help in linking stocks with the retail store in an accurate way.
Richard Cobden Richard Cobden (3 June 1804 – 2 April 1865) was an English Radicals (UK), Radical and Liberal Party (UK), Liberal politician, manufacturing, manufacturer, and a campaigner for free trade and peace. He was associated with the Anti-Corn Law League ...

Richard Cobden
's construction in Manchester's
Mosley Street Mosley Street is a street in Manchester, England. It runs between its junction with Piccadilly Gardens and Market Street, Manchester, Market Street to St Peter's Square, Manchester, St Peter's Square. Beyond St Peter's Square it becomes Lower Mosl ...
was the first
palazzo A palace is a grand residence, especially a royal residence, or the home of a head of state A head of state (or chief of state) is the public persona A persona (plural personae or personas), depending on the context, can refer to eith ...
warehouse. There were already seven warehouses on
Portland Street :''For the street in London, see Great Portland Street Great Portland Street in the West End of London links Oxford Street with Albany Street and the A501 road, A501 Marylebone Road and Euston Road. A commercial street including some embassies, ...
when S. & J. Watts & Co. commenced building the elaborate
Watts Warehouse Watts Warehouse is a large, ornate Victorian architecture, Victorian Grade II* listed building (United Kingdom), listed building standing on Portland Street in the centre of Manchester, England. It opened in 1856 as a textile warehouse for the wh ...
of 1855, but four more were opened before it was finished. The Main Benefits of Retail Warehouse * Safety and Preservation *Trouble-free handling *Ensuring Continuous supply of products *Easy access for small traders *Location advantages *Employment Generation *Easy Financing *Assisting in selling *Retail warehouses serve as local and regional store distribution centers. *Opportunity to obtain local and regional store distribution centers. *Freestanding facilities offer dock doors, clear heights compatible with industrial use and lots of parking. *Utilizing already established retail warehouses and retail centers. *Better competitive advantage for omnichannel needs in niche markets *Redevelopment of struggling urban areas, such as those where a local supermarket or a chain supermarket has gone out of business or left town. *Freestanding facilities offer dock doors, clear heights compatible with industrial use and ample parking. Challenges of Retail Warehouse * Tight profit margins *High customer expectation *Operational Inefficiency *May have higher costs than initially thought.


Cool warehouses and cold storage

Cold storage preserves agricultural products. Refrigerated storage helps in eliminating
sprouting Sprouting is the natural process by which seed A seed is an embryonic ''Embryonic'' is the twelfth studio album by experimental rock band the Flaming Lips released on October 13, 2009, on Warner Bros. Records, Warner Bros. The band's firs ...
, rotting and insect damage. Edible products are generally not stored for more than one year. Several perishable products require a storage temperature as low as −25 °C. Cold storage helps stabilize
market price A price is the (usually not negative) quantity Quantity is a property that can exist as a multitude or magnitude, which illustrate discontinuity and continuity. Quantities can be compared in terms of "more", "less", or "equal", or b ...
s and evenly distribute goods both on demand and timely basis. The farmers get the opportunity of producing cash crops to get remunerative prices. The consumers get the supply of perishable commodities with lower fluctuation of prices.
Ammonia Ammonia is a chemical compound, compound of nitrogen and hydrogen with the chemical formula, formula NH3. A Binary compounds of hydrogen, stable binary hydride, and the simplest pnictogen hydride, ammonia is a colourless gas with a distinct ch ...

Ammonia
and
Freon Freon ( ) is a registered trademark A trademark (also written trade mark or trade-mark) is a type of intellectual property Intellectual property (IP) is a category of property Property is a system of rights that gives people legal c ...
compressors are commonly used in cold storage warehouses to maintain the temperature. Ammonia refrigerant is cheaper, easily available, and has a high latent
heat of evaporation The enthalpy of vaporization (symbol ), also known as the (latent) heat of vaporization or heat of evaporation, is the amount of energy (enthalpy) that must be added to a liquid substance to transform a quantity of that substance into a gas. Th ...
, but it is also highly
toxic Toxicity is the degree to which a chemical substance A chemical substance is a form of matter In classical physics and general chemistry, matter is any substance that has mass and takes up space by having volume. All everyday objects t ...

toxic
and can form an explosive mixture when mixed with fuel oil. Insulation is also important, to reduce the loss of cold and to keep different sections of the warehouse at different temperatures. There are two main types of refrigeration system used in cold storage warehouses: vapor absorption systems (VAS) and vapor-compression systems (VCS). VAS, although comparatively costlier to install, is more economical in operation. The temperature necessary for
preservation Preservation may refer to: Heritage and conservation * Preservation (library and archival science) In Library science, library and archival science, preservation is a set of preventive conservation activities aimed at prolonging the life of a ...

preservation
depends on the storage time required and the type of product. In general, there are three groups of products, foods that are alive (e.g. fruits and vegetables), foods that are no longer alive and have been processed in some form (e.g. meat and fish products), and commodities that benefit from storage at controlled temperature (e.g. beer, tobacco). Location is important for the success of a cold storage facility. It should be in close proximity to a growing area as well as a market, be easily accessible for heavy vehicles, and have an uninterrupted power supply. Plant attached cold storage is the preferred option for some manufacturers who want to keep their cold storage in house. Products can be transported via conveyor straight from manufacturing to a dedicated cold storage facility on-site.


Overseas warehouses

These catered for the overseas trade. They became the meeting places for overseas wholesale buyers where printed and plain could be discussed and ordered. Trade in cloth in Manchester was conducted by many nationalities. Behrens Warehouse is on the corner of
Oxford Street Oxford Street is a major road in the City of Westminster The City of Westminster is a City status in the United Kingdom, city and London boroughs, borough in Inner London which forms a core part of Central London. It is the site of the Un ...

Oxford Street
and
Portland Street :''For the street in London, see Great Portland Street Great Portland Street in the West End of London links Oxford Street with Albany Street and the A501 road, A501 Marylebone Road and Euston Road. A commercial street including some embassies, ...
. It was built for Louis Behrens & Son by P Nunn in 1860. It is a four-storey predominantly red brick build with 23 bays along Portland Street and 9 along Oxford Street. The Behrens family were prominent in banking and in the social life of the German Community in Manchester. Overseas warehouse refers to the storage facilities established overseas. In cross-border trade e-commerce, overseas warehouses refer to domestic enterprises transporting commodities to target market countries through bulk transportation, establishing warehouses and storing commodities locally, then, according to the local sales order, the one-stop control and management service of sorting, packaging and distribution will be carried out directly from the local warehouse in a timely manner. According to different operating subjects, overseas warehouses can be divided into 1. Self-operated overseas warehouses self-operated overseas warehouses mode refers to overseas warehouses built and operated by export cross-border e-commerce enterprises, it is a logistics mode that only provides logistics services such as warehousing and distribution for the goods sold by the enterprise, that is, the entire cross-border e-commerce logistics system is controlled by the export cross-border e-commerce enterprise itself. 2. Third-party public service overseas warehouse third-party public service overseas warehouse refers to an overseas warehouse built and operated by a third-party logistics enterprise, and can provide customs clearance and warehousing quality inspection for many export cross-border e-commerce enterprises, the logistics mode of receiving orders, sorting orders, multi-channel delivery, follow-up transportation and other logistics services means that the entire cross-border e-commerce logistics system is controlled by third-party logistics enterprises. What are the common businesses in overseas warehouses? 1. In short, the seller sends the bulk stocking products from the country to the overseas warehouse abroad, and then the staff of the overseas warehouse counts the shelves. When a buyer places an order, the seller only needs to issue the delivery instruction in the overseas warehouse system, and the warehouse personnel will realize local delivery in foreign countries according to the instruction. 2. If there is a problem with the seller's account or the label is wrong, the goods need to be sent to the overseas warehouse for replacement and re-sale. 3. The most common situation of transfer is to combine FBA with third-party overseas warehouses, first store goods in overseas warehouses, and regularly or irregularly transfer them (Replenishment) FBA, while shipping from FBA, while shipping from overseas warehouses 4. Handling value-added services such as return and exchange. By using an overseas warehouse, the delivery speed has certain advantages, which can improve the product price and increase gross profit to a certain extent. At the same time, it can also improve the consumer experience and stimulate the second consumption, so as to improve the overall sales.


Packing warehouses

''Modern term:
Fulfillment house Fulfillment house and fulfillment center (in American and British English spelling differences, British English: fulfilment house and fulfilment centre) are modern terms for a Warehouse#Packing warehouses, packing warehouse. The terms were coine ...
'' The main purpose of packing warehouses was the picking, checking, labelling and packing of goods for export. The packing warehouses: Asia House,
India House India House was a student residence that existed between 1905 and 1910 at Cromwell Avenue in Highgate, North London. With the patronage of lawyer Shyamji Krishna Varma, it was opened to promote nationalist views among Indian students in Britai ...
and Velvet House along
Whitworth Street Whitworth Street is a street in Manchester, England. It runs between London Road (A6 road (England), A6) and Wilmslow Road, Oxford Street (A34 road, A34). West of Oxford Street it becomes Whitworth Street West which then goes as far as Deansgate ...
in Manchester were some of the tallest buildings of their time. See List of packing houses. The more efficient the pick and pack process is, the faster items can be shipped to customers. Pick and pack warehousing is the process in which fulfillment centers choose products from shipments and re-package them for distribution. When shipments are received by the warehouse, items are stored and entered into an inventory management system for tracking and accountability. Picking refers to selecting the right quantities of products from warehouse storage. Packing, on the other hand, happens when those products are placed in shipping boxes with appropriate packaging materials, labeled, documented and shipped.


Railway warehouses

Warehouses were built close to the major stations in railway hubs. The first railway warehouse to be built was opposite the passenger platform at the terminus of the
Liverpool and Manchester Railway The Liverpool and Manchester Railway (L&MR) was the first inter-city railway in the world. It opened on 15 September 1830 between the Lancashire Lancashire ( ; abbreviated Lancs.) is a ceremonial county and geographical area in North W ...
. There was an important group of warehouses around London Road station (now Piccadilly station).In the 1890s the Great Northern Railway Company’s
warehouse A warehouse is a building for storing goods In economics Economics () is the social science that studies how people interact with value; in particular, the Production (economics), production, distribution (economics), distribution, an ...

warehouse
was completed on
Deansgate Deansgate is a main road (part of the A56) through Manchester City Centre, England. It runs roughly north–south in a near straight route through the western part of the city centre and is the longest road in the city centre at over one mile ...

Deansgate
: this was the last major railway warehouse to be built. The London Warehouse Picadilly was one of four warehouses built by the
Manchester, Sheffield and Lincolnshire Railway The Manchester, Sheffield and Lincolnshire Railway (MS&LR) was formed in 1847 when the Sheffield, Ashton-under-Lyne and Manchester Railway The Sheffield, Ashton-under-Lyne and Manchester Railway was an early British railway company which opene ...
in about 1865 to service the new London Road Station. It had its own branch to the
Ashton Canal The Ashton Canal is a canal in Greater Manchester, England. Route The Ashton leaves the Rochdale Canal at Ducie St. Junction in central Manchester, and climbs for through 18 canal lock, locks, passing through Ancoats, Holt Town, Bradford, ...
. This warehouse was built of brick with stone detailing. It had cast iron columns with wrought iron beams. As part of its diversification activities, CWC developed a warehousing facility of Railway land along a Railway siding as a Pilot Project at Whitefield Goods Terminal at Bangalore after entering into an agreement with Indian Railway. This project started operation since February 2002 and resulted in attracting additional traffic to the Railways, improvement in customer service and an increase in the volumes of cargo handled by CWC. The success of this project led CWC to consider developing Railside Warehousing Complexes at other centers also throughout near identified Rail Terminals.


Canal warehouses

All these warehouse types can trace their origins back to the canal warehouses which were used for trans-shipment and storage. Castle field warehouses in Manchester are of this type and important as they were built at the terminus of the
Bridgewater Canal The Bridgewater Canal connects Runcorn, Manchester and Leigh, Greater Manchester, Leigh, in North West England. It was commissioned by Francis Egerton, 3rd Duke of Bridgewater, to transport coal from his mines in Worsley to Manchester. It was ...
in 1761.The Duke's Warehouse in the Castle field Canal Basin in Manchester was the first canal warehouse to have the classic design features of internal canal arms, multi-storeys, split level loading, terracing and water powered hoists, and was built between 1769 and 1771. The Castle field terminus of the Bridgewater Canal has attracted a considerable amount of interest from historians since the 1860s, and from archaeologists since the 1960s.These studies have developed two themes; the complexity and success (or failure) of the water management systems built by James Brindley, and the physical development of the basin as a ware-house zones.


Operations

A customised storage building, a warehouse enables a business to stockpile goods, e.g., to build up a full load prior to transport, or hold unloaded goods before further distribution, or store goods like wine and cheese that require maturation. As a place for storage, the warehouse has to be secure, convenient, and as spacious as possible, according to the owner's resources, the site and contemporary building technology.  Before mechanised technology developed, warehouse functions relied on human labour, using mechanical lifting aids like pulley systems. Breaking it down, warehouse operations covers a number of important areas, from the receiving, organization, fulfillment, and distribution processes. These areas include: * Receiving of goods * Cross-docking of goods * Organizing and storing inventory * Attaching asset tracking solutions (like barcodes) to assets and inventory * Integrating and maintaining a tracking software, like a warehouse management system * Overseeing the integration of new technology * Selecting picking routes * Establishing sorting and packing practices * Maintaining the warehouse facility * Developing racking designs and warehouse infrastructure.


Storage and shipping systems

Some of the most common warehouse storage systems are: *
Pallet racking slotted angle Pallet rack is a material handling storage aid system designed to store materials on pallet A metal pallet with removable beams, in this case for firewood A pallet () (also called a skid) is a flat transport structure, which ...
including selective, drive-in, drive-thru, double-deep, pushback, and gravity flow * Cantilever racking uses arms, rather than pallets, to store long thin objects like timber. *
Mezzanine , Ottawa, Ontario, Canada Canada is a country in the northern part of North America. Its Provinces and territories of Canada, ten provinces and three territories extend from the Atlantic Ocean, Atlantic to the Pacific Ocean, Pacific and nor ...
adds a semi-permanent story of storage within a warehouse * Vertical Lift Modules are packed systems with vertically arranged trays stored on both sides of the unit. * Horizontal Carousels consist of a frame and a rotating carriage of bins. * Vertical Carousels consisting of a series of carriers mounted on a vertical closed-loop track, inside a metal enclosure. A "piece pick" is a type of order selection process where a product is picked and handled in individual units and placed in an outer carton, tote or another container before shipping. Catalog companies and internet retailers are examples of predominantly piece-pick operations. Their customers rarely order in pallet or case quantities; instead, they typically order just one or two pieces of one or two items. Several elements make up the piece-pick system. They include the order, the picker, the pick module, the pick area, handling equipment, the container, the pick method used and the information technology used. Every movement inside a warehouse must be accompanied by a
work order A work order is usually a task or a job for a customer In sales Sales are activities related to selling or the number of goods sold in a given targeted time period. The delivery of a service for a cost is also considered a sale. The se ...
. Warehouse operation can fail when workers move goods without work orders, or when a storage position is left unregistered in the system. One of the most important factor to be considered while designing a warehouse storage plan is the Product Volume. The Products which has high demand and the ones that has to reach the customer or the next workstation in a short span of time has to be kept in places like low storage racks or even near primary aisles, which greatly minimizes the distance to be moved and thus the time consumed. Opposingly, the less frequent moved products can be placed somewhere distant from the primary aisles or even the higher storage racks. Material direction and
tracking Tracking may refer to: In science and technology In computing * Tracking, in computer graphics, in match moving In visual effects, match moving is a technique that allows the insertion of computer graphics into live-action footage with corr ...

tracking
in a warehouse can be coordinated by a
Warehouse Management System A warehouse management system (WMS) is a software application designed to support and optimize warehouse functionality and distribution center management. These systems facilitate management in using simplified automatic technologies useful in da ...
(WMS), a
database In computing Computing is any goal-oriented activity requiring, benefiting from, or creating computing machinery. It includes the study and experimentation of algorithmic processes and development of both computer hardware , hardware and sof ...

database
driven computer program. The development of work procedures goes hard in hand with training warehouse personnel. Most firms implement a WMS to standardize work procedure and encourage best practice. These systems facilitate management in their daily planning, organizing, staffing, directing, and controlling the utilization of available resources, to move and store materials into, within, and out of a warehouse, while supporting staff in the performance of material movement and storage in and around a warehouse.
Logistics Logistics is generally the detailed organization and implementation of a complex operation. In a general business sense, logistics is the management of the flow of things between the point of origin and the point of consumption to meet the requ ...

Logistics
personnel use the WMS to improve warehouse efficiency by directing pathways and to maintain accurate
inventory Inventory (American English American English (AmE, AE, AmEng, USEng, en-US), sometimes called United States English or U.S. English, is the set of varieties of the English language native to the United States. Currently, American English ...
by recording warehouse transactions.


Automation and optimization

Some warehouses are completely
automated Automation describes a wide range of technologies that reduce human intervention in processes. Human intervention is reduced by predetermining decision criteria, subprocess relationships, and related actions — and embodying those predetermi ...
, and require only operators to work and handle all the task. Pallets and product move on a system of automated
conveyor A conveyor system is a common piece of mechanical handling equipment that moves materials from one location to another. Conveyors are especially useful in applications involving the transport of heavy or bulky materials. Conveyor systems allow ...

conveyor
s, cranes and
automated storage and retrieval system , used for the storage of media items such as film canisters. An automated storage and retrieval system (ASRS or AS/RS) consists of a variety of computer-controlled systems for automatically placing and retrieving loads from defined storage locat ...
s coordinated by
programmable logic controller A programmable logic controller (PLC) or programmable controller is an industrial computer A computer is a machine that can be programmed to Execution (computing), carry out sequences of arithmetic or logical operations automatically. Mo ...

programmable logic controller
s and
computer A computer is a machine that can be programmed to Execution (computing), carry out sequences of arithmetic or logical operations automatically. Modern computers can perform generic sets of operations known as Computer program, programs. These ...

computer
s running
logistics automation Logistics automation is the application of computer software or automated machinery to improve the efficiency of logistics operations. Typically this refers to operations within a warehouse or distribution center, with broader tasks undertaken b ...
software. These systems are often installed in
refrigerated The term refrigeration means cooling a space, substance or system to lower and/or maintain its temperature below the ambient one (while the removed heat is rejected at a higher temperature).International Dictionary of Refrigeration, http://dictio ...

refrigerated
warehouses where temperatures are kept very cold to keep the product from spoiling. This is especially true in electronics warehouses that require specific temperatures to avoid damaging parts. Automation is also common where land is expensive, as automated storage systems can use vertical space efficiently. These high-bay storage areas are often more than 10 meters (33 feet) high, with some over 20 meters (65 feet) high. Automated storage systems can be built up to 40m high. For a warehouse to function efficiently, the facility must be properly ''slotted''. Slotting addresses which storage medium a product is picked from ( pallet rack or carton flow), where each item is placed for storage, and how items are picked (pick-to-light, pick-to-voice, or pick-to-paper). With a proper slotting plan, a warehouse can ensure that fast moving items are stored in the most accessible areas or closest to dock areas, improve its inventory rotation requirements, such as FIFO and LIFO accounting, first in, first out (FIFO) and last in, first out (LIFO) systems, control labor costs and increase productivity. Pallet racks are commonly used to organize a warehouse. It is important to know the dimensions of racking and the number of bays needed as well as the dimensions of the product to be stored. Clearance should be accounted for if using a forklift or pallet mover to move inventory.


Recent trends

Modern warehouses commonly use a system of wide aisle pallet racking to store goods which can be loaded and unloaded using forklift trucks. Traditional warehousing has declined since the last decades of the 20th century, with the gradual introduction of Just In Time (business), Just In Time techniques. The JIT system promotes product delivery directly from suppliers to consumer without the use of warehouses. However, with the gradual implementation of offshore outsourcing and offshoring in about the same time period, the distance between the manufacturer and the retailer (or the parts manufacturer and the industrial plant) grew considerably in many domains, necessitating at least one warehouse per country or per region in any typical supply chain for a given range of products. Recent retailing trends have led to the development of Warehouse stores, warehouse-style retail stores. These high-ceiling buildings display retail goods on tall, heavy-duty industrial racks rather than conventional retail shelving. Typically, items ready for sale are on the bottom of the racks, and crated or palletized inventory is in the upper rack. Essentially, the same building serves as both a warehouse and retail store. Another trend relates to vendor-managed inventory (VMI). This gives the vendor the control to maintain the level of stock in the store. This method has its own issue that the vendor gains access to the warehouse. Large exporters and manufacturers use warehouses as distribution points for developing retail outlets in a particular region or country. This concept reduces end cost to the consumer and enhances the production sale ratio. Cross-docking is a specialised type of distribution center (DC) in that little or no inventory is stored and product is received, processed (if needed) and shipped within a short timeframe. As in warehousing, there are different types of cross-docks. Reverse logistics is another type of warehousing that has become popular for environmental reasons. The term refers to items that are going from the end user back to the distributor or manufacturer.


Education

There are few non-profit organizations which are focused on imparting knowledge, education and research in the field of warehouse management and its role in the supply chain industry. The Warehousing Education and Research Council (WERC) and International Warehouse Logistics Association (IWLA) in Illinois, United States. They provide professional certification and continuing education programs for the industry in the country. The Australian College of Training have government funded programs to provide personal development and continuation training in warehousing certs II – V (Diploma), they operate in Western Australia online and face to face, or Australia wide for online only courses.


Safety

Warehousing has unique health and safety challenges and has been recognized by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) as a priority industry sector in the National Occupational Research Agenda (NORA) to identify and provide intervention strategies regarding occupational health and safety issues. Creating a safe and productive warehouse setting starts with a culture of safety. This culture should be reinforced by the managers at all levels, especially executives and owners. Creating a safe working environment begins with a safety plan that covers all parts of the warehouse and applies to all employees. Owners and managers should expect to put resources of time and money toward safety and willingly build these costs into the overall budget. Employers should always remember that safe employees are more productive and more likely to remain loyal to the company. If employers take care of their employees, their employees will take care of their jobs Signs and stickers are the most cost-effective and functional way of keeping your warehouse organized and safe from hazardous situations. Regular training and inspections should be done to ensure that all employees are knowledgeable in fire safety processes and that all fire safety measures are in place and functioning as required.


See also

* Automated storage and retrieval system * Document automation * Data warehouse * Inventory * Inventory management software * Pick and pack * RFID * Shipping list * Voice Directed Warehousing * Warehouse management system * Self-driving truck * Automated guided vehicle


References


Further reading

* *''The Story of the Bale''.. Manchester: Lloyd's Packing Warehouses Ltd, Princess Street, Manchester, Princess Street, 1926 *Taylor, Simon, et al. (2002) ''Manchester - the warehouse legacy: introduction and guide''; text by Simon Taylor, Malcolm Cooper and P. S. Barnwell. English Heritage


External links


"Warehouse Analytics for Astute Logisticians"
– Smart Conference 2011
Online shopping drives demand for warehousing space August 2018
{{Authority control Warehouses, Warehouses Logistics