In the old days of logistics, “distribution center” was seen as a fancy term for “warehouse,” a central storage location for products until they were ready to be moved to retail shelves.
Fast forward to 2022, and the rapid evolution of ecommerce warehouse design has left those cold, sprawling behemoths with little utility in the fast-paced era of online retail.
The modern distribution center is arguably the single most important aspect of determining an eCommerce retailer’s success. It must help facilitate solutions to challenging last-mile delivery scenarios, allow for increased traffic from delivery trucks and third-party couriers, and pass the test in terms of sustainability amid increasing scrutiny from the public and government agencies.
And it must do this while navigating the challenging waters of skyrocketing labor, material, and real estate costs.
As a result, modern distribution center design is yielding smaller facilities in terms of square footage. However, while there may not be as much floor area, DCs are getting taller to help optimize vertical space and allow for more racks, accessible to robots and other mechanized picking technology.
Contemporary DCs blend human and automated labor to maximize mobilization. While the traditional warehouse was viewed more as a storage solution, eCommerce DCs are designed to keep products continually flowing, with some items staying at the DC for nothing more than a few minutes.
Continue reading the following infographic to delve into the deepest depths of how to optimize eCommerce distribution centers and maximize profits in 2022.