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DHL Logbook - in cooperation with

Technical University Darmstadt

Warehouse functions

From storage site to modern hub


Even in the Stone Age, caves served as places to temporarily store goods.
Warehouses still fulfill this function today. But they also do much more. A
warehouse, for example, can also be used to redirect goods to other routes
within the network - even without having to store any goods at all. Depending
on the function, various types of warehouses have been developed to perform
the job.

Warehouse functions
Generally speaking, a warehouse is a hub in a logistics network where goods
are temporarily stored or rerouted to a different channel in the network.
A basic distinction can be made among supply, handling and distribution
warehouses. However, mixed forms may also be used [1].

Supply warehouse
Supply warehouses are usually part of the production operation and are used
to store raw materials, auxiliary supplies and other resources needed for
production as well as semi-finished products and finished goods used during
particular seasons [2].

Transshipment warehouse
Transshipment warehouses house goods for short periods between their
transfer from one means of transportation to another. They are frequently
operated by logistics providers and retail companies.
With so-called cross-docking , manufacturers send goods that have been pre-
picked for particular retail outlets to the retailer’s warehouse. Here, shipments
from various manufacturers for the respective retail outlet are batched and
then delivered together. This dispenses with the need to pick goods bound for
separate retail outlets in the retailer’s central warehouse. All or most of the
inventory is eliminated as well [2].

Distribution warehouse
The composition of the flow of goods is changed in the distribution warehouse.
Distribution warehouses are classified into central, regional and local
distribution warehouses depending on the area they serve. Central distribution
warehouses are generally referred to as central warehouses, while
decentralized regional or local distribution warehouses are called supply or
delivery warehouses. In supply warehouses, goods from various suppliers are
collected and distributed to one or more production or retail operations. In
delivery warehouses, goods from production are stored before being delivered
to customers [2].

Recommended reading
World-Class Warehousing and Materials Handling | Frazelle 2002

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DHL Logbook - in cooperation with
Technical University Darmstadt

Warehouse Management: Automation and Organisation of Warehouse and

Order Picking Systems | ten Hompel / Schmidt 2006

References
[1] Stichwort „Lagerarten“ | Schulte 1997. In: Vahlens Großes Logistik Lexikon

| Bloech / Ihde (Hrsg.)

[2] Logistiksysteme | Pfohl 2004

URL
http://www.dhl-
discoverlogistics.com/cms/en/course/tasks_functions/warehouse/functions.jsp

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