The Birth of Warehouses and the Different Kinds of Warehouses We Have Today

August 20, 2021 2:30 am Published by Leave your thoughts

Whether or not you’re involved in the industry, you’re probably at least somewhat familiar with the concept of a warehouse, i.e., a building where goods are stored before being sold or distributed. But do you know the history behind warehouses? Probably not! Keep reading to learn a brief history of warehouses.

Humans have been storing supplies and food for future use ever since the caveman era, so you could consider caves the first warehouses humans ever used. But we’ve come a long way since the Paleolithic period. We can break the history of warehouses down into a few different eras: the Middle Ages, the rise of railroads, World War I and World War II.

The Middle Ages

The first true warehouses began in Venice back in the Middle Ages. Venetian merchants used large buildings to store goods after they were imported from the Far East or before they were exported from Western Europe. Keeping goods in a central location made the entire supply chain flow much more smoothly.

Railroad popularity

Warehouses became more important over time as trade routes began to expand, but they really took off in the 1800s as railroads became the preferred shipping method in the U.S. Freight cars were used as mobile warehouses in some cases, but freight car shortages led to the construction of large warehouses near the railroad lines.

The World Wars

Our brief history of warehouses continues into World War I and World War II. During the First World War, stacking heights increased to 8 to 12 feet thanks to the popularity of hand trucks. But by the end of WWII, workers were using forklifts to stack pallets up to 30 feet high.

Higher stacks during this time period allowed for the construction of massive warehouses that could store all sorts of different goods.

The different kinds of warehouses

Warehouses have obviously come a long way since their inception way back when. There are several different types of warehouses nowadays, and they all serve specific purposes. Here’s the answer to the question, “What are the different kinds of warehouses?”

  • Distribution warehouses: A distribution warehouse acts as a storage medium between two parties. These facilities can store all kinds of goods before they’re shipped directly to consumers or are sent to a distribution facility.
  • Production warehouses: These warehouses are where raw materials, semifinished goods or finished goods are kept by a production company. These facilities are crucial in reducing delivery time to consumers or other third-party sellers.
  • Contract warehouses: A contract warehouse’s function is to handle the delivery and storage for a third party. Contracts can range from a few months to a few years, depending on the company’s needs.

What can our team do for you?

Now that you know a brief history of warehouses and the answer to, “What are the different kinds of warehouses?” it’s time to think about your operation. If your business needs industrial batteries or if you’re having any battery-related issues, be sure to call our team at Remis Power Systems Inc.

We have over 40 years of industry experience, so you know you’re in good hands when you work with us.

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