How to Set Up a Shipping Warehouse

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Setting up a shipping warehouse takes careful planning.
Setting up a shipping warehouse takes careful planning. (Image: Jupiterimages/Comstock/Getty Images)

A properly planned layout is essential for a shipping warehouse to run smoothly. The choice of equipment, layout of racks and specialized systems all contribute to a properly functioning distribution warehouse. Efficiency in receiving, storage, and shipping of products helps the company operate successfully. By keeping things in proper order, providing safe working conditions and taking into consideration the needs of warehouse employees, mistakes can be minimized. So careful planning and execution are needed for the smooth and efficient flow of goods.

Things You'll Need

  • Shelving
  • Warehouse supplies
  • Dumpster
  • Forklift
  • Tables
  • Chairs
  • Microwave
  • Refrigerator
  • Worktables
  • Markers
  • Pallet jacks
  • Brooms
  • Dust Pans
  • Mops
  • Trash containers
  • Pens
  • Computer
  • Printer
  • Safety signs
  • Tape dispensers
  • Pocket calculators
  • Clip boards
  • Safety glasses

Create a floor plan that has areas specifically designed for storage, shipping and receiving. Include a break area for the employees. Set up a few comfortable chairs and tables, a coffee maker, a microwave and a refrigerator. Provide bathroom facilities.

Determine the kind of storage and shelving you want to set up for the items you will be storing in the warehouse. Purchase sturdy shelving supplies. Get a professional to install it and securely attach it to walls and floors. Allow adequate space between the shelving units to easily move items.

Set up a storage space for items that are used frequently, such as packing tapes or boxes. Ensure that the storeroom is fully stocked most of the time. Always keep sufficient cleaning supplies.

Do not put shelving around the loading dock or bay clear area. Provide a forklift for truck deliveries and allow a lot of of space in the dock area for easy maneuvering.

Provide separate spaces for shipping and receiving. Install large, very sturdy worktables in the shipping and receiving areas.

Create an inventory control work station. Provide a system where employees can record information about items that are shipped out and items that are received. Include a computer and printer in this area.

Place safety notices and signs required by your city or state in prominent places.

Place a Dumpster close to the warehouse in order to keep trash from cluttering the workspace.

Put mats in areas where employees stand in one place for a long time. Install an efficient cooling and heating system to keep employees comfortable as the weather changes.

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