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Differences Between Warehouses and Distribution Centres

Many people don’t realise the difference between a warehouse and a distribution centre, but anyone in the logistics sector knows they couldn’t be more different.

They may appear to be the same from the outside, yet their internal operations and duties are vastly different.

If you’re unsure whether you need warehouse or distribution centre services, we’ll explain the distinctions between the two.

What is a warehouse?

A warehouse is a building used to store goods. They’re mostly used by manufacturers, importers, exporters, wholesalers, and transportation companies.

Warehouses are exclusively used for storage. They are typically huge, simple structures in industrial settings. Loading docks are used to load and unload items, but that is generally the limit of the activity at a warehouse.

They are frequently equipped with cranes and forklifts to move and organise items and can be built to handle goods directly from trains, airports, or seaports.

Some warehouses are temperature-controlled, making them ideal for keeping groceries and other perishables, as well as raw materials, packaged food, and other goods. While warehouses can be advantageous for some merchants, they are not for everyone because they are better suited for those looking for a longer-term storage solution.

What is a distribution centre?

A distribution centre is a specialised structure that stores items for merchants and wholesalers before redistributing them to another facility or directly to customers.

Distribution centres play an important role in order fulfilment, particularly for online merchants and e-commerce enterprises. The typical path of shipping is as follows: the retailer sends the goods to the distribution centre, which then ships the product to the client.

As items flow in and out at such a rapid speed, they are commonly assumed to be demand-driven. Distribution centres are frequently positioned in widely accessible regions, such as near major roads, making it simpler for transport vehicles to drop off and pick up things more effectively.

Many distribution centres are part of a broader network of distributors that are set up to serve a vast location.

Warehouses vs Distribution Centres

When deciding between warehouses and distribution centres, consider your individual requirements.

Outside, warehouses and distribution centres look almost identical, but their inner workings are drastically different. In summary, warehouses are better suited to those that want long-term storage and do not require products to be moved out quickly. Distribution centres, on the other hand, are built for quick and efficient intake and redistribution of goods.

While both options can be temperature-controlled to keep certain goods, perishables such as food are most often seen in distribution centres because they cannot be held for an extended period of time.

Keedwell Scotland offer reduced costs, guaranteed service, and reliability – which are just a few of the great reasons for businesses to use our warehousing and distribution services. We also offer competitive rates on a range of warehousing and distribution service in across the whole of the UK.

Our service is tailor made to meet the needs of our customer’s specific requirements and can include a range of additional services. Please contact us to see how we can help you with your warehousing and distribution needs.

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