The terms warehousing and self-storage are often used interchangeably, but in reality they are quite different. Which one you choose will depend on the type and amount of goods you need to store. Here’s a breakdown of each one to help you decide.
What is self-storage?
A self-storage space is a unit rented by an individual to store personal or business items. Self-storage units come in various sizes, ranging from very small to moderately large. Sometimes, a large, security monitored industrial space is divided into smaller units that can be accessed individually 24/7. Other times, a self-storage unit is simply a space available for rent in a multi-purpose building. As such, self-storage can be found both within towns and cities and in industrial spaces in remote areas.
What is warehousing?
Warehousing refers to storing goods in bulk prior to sale or distribution. It is a solution typically used by commercial manufacturers and wholesalers. Compared to self-storage spaces, warehouses are usually very large units that are built for purpose and located on industrial estates outside of towns and cities. Although some facilities have security cameras and guards, a warehouse storage space in a remote location can be more vulnerable to burglaries than self-storage. Warehouse inventory is often logged and tracked using technology, with onsite staff to load, unload, organise and source items as needed.
Can you use self-storage as a warehousing solution?
The answer is, it depends on your business warehouse needs.
If you are a small-to-medium-sized enterprise with moderate storage requirements, you might be able to use self-storage as a conveniently located, cost-friendly and low-maintenance alternative to a warehouse storage space. If you plan on doing this, it is important to consider access limitations, security and insurance to ensure your goods are protected and that you are able to get to them when you need them.
On the other hand, multinational corporations have larger storage requirements, which needs a tighter quality and quantity control due to higher stock flow. In this case, warehousing might be a better long term solution as it covers a number of elements such as unloading, receiving and checking inbound goods, storage, order picking and handling returns.
Think self-storage better suit your business needs?
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