Warehousing continues to evolve in 2019 to meet demands
It’s no secret that e-commerce is quickly becoming the way of not only the future but of the here and now. This has required both the logistics industry and the warehousing industry to take a serious look at how they operate.
We’ve talked recently about how last mile delivery companies are being forced to become creative and we’ve even alluded to changes in the warehousing industry in some of our blogs about overall trends.
Today, we want to take a closer look at how warehousing is changing to meet demands, including some ways industry experts thought warehousing might evolve but hasn’t.
As we’ve discussed before, there is a major move towards building smaller warehouses in more locations. Several factors are driving this phenomenon. With consumers wanting their products now, companies have had to adapt and find locations closer to their customers. With warehouses closer to the population, deliveries can get out quickly, possibly even on the same day.
Another contributing factor is that regional warehouses are smaller and cost less. The cost of renting or construction industrial spaces has spiked dramatically over the recent years because of increased demand. SEC Storage says some retail and office space is becoming more available as some companies cannot keep up with rent and are going out of business.
This is great news for people looking for more warehouse space that can be converted from other uses, but how can you make sure you are not paying an arm and a leg for it? While SEC is speaking to the situation in the UK, similar things are happening here in the United States.
This leads us to a trend that many thought would take off, but for a number of reasons it has not.
You may have noticed that many large shopping malls are increasingly vacant or even shutting down completely. Many expected that those malls would be gutted and turned into warehousing space. One may think this is the perfect space to create a warehouse space but there are factors that limit this.
Most malls are in a main commercial path, meaning that putting a warehouse in that spot is not ideal as delivery trucks will be constantly needing to get in and out. Another reason is that there may be certain restrictions on that property that does not allow for construction or remodeling. It’s also simply often a cost-prohibitive venture.
As the number of warehousing spaces continues to grow as does the demand for faster delivery, warehouse managers must take two major factors into consideration: technology and safety.
New technology such as voice and machine-to-machine technology are making warehouses more efficient. Voice technology is used for picking orders, receiving goods, and checking stock. The employees can also get instructions directly from the warehouse system. Voice technology is mostly only beneficial in larger warehouses where massive amounts of freight are moving each day.
Smaller warehouses, such as what we have at our Northwest Arkansas and Little Rock locations, don’t warrant the voice technology yet. We do, however, heavily use some sorts of machine-to-machine technology including our EDI system.
Finally, as we move further into 2019 and beyond, warehouse safety can be expected to be more of a potential issue as the high demand for fast and efficient deliveries can potentially cause safety hazards. To ensure no damage is done and no life is harmed, it is important that all employees are trained and up-to-date on the safety codes in the warehouse. Warehouse managers must communicate with the staff above and below them to make sure all employees are aware of what precautions to take.
At On Time Logistics, we work closely with our staff and couriers to make sure they are safe both in our warehouse and when out making deliveries. We emphasize safety daily and modify our procedures as necessary to make sure property and, most importantly, people are safe.
We are adamant that we stay up with the changing trends in our industry. This allows us to serve our customers better, faster, and safer. If you are looking for warehousing or delivery needs in the NWA, Little Rock and Tulsa area, contact us today and let us help you out!