Keeping freight shipping in mind when building or selecting a warehouse.
March 10, 2016
When manufacturers are tasked with building or choosing a warehouse, there is a laundry list of items to consider such as location, storage requirements and much more. Failure to factor freight shipping into this equation may cost manufacturers additional time and money.
We'll help you through it with this outline of some important elements to consider when determining the best warehousing option while keeping freight shipping top of mind.
If your product requires timely deliveries, you may consider your freight's proximity to your customers. Also think about how a location will impact the ground transportation costs from the manufacturing facility.
Try to find an all-encompassing option that provides both warehousing and transportation solutions to get the most value. Additionally, you'll want to take into account the space around the warehouse. Does it allow for trucks to easily move in and out of the area?
When your company has a pre-determined inbound and outbound shipping schedule, take the time to learn traffic patterns around the warehouse and its surrounding areas to avoid potential bottlenecks that may hold up your freight and throw off your timetable.
To run your warehouse efficiently, you may need to man it. Understanding the available labor force around a location can help you with that. Determine if the facility will operate during 1st, 2nd or 3rd shift and if the warehouse will be open 24 hours so you can plan accordingly.
Freight shipments can sometimes include hazardous materials, flammable products and/or food items that have specific instructions. For this reason, manufacturers have to consider if the warehouse location is properly suited to handle all of the products' storage and handling needs.
With storage, it's essential to factor in any building regulations. Check local ordinances to see what types of goods can be stored in the warehouse. There may also be restrictions on the time of day trucks are allowed to travel in and out of the area. This information can help you plan ahead and create work arounds to any of those conditions while you save costs and ensure the fastest delivery times.
It is also important to note that the freight industry experiences cargo theft while items are stored in yards or warehouses, especially around holidays. So, be sure to familiarize yourself with the warehouse and its security measures. You'll want to keep track of your freight while it's in the warehouse just as you do with online tracking tools when it's on the road.
Choosing the ideal solution for your freight shipping requires giving some thought to the warehouse's docks. Things to consider are the size of the dock doors, the number of docks and accessibility to the doors.
You may also look into dock options such as seals, shelters and doors that can prevent contaminants from coming into the warehouse. Seals around dock stations may help companies save energy and protect shipments while improving employee comfort.
Companies dealing in food products may want a drive-through dock where goods are less likely to be compromised since the trailer doors are not opened outside, but in a contained area once the truck has securely backed in, protecting an uninterrupted cold chain.
At the end of the day, all things in business boil down to cost. Your company doesn't want warehouse expense to negatively impact the profitability of the business. Make sure that the facility is located within reach of the consumer and the carrier, to help keep unforeseen transportation costs at a minimum.
Plan to factor in what type of rental agreement the warehouse offers. Whenever you are storing seasonal products, it might be beneficial to find a location that provides more flexible warehousing lease terms. It's advantageous to research all immediate, short-term solutions as well as the long-term options.
There is quite a bit to plan for in the warehouse selection process. Consideration of the location, facility quirks, dock doors and cost are a good place to start. We hope this post serves as a reference on picking the right warehouse to serve as a base for your freight shipping.
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