Finding the right warehouse and distribution center for your goods is crucial in making sure your cargo is being handled with care. To build successful warehousing and distribution services, it’s important to take note of a few key objectives and protocols and their functions.
Location – the location of a warehouse is important when looking for your next partner. It’s recommended to find a warehouse near a port of entry or near transportation hubs like airports and highways, to ensure speedy delivery of your goods.
The success of a warehouse and distribution depends on the number of services offered, below are some of the most vital services and the functions they serve.
Cross-docking: the process of distributing the goods from a warehouse or distribution center, from one place to another. An example of this is unloading goods from a container to a warehouse floor, to be ready for delivery.
Stripping, Stuffing & Segregation: Stripping refers to the process of unloading cargo from a container, and container stuffing refers to loading the goods on the container while making the best use of the container’s space as possible while maintaining the cargo’s integrity. Similarly, segregation refers to grouping the cargo in a distinct way to make it easier to stuff the container accurately.
Pick and Pack: These services begin by receiving the merchandise into the warehouse and are organized in a way for maximum efficiency and cost savings when a customer is ready to fulfill their shipping needs. For example, if you’d like to only receive half of your order, the goods are picked and packed uniquely to your liking.
Domestic Distribution & Fulfillment: Fulfillment and distribution centers are uniquely specialized to house different products from different sellers. What makes them special is fulfillment centers are set up to help finish any product that requires finishing and ultimately is the final home before a product is delivered to its end destination.
Inventory Management & Online WMS Systems: Customer visibility is one of the most important things to offer a customer. WMS systems are Software Applications in Warehouses and Distribution centers invested to receive and keep the product in their warehouse organized. Many successful centers invest in high-tech inventory management systems to ensure their customer has visibility on all products at all times.
Storage: A center offering storage to a customer is vital if the customer’s goods are not ready to be delivered. Most centers will offer short term or long term storage on goods, especially if orders are received partially, meaning either they were short shipped and the rest of the product is due in, or in some cases long term storage, where for whatever reason the goods are not ready for delivery anytime soon. This can be very beneficial for companies trying to free up space at the manufacturer’s site or goods waiting to be consolidated or fulfilled.
Kitting: This service refers to picking up requested parts from inventory and combining them into designated kits. This is especially convenient for companies looking to save costs on assembly services, shipping mistakes, and combination packs.
Blocking & Bracing: Blocking and Bracing refers to securing your cargo, and is most commonly used for loading trucks or containers. The more a load weighs, the higher the need to block and brace the cargo. Some common techniques include using lumber and metal bars to prevent cargo from shifting in transit. For special cargo such as personal effects and automotive shipping, blocking and bracing are vital to prevent damages.
Warehousing and Distribution is often the last part of the supply chain cycle, that is why it’s crucial to find the right distribution and warehousing team to handle all of your shipping needs, with care.