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Global warehousing

The global warehousing concept has gained popularity over the last decade as stock pre-positioning becomes one of the strategies for ensuring a timely response to emergencies. They are usually purpose built or purpose designed facilities operated by permanent staff that has been trained in all the skills necessary to run an efficient facility or utilizing third party logistics (3PL) staff and facilities. For such operations, organizations use, information systems that are computer based, with sophisticated software to help in the planning and management of the warehouse. The operating situation is relatively stable and management attention is focused on the efficient and cost effective running of the warehouse operation. Numerous organizations have centralized pre-positioning units strategically located globally. Some of these offer extended services to other humanitarian organizations on a cost plus operating charges basis.

Every company with a supply chain employs some form a warehouse. These warehouses are generally owned by the company, operated by a third-party, or are a public warehouse. As a result, choosing the right public warehouse ensures that the amount of supply chain interruptions are minimized. The following five factors are important factors to consider when looking for a public warehouse to store your companies’ products.

Global Warehousing in a Nutshell

Types of Warehousing Space

  • Commercial: in rented building used for business.
  • Government or state: such as at the ports or harbors. This is common in emergency situations.
  • Transit: for temporary storage of goods destined for different locations and need storage for a very short time.
  • Bonded warehouses: for storage of goods whose duty is unpaid and especially where the goods are destined to another country. Pre-positioned stock is often held in bonded warehouses so that export is quick and can sometimes be stored for long periods.
  • Open storage: not ideal for perishable products but in emergencies, sometimes the only alternative.
  • Space that is owned and managed by the organisation.
  • Pre-fabricated warehouses where there are no permanent structures available. This is common practice in emergencies.

Basic Principles of Warehouse and Inventory Management

  • Planning inbound receipt procedures.
  • Storage formalities e.g:
    • location management
    • inventory control
    • occupational health and safety
  • Outbound delivery procedures.

How to Select and Set-Up a Warehouse

In determining needs, one should look beyond the basic need of a warehouse to store things. Whilst, this is correct there are also other considerations.

  • the volume of goods;
  • speed of through-put required;
  • as a transit point;
  • breaking bulk location;
  • an area for sorting and consolidating different goods;
  • to enhance the speed of the response;
  • to protect and account for inventor; and
  • as a buffer in the event of a break-down or delay in the supply pipeline.

There are many factors to consider when deciding on warehouse location. Global Warehousing is a fairly new method whereby many companies use to be able to control inventory flow.

Running a business is often unpredictable, and when situations arise, you may need to access the public warehouse on short notice. Look for a warehouse that is flexible and allows rapid access to the facility should you have an urgent need.

Depending on the short or long-term needs of your company, using a public warehouse is a great option for storing your products. 

Finally, Global warehousing is a function managed by many 3PL Providers who offer an array of logistics services . Consequently reaching out to 4PL Logistics companies would be a good idea as you can count on their expertise and access to valuable information.

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