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For as similar as many warehouses tend to be, it’s surprising how many different uses they can fulfill.

Warehouses, once thought a simple home for retail products and auto parts, have evolved to meet a number of different needs over the years, each new one requiring some drastic change in warehousing design and capacity.

These changes have been largely influenced by the unique needs of each client or industry. A food storage warehouse is going to have largely different needs than one who stores clothing or other consumer goods, and these clients are going to seek out warehouses that can meet their specific requirements.

Here’s three types of warehouses that have been forecasted to be in high demand through 2021, and what you can do to get your warehouse ready to meet those needs.


In-Demand Warehousing for 2021


Cold Storage/Cold Chain

While the pandemic may have hurried things along, the rise in online food retail/grocery delivery was seemingly an inevitability. As a result, a lot of businesses are finding themselves in need of greater cold storage and/or cold chain capacity to help deliver their perishable goods safely and on time. This is bound to increase through the year 2021, as online grocery orders and/or grocery delivery directly to customers’ homes will remain popular, even after the current pandemic comes to an end.

How Your Warehouse Can Get Ready: Acting as part of a cold chain requires two things: the ability to safely regulate temperature, and the ability to quickly process incoming and outgoing shipments. If your warehouse is properly equipped with the tools for cold storage, including walk in freezer shelving, see how quickly your warehouse can process incoming shipments to adhere to any needed delivery dates or expiration dates. This can make your warehouse far more attractive to potential customers that may need the additional food storage space.


Pharmaceutical Warehousing

Similarly, the past year has shown us that the demand for certain types of pharmaceutical or medicinal products can spike at any given time, and businesses will need warehouses that can help handle these storage and distribution needs. Whether you’re helping to distribute a new vaccine, or just helping to stock up on needed medications for flu season, pharmaceutical warehouses are going to be a big deal in 2021 and beyond.

How Your Warehouse Can Get Ready: Pharmaceutical warehouses are similar to the previous example of food storage warehouses, in that they need a lot of delicate shelving and temperature controlled environments, such as NSF wire shelving and medical shelving to properly store these goods. The primary difference is that pharmaceutical warehouses tend to have different, and much stricter, handling requirements, which your workers will have to be trained on and reviewed regularly. If you have the staff to handle these needs, start reviewing state and federal regulations for any products you want to carry, and see how fast you can bring your team up to par.


E-Commerce Distribution

Out of all the changes that 2020 brought to us, the increase in online shopping is here to stay. More and more consumers are finding themselves buying more and more products online, which means that more and more warehouses will be needed to help keep up with this demand. Specifically, much of this need will come in the form of ecommerce distribution centers – geographically targeted warehouses that help meet the increasingly fast delivery times requested by customers, by offering prime locations around the country to service certain regions.

How Your Warehouse Can Get Ready: E-commerce distribution largely depends on two crucial factors: flexible storage, and optimum location. If your warehouse is in an area that can easily serve a major metropolitan area, or prime geographic location, then take stock of your existing warehouse shelving to see how many extra goods you can take on. Can your pallet racks be rearranged to focus on the more popular items? How quickly can you repackage goods and get them out the door for shipment, if your customers are picking faster delivery times? These are all important questions to ask yourself, but if you can answer them in the affirmative, you might just be able to sell your services to the e-commerce world.

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