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Just like any industry, the world of warehousing is subject to its own trends, changing needs, and buzzwords.

As a warehouse manager or employee, you’ve surely lived through a number of them yourself, and this last year or so has been no exception. One trend that’s been gaining momentum among businesses looking to better serve their customers, particularly those in more suburban areas, is co-warehousing.

But even if you’ve heard the term already, you might still not quite know exactly what it is, or what it can do for your warehouse and associated businesses. That’s where we come in!

 

Co-Warehousing Explained

Co-warehousing, put simply, is the collaborative use of warehouse space between several businesses.

Think of it as the warehousing equivalent of a co-working space, where different companies share one larger office space, all using their own small areas to get work done. But instead of using laptops to design new products or sort through orders, co-warehouses are used for all the things a warehouse would do – stocking products, processing outgoing shipments or incoming product restocks, and the like.

The advantages of co-warehousing, for the companies that utilize it, are numerous. Primarily, co-warehousing offers smaller businesses a chance to get off the ground and start sending products to customers without needing a large initial investment in a warehouse that they may not need all of yet, or may not even be able to afford.

The added advantage of co-warehousing is the ability to better serve certain geographical areas. The rise of ecommerce has shown us exactly how many customers are willing to pay for – and expect – faster, easier shipping options. As co-warehouses tend to be located in major suburban areas, this allows orders to be processed even faster in said areas, resulting in happier customers – and isn’t that what we all want?

 

Can You Offer Co-Warehousing?

This all sounds pretty good, but the question must be asked – is your warehouse ready to offer co-warehousing?

Even if you have the empty space you could rent out for smaller businesses to use, there’s still a variety of other factors that could make you more appealing to potential customers or renters. Ask yourself these questions before offering your facility up:

 

  • Do I have the extra space? The biggest thing co-warehousing spaces need is, well…the space to get things done! If your warehouse is already filled to the brim it might not be an ideal location for other businesses to do their work, but if you have space that isn’t given over to other items or storage needs, you could be in luck.
  • Do I have the shelving to spare? In most cases, businesses who use co-warehousing aren’t going to be equipped to handle their own storage needs. If you can offer your own warehouse storage shelving like pallet racking, commercial wire shelving, and rivet shelving, you can make your space that much more attractive to potential customers.
  • Do I have the right location? Finally, being placed in an ideal location will help your new customers get things done much more easily. If you’re in an area that can easily serve a larger suburban or urban population center, this will let your customers fulfill orders even more quickly.

And above all else, remember to be flexible – your customers will be grateful for the space, and you’ll appreciate the extra business!

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