Warehousing and Logistics: What are the differences?

We often hear the term ‘Warehousing and Logistics’, as they are part of the same business sector, but many people get them mixed up, and don’t actually know the difference.

Both logistics and warehousing work in tandem to fulfil functions within the supply/demand chain of a business.  Logistics concentrates on the delivery of goods stored in a warehouse, whilst warehousing itself does what it says on the tin; providing safe storage of goods within a building.  In order for both aspects to work effectively, they have to work side by side.  You could say Warehousing and Logistics are a double edged sword; you rarely get one without the other!

What is Warehousing?

Warehousing is the term used for warehouse storage. It is a commercial property or large building where goods are stored before they are dispatched to consumers.  It provides a central location for receipt, storage, and distribution of goods either on a long or short term basis.

Warehousing covers a number of aspects; receiving, unloading, and checking inbound items as well as storage, picking and packing, and returns.

Self-storage warehouse facilities work in a slightly different way, where consumers are in charge of their own units. These are generally used to store large, personal effects, either on a short term basis (in the case of house moves etc) or longer term (permanent storage of large items that consumers have no room for at home).

What is Logistics?

Logistics covers the commercial activity of transporting goods to customers, handling the ‘flow’ of goods and products, both inbound and outbound.  It covers transport and inventory, ultimately moving goods and products to the warehouse for storage, or out of the warehouse for delivery to consumers.  This should not be confused with ‘supply chain management’ which refers to a larger network of outside organisations, including vendors, transportation providers, call centres, and others.

Logistics plays a huge part in our economy. Although many businesses focus on design and production of their products, these would be useless if those products cannot reach suppliers and customers.

So, warehousing and logistics provide two separate functions under the same umbrella.  They provide safe storage and delivery of products.  It would be impossible for one to function without the other!

 

You can find more information on our warehousing solutions here.

Will Increase in Online Shopping Have an Effect On Demand For Warehouse Space?

Online sales are booming whilst the high street struggles. As we’re emerging from lockdown and non-essential shops are now open, is it too late to change consumer shopping habits back to a pre Covid state? Many online retailers’ sales have soared throughout the last year, and the need for physical shops seems to be dwindling.

During all 3 lockdowns, there has been an upsurge in DIY; people have not been able to go on holiday or socialise. That coupled with the money saved on the daily commute means that time and cash has been spent on home improvements instead. The parent company of B&Q and Screwfix cashed in on the DIY boom seeing an increase in profits of a whopping 634%! Much of this has been through ‘click and collect’ sales.

Retailers have had to adapt to new shopping trends and pull out all the stops to ensure sales are keeping the tills full, albeit virtually. High rents are forcing many shops to keep their doors shut permanently, but many virtual doors have opened as a consequence. Instead, the warehouse ‘space race’ is on! Warehousing offers a lower outgoing whilst providing the storage space needed to house stock to satisfy internet shoppers. According to the Office for National Statistics, online retailers accounted for more than 40% of warehouse take-up in 2020 as they adjusted to the increasing levels of demand.

When you factor in the demands for warehousing services to the likes of the NHS who need to store huge consignments of PPE, it’s no wonder that warehouse storage space is at a premium.

With online sales projected to account for up to 32% of total retail sales by 2024, this will have significant implications for the logistics market. The growth in e-commerce is helping drive demand for space whilst B to C retail requires more intensive picking and packing operations in comparison to regular retail. This has created the need for additional warehouse space.

We provide commercial storage unit solutions for businesses throughout Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire, and Hertfordshire, offering self-storage or palletised storage options. Call our Cambridgeshire based team today on 01480 215555 for more information.

Choosing the Right Warehouse for Your Stock

Whether you need warehouse space for a short amount of time or for the long haul, finding the right one for your business is paramount. Going for the option geographically closest to your premises might seem like the sensible idea but neglecting key points in your decision making could cost you dearly if the easy choice is the wrong choice.

Here are our top tips to help you make your final decision when choosing warehouse space.

Visit the Site!

You’ll be entrusting your stock or possessions to the Warehouse owners, so it’s important to have a look at where it’ll all be stored. Ask for a tour and weigh up how well the space and service can facilitate all your business needs and requirements.

Be Location Savvy.

Choosing a properly situated site is really important. You’ll need to be able to efficiently access your storage if your business is to run smoothly. As we said earlier, it doesn’t necessarily have to be on your doorstep, but it would be foolhardy to choose a space that would take an age to travel to! Choosing a site that has good transport links to major roads can be just as valuable as finding premises close to your business.

Here at Eynesbury Warehousing, we have fast access to the A1, A14 and A428 so our location is perfect to provide easily accessible storage and warehousing for Cambridgeshire, Bedfordshire, and Hertfordshire.

Think ahead!

No matter how thorough your business plans, things can change at a moment’s notice. You might need more storage space than originally anticipated and moving warehouses could prove more costly in the long run should your volumes change. Will the facility be able to accommodate a larger stock volume should you need it? Ask the question when you view the premises. It could save you time, hassle, and money down the line.

Read testimonials and reviews.

It’s the next best thing to a personal recommendation. Other customers’ experiences are the best way to predict the experience you will receive.  You could even ask the provider for references so that you can contact an existing or former client direct.

Why Should Businesses Make Use of Commercial Storage Facilities?

There are many reasons why a business might need to make use of commercial storage facilities at some point. Moving offices, scaling down the business and storing equipment that is used infrequently are just some.

Here are some common scenarios where we can help with storage for your company.

Relocation

Moving premises is one of the key reasons why you might need a temporary storage solution. If you are moving into smaller premises there may be a need for a slightly longer term solution until you figure out what you will move and what will stay in storage. One thing is for certain: business storage will take some of the stress out of moving.

Infrequent use of equipment

You may have equipment on your premises that is gathering dust as it’s not used very often. This can be items such as exhibition and conference equipment or seasonal items. Storing them offsite at a storage facility will free up your office space and can be retrieved as and when you need them.

Refits and decoration

If you are changing the décor at your business, a short term storage solution may be a much easier option – you can clear the place to make your builder or decorator’s job easier. It may save time in the long run too, rather than having to work around cumbersome furniture and general office paraphernalia.

Surplus stock

If your stock isn’t moving as fast as you’d like, or you’ve just got surplus, commercial storage makes an excellent stop gap until you have the room at your business to store it. With so much retail stock being seasonal, it makes sense to put it into storage until next year when the current season is over.

Archives

UK companies are required by law to keep records for at least six years. This can be difficult if you don’t have the storage space on your site. Storing these records at a dedicated and secure storage facility will help keep your business premises clutter free.

 

Here at Eynesbury Warehousing we can accommodate both long and short term storage solutions which are protected by state of the art alarms and fully recorded CCTV. Call our sales team on 01480 215555 to talk about your company’s requirements.

Changes in the Warehousing Market

During these difficult times, we are seeing massive changes across multiple industries that may be affecting your business. Here are some of the developments that Eynesbury Warehousing have identified towards the end of the last year in the warehousing, supply and logistics category.

During the previous quatre, we noticed an increasing demand for omnichannel retailing that is expected to impact the warehousing industry significantly over the next five years. Latest reports indicate that the rise in online buying is testing the limits of warehouse spaces as customers shift from physical stores to the internet. This drastic shift to virtual shopping is now seeing a rise in the warehouse and storing market.

In addition, the COVID- 19 pandemic has forced countries such as the UK to close their stores and consequently force how shoppers think about their buying behaviours. For example, Amazon, Aldi and Lidl have recently reported that they desperately require additional warehousing space and workforce to keep up with demand. This is because many warehouses are now catering to food products, pharmaceuticals, and essential household goods.

Also, the demand to slow inbound container flows is growing rapidly as retailers and manufacturers are struggling to fulfil delivery times due to warehousing restrictions. This is because some locations are not being deemed a key provider during the pandemic.

What does all this mean for us? Well at Eynesbury Warehousing, we are remaining fully operational and have been deemed an essential business during the pandemic. We are still providing storage for companies, protecting their property, equipment, vehicles, and products to provide long and short term storage solutions.

If you need any assistance with your warehousing needs during this pandemic then please feel free to reach out to us! A member of our friendly team would be happy to help and find a solution to meet your needs.

Challenging Times for Warehousing Post Lockdown

As the UK enters a new normal, the post lockdown economy is on shaky ground.  The true strength will not be revealed until the furlough scheme finishes, but we are likely to enter one of the biggest recessions on record, with mass unemployment across most sectors.

Whilst uncertainty looms large, there is still demand for work. Challenges will be overcome as we strive to build up the economy to its pre-COVID state.

For warehousing, the challenges are ever present; there will be several areas that need attention in order to keep your facility running smoothly. To be ready to weather any storm, addressing the challenges (both present and future) is key to success.

The highs and lows of demand

With unemployment on the rise and the country entering recession, sales across all sectors will be affected; some positive, some negative. Be ready for every eventuality and assign your warehouse resources accordingly.  During the low periods, catch up on other less important tasks. You may need to shorten or lengthen your staff’s shifts depending on each peak and trough.

Following new regulations

Compliance with rules on social distancing, health and safety, and PPE needs to be followed to the letter.  These are new legal requirements, so it is down to you to meet every one of them.  Of course, you will need to adjust your usual work practices to cope, but productivity will be effective and efficient once you put them into place.

To Hire or Fire?

The economy will recover. It might be difficult at times; where you may not be as busy now, months down the line could be a different story. The biggest challenge is knowing how to deal with your staffing levels against activity in your warehouse. Increased activity will mean you may need to take on extra manpower. However decreased activity could see you reducing your workforce.

Experience

If you’ve had to let employees go, you may find your team lacking in experience, particularly if you’re over the worst and are thinking of recruiting new staff.  Make sure any staff you take on are fully trained; this could be the perfect time to implement new resources and processes, making output in your facility better than ever.

 

How to run an effective and organised warehouse in Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire and Hertfordshire

Warehousing plays a key role in the supply chain, keeping businesses running efficiently in order to stay ahead of supply and demand.  So what can make your warehouse stand out above others? How can you run an effective and organised warehouse?

There are a number of factors to consider and whilst location used to be key, warehouse space is currently at a premium during the Coronavirus pandemic. More and more businesses are looking further afield to urban storage locations as they grow their online retailing operations.

Maintenance

Fundamental in any warehouse environment is cleanliness.  Keep the place clean and maintained.  Dirt, damp, and mess will most definitely put any potential client off storing their merchandise with you.  Follow all Health and Safety protocols and maintain all machinery and lifting equipment.

Organisation

Your floor plan or layout will directly affect the efficiency of your warehouse and how it works.  Create a practical floor plan, maximise your space, and organise it with decisive signage and labelling.

Security

Customers will always be conscious of the security of their merchandise.  If your security is robust, and your clients trust your security measures, they are more likely to increase the volume of stock held at your facility.

Safety

An organised warehouse is a safe warehouse. A safer working environment will increase productivity and accident risk is decreased.

Provide options

Commercial storage solutions are becoming more sought after, so it is important to offer different services within your warehouse.  Palletised stock storage should be provided on a long or short term basis whilst catering for small businesses with a self-storage option.

If you have good transport links, full RH&D (receipt, handling, and despatch) should be implemented offering computerised stock control to maintain efficient stock retrieval and dispatch.

 

For information about all of our Warehouse solutions, click here.

Is Flexible Warehousing on the Rise?

Warehousing is the foundation of the supply chain, and with the current coronavirus pandemic ripping through the economy as well as the planet, that supply chain has been well and truly disrupted.  Companies have had to adapt to a new way of working and many are looking for a more ‘flexible’ logistics solution, starting with warehousing.

The answer to many companies’ nightmares has been to use the concept of utilising a third party’s warehousing facilities ‘on demand’; flexible warehousing.  This gives them the option to pay for required storage capacity only when it is needed.  Services can range from spare space in an area of a warehouse, to a fully serviced solution, including transport and logistics.

The average length of an industrial warehousing lease is around 7 years, so flexible warehousing is a lifeline to many companies, particularly through uncertain times such as these.  This of course can cut out the middleman with supply to the consumer being transported direct from the third party warehouse.  As many companies are reluctant to invest long term in warehousing facilities, flexibility is key.

During the pandemic, online retailing has skyrocketed.  This has exacerbated the need for more urban storage solutions, closer to urban locations.  Many different sectors are in direct competition for land nearer to large cities, so countryside storage seems to be the way forward, at least for the time being.

Temporary or flexible solutions are not altogether a new concept; with the rise of flash sales, and in particular, Black Friday deals, retailers have found new ways to cope with storage of fast moving stock.  If they were to utilise their own spaces, they would be left with empty shelves for a lot of the year, and only at full capacity during peak sale periods.  This is obviously a false economy, and the reason flexible warehousing is becoming a more attractive proposition.

For new businesses unable to predict their sales, and more established firms wishing to expand, this seems like the ideal short term solution.  And as warehouse space is advertised more frequently online, the growth in demand and awareness is rapid.  Flexible warehousing could be set to be the norm in the months and years ahead.

 

You can find information about our warehousing services here.

Will the COVID-19 Situation Leave Warehousing Space in Short Supply?

The UK warehouse industry could soon be squeezed for room. The backlog of goods from abroad set to reach stores throughout the country are piling up as shops stay closed during the period of lockdown.

The UK Warehousing Association had launched an ‘emergency space register’ so that freight companies with warehouses can respond to the crisis to optimise the use of available space.  Off-dock options are also being investigated in order to house goods coming in from abroad that stores have no capacity for.

At present there is no evidence that storage space has run out at ports, but by utilising DIY outlets this could ease the pressure, ensuring that cargo can keep moving.

This should all mean relatively good news for warehouse facilities, as a full warehouse means operators are making plenty of cash. Aren’t they?  Apparently not; the vast majority of warehouses make their money from moving and managing stock so when warehouses become full, they just function as storage facilities alone.

The impact of the Coronavirus pandemic on the manufacturing and retail sectors has meant that warehousing is running at higher levels than ever before with little movement in distribution. Yet inbound supply (especially non-food merchandise) continues to arrive in UK ports.  And whilst nobody knows how long the current lockdown rules will last, or indeed, the long term impact from them, off-dock storage could soon be a real possibility.

What we do know is that the logistics and warehousing industries will be key in helping the economy recover when lockdown restrictions are lifted and life begins to return to normal, whatever ‘normal’ will be in the future.

 

You can find more information about our Warehouse services here.

What the Coronavirus Pandemic Means for Warehousing

Like so many other jobs, much of the work involved in the Warehouse industry is not something that can be done from home.  Government rules state that if you must go to work then you should practice social distancing, making sure you stand at least 2 metres apart from any other person.

But is it practical to assume that workers can maintain that kind of social distance in busier, thriving warehouse operations?

One such case is that of an Amazon fulfilment centre in New York, where workers have taken strike action against the online giant. They say that they’re expected to work from premises that has had reports of multiple employees testing positive for Coronavirus.  They feel it’s not fair to be expected to carry on working amid the pandemic without the facility having been sanitized, and correct safety clothing and equipment issued.  Some reports even allege that gloves are being rationed!

Separately, Amazon has come under fire from third party sellers who have had orders of non-essential items blocked, due to overwhelming demand for household essentials during the pandemic.  The decision to restrict warehouse stock to household essentials leaves third party sellers in a fix, as they can still receive orders only to have Amazon halt shipment.

For some sectors, business has never been busier.  The demand for consumable products during March has seen an upturn of over 20%. Production has been stepped up to cope with the demand and warehouse space is at a premium whilst stock is stored waiting to be shipped.

Britain’s clothing and houseware retailers have pinned their hopes on digital sales in the wake of the government’s order to close all non-essential stores.  Revenue generated from online sales could be the only hope of saving them from permanent closure.  This puts extra pressure on warehouse and distribution staff at a time when many employees are having to stay at home to isolate.  And if those website clicks don’t convert into sales, then many manufacturers and retailers will have stock piling situations, where they might have to rethink their business model in order to move existing stock.

In essence, a whole season has been lost; young people are switching from buying outfits to digital subscriptions, so the long term prognosis may not be fully known until retail restrictions are lifted.

 

For more information on our warehousing services, click here.