In simple terms, a warehouse is a building where goods are stored. Now, these goods are not just resting indefinitely in the warehouses. Manufactured products and commodities are stored in warehouses then they are catalogued and shipped to different destinations. In effect, a warehouse is a place where goods are stored for a while before they are moved to another location. Importers, exporters, manufacturers and wholesalers need warehouses to operate effectively. Warehousing is vital to most businesses on earth and this is why it is hard to imagine big business without this service.
The history of warehouses
Warehouses have been around for a very long time. There is evidence that some ancient civilizations had warehouses in the medieval ages. However, the modern warehouse can be traced back to the industrial revolution in Europe in the 19th century. The advent of manufacturing and large scale production of goods led to the demand for store houses where these goods could be kept before shipping them to different places. This is how the modern warehouse began.
Warehouses and location of industries
In the early years of the import/export business, warehouses were located near sea ports and harbours. This was a sensible move because it saved the importers and exporters a lot of money. The introduction of the railway system led to a shift in the location of warehouses. Goods were now transported by rail so it made a lot of sense to build the warehouses near railway stations.
Warehouses and manufacturing companies
The development of the manufacturing industry also brought about changes in the warehouse system. Many manufacturing companies have their own warehouses located on the grounds of their factories. The manufactured goods are stored here for a while before they are conveyed to the stores of wholesalers and retailers. This is probably the most popular idea of the warehouse. In fact, many people associate the warehouse with a forklift loading goods from the stores in the factory to delivery vans and trucks.
Evolution of warehouse designs
For most manufacturing firms, a warehouse is basically a huge store where goods are stored. These goods are placed on pallets and moved by forklifts to trucks or vans. The modern warehouse is quite different from this traditional warehouse. This is because warehouse design solutions have revolutionized the concept of warehouses. Online stores maintain several warehouses, also know as distribution centres, in different cities across the country. These are huge building where products are stored and different goods are placed in different sections of the warehouse.
Warehousing and inventory
It is not possible to run an effective warehouse without keeping inventory. In every warehouse, proper records are kept by the organization. At every point, warehouse officials should know the products in the warehouse and the ones that have been shipped. In the old days, warehouse records were kept with stock cards and sales books. These days, everything is automated and computerized. This is a convenient way of doing things and this is why warehouse design solutions have become very popular. Another innovative warehousing policy is outsourcing. This is becoming increasingly popular because it helps companies take advantage of levering.
As you can see, the humble warehouse has come a long way. With new developments in technology, warehouses are set to experience more innovative changes and this is just right for the global economic system.