A warehouse is a commercial building for storage of goods. Warehouses are used by manufacturers, importers, exporters, wholesalers, transport businesses, customs, etc. They are usually large plain buildings in industrial areas of cities, towns and villages.
They usually have loading docks to load and unload goods from trucks. Sometimes warehouses are designed for the loading and unloading of goods directly from railways, airports, or seaports. They often have cranes and forklifts for moving goods, which are usually placed on ISO standard pallets loaded into pallet racks. Stored goods can include any raw materials, packing materials, spare parts, components, or finished goods associated with agriculture, manufacturing and production. In Indian English a warehouse may be referred to as a godown.
Storage and shipping systems
Some of the most common warehouse storage systems are:
- Pallet racking including selective, drive-in, drive-thru, double-deep, pushback, and gravity flow
- Mezzanine adds a semi-permanent storey of storage within a warehouse
- Vertical Lift Modules are packed systems with vertically arranged trays stored on both sides of the unit.
- Horizontal Carousels consist of a frame and a rotating carriage of bins.
- Vertical Carousels consisting of a series of carriers mounted on a vertical closed-loop track, inside a metal enclosure.
A “piece pick” is a type of order selection process where product is picked and handled in individual units and placed in an outer carton, tote or other container before shipping. Catalog companies and internet retailers are examples of predominantly piece-pick operations. Their customers rarely order in pallet or case quantities; instead, they typically order just one or two pieces of one or two items. Several elements make up the piece-pick system. They include the order, the picker, the pick module, the pick area, handling equipment, the container, the pick method used and the information technology used. Every movement inside a warehouse must be accompanied by a work order. Warehouse operation can fail when workers move goods without work orders, or when a storage position is left unregistered in the system.
Material direction and tracking in a warehouse can be coordinated by a Warehouse Management System (WMS), a database driven computer program. Logistics personnel use the WMS to improve warehouse efficiency by directing pathways and to maintain accurate inventory by recording warehouse transactions.
Source : Wikipedia