Types of Warehouse and Functions


What are the types of warehouses in supply chain management? A warehouse is a common commercial storage facility which supports loading and unloading of goods and supply to customers.

Goods have to be stored at some point after production before they are shipped to customers, warehouses are not only associated with storage of goods but other activities such as packaging, identification and preparing goods for shipping.

There are various types of warehouses set up to meet different warehousing functions;


These types of warehouses are privately or individually owned by large scale resellers and distributors of personal goods mainly for storage of their products. A simple commercial farmer would require a private warehouse usually situated beside his field where he can easily store harvested crops and products.

Also resellers or retailers of goods own warehouses to house their products. The nature and design of a private ware house depends exclusively on the nature of goods to be stored.

Every private business should have its warehouse, however, the cost for constricting a private warehouse might be lot for small scale business owners. Bigger businesses that have enough fund to construct and maintain a private warehouse may have a network warehouses around the country.


Public warehouses are particularly fixed to Supply the public with storage facilities at a price. These types of warehouse are usually either operated by individuals, groups or government bodies and are rented out to those in need of the facility. Public warehouses must function under government licenses, regulations and rules.

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Public warehouses are very necessary in the agricultural sector, for some business establishments and small scale producers of local good who do not have enough funds to create and maintain a private warehouse. The warehouses are properly protected to ensure safety of goods.

Public warehouses procure conveniences for the inspection of goods by potential buyers, they also provide resources for easy receipt, promptitude, loading and unloading of goods.


These types of warehouses are usually located close to the port and operated by the government or controlled by custom authorities as they allow the storage of imported goods until the instalment of custom duty fees.

The goods bonded in the warehouse are not to be taken out without permission or authorization from the custom authorities. This undertaking is required of the warehouse before it’ll be allowed to house imported goods.

However, if the importer of the goods held does not have enough funds to pay custom duties, the goods can be kept safe in the bonded warehouse or the importer might decide to pay in small installments and withdraw part of the goods at a time till payment is completely made. Hence bonded warehouses can also serve the purpose of public warehouses when importation and exportation is involved.

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Automated warehouses are attributed to the use of modern technology and devices. The level of computerization in an automated warehouse varies from simple envoys for transportation of goods to a completely automated warehouse. These types of warehouses do not require a lot of manpower as the operation of the warehouse is mostly controlled by its technology.

Most types of warehouses are now automated as it makes work flow more efficient and it’s easier to check and maintain errors in the warehouse house.


Members of a cooperative society may decide to build up warehouses for the benefit of members allowing them to be in total control of these warehouses. These types of warehouses offer storage facilities at a reduced price to the members of the cooperative society and the warehouses are personally owned by a group of people who are allowed to set the rules and mode of operation of the warehouse.


These types of warehouses serve as distribution points where goods are received from different producers and supplied to customers who request for them. Manufacturers sometimes stock their goods is major distribution centers in order for customers to have easy access to them.

Distribution centers also serve as makeshift storage facility. Usually if goods are received at the start of the day distribution begins when the day is over.

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Climate controlled warehouses are specifically designed for products that require special climatic condition. These types of warehouses attend to goods such as frozen foods, flowers, delicate computer products and other products that require special handling.

These types of warehouses generally serve the following purposes;

  • Receiving of goods is one of the major functions of a warehouse, they receive goods from suppliers and take up the responsibility of supplying these goods and issuing receipts.
  • A warehouse is also responsible for the formation of records of the goods held in order to avoid misunderstandings during the delivery of the goods.
  • Warehouses serve as storage centers which assists in the identification and packaging of goods for supply. Goods received can be easily identified and tagged to suitable supply quantities.

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