For a long time, logistic professionals have used the terms warehouse and distribution center interchangeably. Not only has this foreshadowed the major difference between two disparate storage areas, but it has also confused people about the two aspects. If you’ve found yourself in the same shoes, here are facts about warehouses and distribution centers that will help you differentiate between the two.
● A warehouse stores goods for extended periods until they are required. On the other hand, distribution centers have a faster and more complex flow rate. This means that products are retrieved from distribution centers more quickly than warehouses. in conclusion, a distribution center has more truck traffic as opposed to a warehouse that only see's maybe 2 or 3 tractor-trailers a week.
● The principal role of a distribution center is to play the middleman between sellers and buyers. Every time a seller gets an order, that product is transported from the distribution center to the consumer. In contrast, a warehouse has little to no contact with the buyers. Products from a warehouse are planted in the warehouse by the seller and reclaimed by the sellers as per their preference.
● Distribution centers are operation focused. This means that apart from storing goods, they also hold operations such as handling and processing of orders, transportation, inventory management, and more. At the same time, a warehouse is only responsible for stocking goods.
● Shipping retail orders are not the sole purpose of distribution centers. They also transport goods to a warehouse when the products stored in a warehouse starts depleting. In the case of a warehouse, there is no direct contact between them and external consumers.