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As the holiday shopping season progresses, many warehouses look for whatever solutions they can to help get orders fulfilled even faster.

Sometimes it’s expanding into other warehouses, sometimes it’s finding new logistics partners, sometimes they just try to fit more stuff into the warehouse shelving they’ve already got. One new solution has started to gain popularity among larger companies and warehouses: creating a “pop up distribution center”.


Pop Up Distribution Centers for Warehouses


What is a pop-up distribution center?

Pop-up distribution centers are relatively new ideas, largely spearheaded by the giants of ecommerce like Walmart, designed to help streamline the shipping process during these hectic days of peak order fulfillment.

As befitting the name, pop-up distribution centers are exactly that: a smaller area, inside a warehouse, designed to help fulfill the needs of a full-sized distribution center. This area can include shipping supplies, tablets/handheld devices for picking items, and the needed tools for processing returns.


Pop-up distribution centers are most helpful in a warehouse that doesn’t tend to deal without a lot of outgoing shipments on their own. As a result, they may not be the most helpful for all warehouses, as many warehouses already have a shipping/receiving center. However, for larger warehouses that need to ship their products to other fulfillment centers before the orders can be processed, creating a pop-up distribution center can help save a lot of crucial time and money when it comes to getting orders fulfilled.

By using a pop-up distribution center inside an existing warehouse, you can reduce the amount of time it takes to fulfill orders by better processing, packing, and shipping orders from your current warehouse instead of taking the additional step to send it to another facility for processing. Walmart has recently implemented these in many of their larger warehouses to help cut down on handling time – and it just might help your warehouse too.


Creating a Pop-Up Distribution Center


Thinking about adding one of these to your own warehouse? It might be easier than you think, and the benefits could be pretty immediate.

  • Make sure you have enough space: It doesn’t have to be a particularly large area, but finding a space away from the bustle of the shop floor where your team has enough elbow room to work is going to be key.
  • Think of it as a packing station: The ideal distribution center is going to work a lot like any given packing station – make sure your team has a workbench with the shipping supplies they’ll need for most items, such as boxes, tape, labels, and the like.
  • Different storage for incoming and outgoing packages: The chaos of a warehouse around the holidays can lead to a lot of confusion, so make sure your new distribution center has different wire shelves or metal shelves for both incoming and outgoing packages to help your teams stay on track.

 Once you have all this in place, you might just find yourself managing shipments faster – and better- than before.

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