What’s the Deal With Flexible Warehousing?

A third-party logistics provider with its own dedicated workforce is still a company’s best option for handling and storing sensitive goods.

There are several companies offering flexible warehouse space—Flexe, Stord, and Flow are a few examples. What has caused this trend?

Many companies’ supply chain needs have changed rapidly due to the consumer demand for same-day or next day delivery of products. Companies want flexible warehousing options with skilled, efficient labor to handle and ship their products.

Flexible warehousing is a hot topic in the warehousing industry because many companies want to store high-turnover product in spaces for short periods of time. Despite its new name, flex warehousing has existed in the logistics industry for a long time. It simply went by different names, such as public warehousing, multi-client space, or public space.

This type of warehouse space allows many clients’ products to be received, handled, stored, and shipped out in a flexible environment, as opposed to dedicated space and labor reserved for only one contract client at a time.

The Inside Scoop on Flex Warehousing

Typically, the flex warehousing companies do not own any industrial real estate. They use software to match the customers’ need with a warehouse’s open space. The downside of flex warehousing is the lack of dedicated labor to handle certain, highly sensitive products, such as chemicals, perishable foods and large, easily damaged goods.

Seeking out a third-party logistics provider with its own dedicated workforce, as well as a robust and flexible Warehouse Management System software and RFgen scanning capabilities, is still a company’s best option for handling and storing sensitive goods. Logistics services like RF scanning and an Oracle-powered WMS can work in tandem with highly trained, safety-minded material handler’s skillsets to ensure clients’ needs are met. 3PLs with transportation assets even a small fleet of trucks have another leg up on their clients need for speed. Even better, a 3PL with logistics software, like its own transportation management system and/ or B2B systems integration software, can easily fulfill the needs of a short-term client.

Current 3PLs Already Meeting the Need

3PLs with a focus on logistics management can rest assured that they are competing capably against the new kid on the block. By quickly adapting to various industries and commodities, and responding to client requests with urgency and an extremely high level of customer service quality, a strong 3PL will find it can outlast even the most convenient warehousing options of the 21st century.

WSI is one of the largest 3PLs in the nation, with nearly 15 million square feet nationwide. We serve the chemical, paper, consumer packaged goods, packaging, building materials, and electronics industries. In 2016, WSI celebrated its 50th anniversary of providing Absolute Reliability to its clients. Our WMS, the Oracle-powered JD Edwards EnterpriseOne software, can process inbound and outbound shipment orders for products ranging from t-shirts to bulk plastic pellets. Our experience with seasonal goods, like holiday wrapping paper, Halloween costumes, and fishing rods, has made us one of the best in the industry. We can react quickly to retailer, distributor, and manufacturer needs, no matter the good. Looking for 50,000 square feet of space for 3 months? We have that. Need 400,000 square feet for 5 years? We can do that, too.

Our sister companies, WSI Transportation, LLC, and 360data, offer personalized transportation and supply chain visibility solutions, respectively.

Our focus is on Absolute Reliability to the client. That motto has instilled in our organization an innate flexibility to meet our client’s changing needs, for more than 53 years. Contact us today at 920-830-5000 for availability, pricing, transportation, and dedicated labor information, or visit us at: www.wsinc.com.

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