What are the types of warehouses in supply chain management?

A warehouse is a typical commercial storage facility that supports the loading and unloading of goods and supplies to customers.


Goods have to be stored at some point after production before they are shipped to customers; warehouses are not only associated with the 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 warehouses are privately or individually owned by large-scale resellers and distributors of personal goods, mainly for storing their products.

A simple commercial farmer would require a private warehouse 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 warehouse depend exclusively on the heart of the goods to be stored.

Every private business should have its warehouse. However, the cost of constructing a secret warehouse might be a lot for small-scale business owners.

Bigger businesses with enough funds to construct and maintain a private warehouse may have a network of warehouses around the country.


Public warehouses are particularly fixed to Supply the public with storage facilities at a price.

These warehouses are usually operated by individuals, groups, or government bodies and rented out to those in need of the facility.

Public warehouses must function under government licenses, regulations, and rules.

Public warehouses are essential in the agricultural sector for some business establishments and small-scale producers of local goods who do not have enough funds to create and maintain a private warehouse.

The warehouses are adequately protected to ensure the 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 warehouses are usually located close to the port and operated by the government or controlled by customs authorities as they allow the storage of imported goods until the installment of custom duty fees.

The goods bonded in the warehouse are not to be taken out without permission or authorization from the customs authorities.

This undertaking is required of the warehouse before it’ll be allowed to house imported goods.

However, suppose the goods’ importer does not have enough funds to pay customs duties. In that case, the goods can be kept safe in the bonded warehouse, or the importer might decide to settle in small installments and withdraw part of the goods until payment is ultimately made.

Hence bonded warehouses can also serve the purpose of public warehouses when importation and exportation are involved.


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 transporting goods to a completely automated warehouse.

These warehouses do not require a lot of workforce as the warehouse operation is controlled mainly by its technology.

Most warehouses are now automated as it makes workflow more efficient and 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 control these warehouses.

These types of warehouses offer storage facilities at a reduced price to the members of the cooperative society; The warehouses are personally owned by a group of people who are allowed to set the warehouse’s rules and mode of operation.


These warehouses serve as distribution points where goods are received from different producers and supplied to customers who request them.

Manufacturers sometimes stock their goods in important distribution centers for customers to easily access them.

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


Climate-controlled warehouses are specifically designed for products that require exceptional climatic conditions.

These warehouses attend to goods such as frozen foods, flowers, delicate computer products, and others requiring special handling.

These types of warehouses generally serve the following purposes;

  • Receiving goods is one of the primary 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 maintaining records of the goods held to avoid misunderstandings during the delivery.
  • Warehouses serve as storage centers that assist in identifying and packaging goods for supply. Goods received can be easily identified and tagged to suitable supply quantities.

READ: Writing a Warehouse Business Plan