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The Five Most Common Types of Warehouses

Warehouses are large structures wherein raw materials or finished goods are stored and distributed for sale. But warehouses aren't all the same. They come in different sizes, with various features and technology, in a range of locations and with distinct business structures.

Here are the five most common types of warehouses, along with their advantages and disadvantages.

Public Warehouses

Many small businesses can't afford to own or lease their own warehouse space. Public warehouses provide short- or long-term storage solutions to companies on a month-to-month basis. Businesses may be charged per pallet or for total square feet used.

In addition to providing storage for products or goods, public warehouses often offer inventory management, control and shipping functionality. This means that a company utilizing a public warehouse may not need to employ warehouse staff. The owner of a public warehouse will take on all operating costs, including building maintenance, and pass these costs on to the client via their monthly fee—which may be based on a number of factors including storage space and transaction fees.

Public warehouses offer flexibility for companies to expand or contract as needed. They are also a good option for businesses that require a more affordable option than private warehouses.

Private Warehouses

Also commonly known as proprietary warehousing, private warehouses are owned and operated by wholesalers, distributors or manufacturers. The cost of owning or leasing these large facilities, and staffing them, often restricts the use of private warehouses to larger companies or manufacturers.

Climate-Controlled Warehouses

Certain goods require special handling, and climate-controlled warehouses provide the right environment for the safe handling, storage and distribution of these products. Climate-controlled warehouses provide anything from freezers for storing frozen products to humidity-controlled environments for storing perishable products, such as produce and flowers. This warehouse option can also provide completely dust-free facilities for handling sensitive computer products. As expected, climate-controlled warehouses generally cost more than standard warehouse spaces.

Automated Warehouses

Technology has drastically changed our world. And few examples embody technological advancement as clearly as the automated warehouse. Filled with conveyors, sortation equipment, automated storage and retrieval systems (AS/RS) and other material-handling tools, automated warehouses take less manpower to operate than their manual counterparts. But the technology and tools often come at a hefty price, which can make utilization challenging for some companies.

Distribution Centers

An important component of the supply chain, distribution centers store goods only for a short period of time—both receiving, then expediting large inventories to resellers and retailers. In the case of perishable items, such as produce or flowers, distribution centers commonly hold the inventory for less than a day before distributing. These critical pieces of the supply chain are typically affordable to rent and can accommodate a wide range of products or goods.

Utah’s Freeport Center

Nestled in the heart of the Intermountain West, the Freeport Center provides businesses with world-class manufacturing, warehousing and distribution solutions. With 78 buildings on 680 acres, we have room for businesses to grow.

Maintaining, operating and staffing a private warehouse can be expensive and logistically overwhelming for many businesses. Operating a business from the Freeport Center offers many conveniences and cost-saving measures that can help our tenants hold and maintain financial resources for future production and growth.

In addition to the Freeport Center’s impressive manufacturing, warehousing and distribution solutions, it sits in the buzzing business hive of Utah. An added bonus is that Utah is considered a “Free Port” state, which means that products stored within its boundaries are tax exempt from inventory taxes found in many other states. That’s why more companies are choosing Utah’s Freeport Center to meet their supply chain needs.