Guide to Moving Warehouses

Introduction to Guide to Moving Warehouses

Warehouse moving and relocation can bring enormous benefits. However, there’s much to consider, and the work involved should not be underestimated.

Sellercloud’s guide to moving warehouses covers every aspect of a successful warehouse transition in five concise chapters.

By the end of this guide, you will be able to create your own moving warehouse checklist and find new ways to make your business more efficient than ever in your new location.

You can also check out our inventory management and order management guides.

Why Do Businesses Move Warehouses? Top 10 Reasons

Do you know what you are looking for before deciding to move your warehouse? Understanding your warehouse needs is the first step in making the big move.

A business might need to move to a new warehouse for many reasons, depending on its needs. A fresh change in location can bring many benefits.

1. Scale Up

If a business has been growing well and is reaching the point where it needs more space to handle its day-to-day operations and grow further, it’ll need a bigger warehouse.

It may also be the case that they will soon need space based on their current growth, and they are getting ahead.

This can be risky, though, as you will be paying for more space than you need, and there is always the chance you won’t grow as much as expected.

2. Lower Costs

It may be cheaper to move your warehouse to another location. If the warehouse is leased, the rent could be increasing, and cheaper alternatives could be available.

Other costs, such as utilities (like water and electricity), could also be burdensome, and moving the warehouse to another location could lower costs.

Additionally, if a business rents a warehouse, buying a new one may be cheaper in the long term than to continue renting.

3. Closer to Partners

A business may want to move its warehouse closer to its suppliers, which can improve the bond between the company and its partners.

Moving closer to partners will make it cheaper for suppliers to ship to your business and drastically reduce shipping times.

Being closer to partners also means reordering will be much easier, and businesses can reorder more frequently in small amounts.

4. Scale Down

The opposite of point 1, it could also be that their current warehouse is too big and costing them too much.

This can be the case for multiple reasons. It could be that the company expanded too quickly and now needs to scale down to save costs.

Conversely, the company’s business model may have changed. It could be utilizing fulfillment centers like FBA (Fulfilled By Amazon) and no longer need so much space, or the nature of the products it sells could be different and require less space.

5. Better Transportation Connections

A huge benefit of moving your warehouse is better access to highways and transport hubs where they can access trains, planes, and shipping providers.

Remote locations are harder for suppliers to reach and to ship to customers. They are costlier and take longer.

If your warehouse is in a remote location and there is no benefit to it, it is wise to consider the change. Greater access to transportation options saves money and speeds up shipping.

We’ll explore this in greater detail in Chapter 1.

6. Storage Consolidation

A business may have several warehouses in different places and consider the benefits of having them all under one roof.

Maybe your business bought out another, or it may needlessly store certain products in one warehouse separate from other products and decide it is better to have them in one place.

7. Modernization

A business’s current warehouse may be too old and lack the infrastructure it needs. You may require more modern amenities and spaces for certain activities that the warehouse was not initially designed for.

If your warehouse is particularly old, there could be structural problems. For example, old roofing and flooring and a lack of insulation could be becoming a problem.

The warehouse may be considered too costly to modernize, and finding a new warehouse may be more practical.

8. Goods You Sell May Have Changed

As your business expands, what it sells may have changed, and you may now have different requirements for certain products.

For example, you may now sell temperature-sensitive products and need a facility to keep them warm or cool.

9. The Lease Will Expire

The current warehouse might not have anything wrong with it. However, if the lease is ending, it may be a good idea to explore what other options are available.

It’s always a good idea to check out what the market is offering before renewing your lease, as you may miss out on a new location that better suits your business.

10. Closer to Staff and Customers

A business may have trouble recruiting employees if its warehouse is remote. It can also mean that when staff are unable to work, it can be harder to get another employee to cover their shift.

It’s a similar story with customers. It is far cheaper to ship to customers if a warehouse is closer to them. You may find that many customers come from a certain city or region, so it makes sense to move your warehouse closer to them.

Who Is This Guide For?

This guide is for businesses that have reached a point where their current warehouse no longer serves their needs.

As explained above, there’s no shortage of reasons why a business may want to move its warehouse. However, moving a warehouse requires careful planning.

It’s much better to thoroughly prepare in advance to adjust quickly and get operations moving than to scramble to figure it all out after making the big move that could harm your business.

Armed with this guide, businesses can put together a robust warehouse moving plan that doesn’t sacrifice their efficiency.

Ideally, businesses should aim to keep operations moving smoothly with little to no dent in their capacity while making the change.

With this guide, you will learn how to change your warehouse without disrupting your business and minimize incidents and costs.

What Will I Learn from This Guide?

In this guide, you will learn everything you need to know about moving to a new warehouse. There is much to consider. It may seem so straightforward until you encounter all the challenges it involves.

Some of the key things you will learn to prepare yourself for include:

  • Does the new warehouse location tick all the boxes?
  • How do you decide how the space will be utilized? What activities will happen where?
  • How can you optimize the floor layout for bins, shelving, aisles, and racking?
  • Should you try new things in your warehouse?
  • Will you need to invest in new warehouse equipment?
  • How do you keep a business operating while moving from one warehouse to another? How do you plan the move? Do you need to hire a warehouse moving company?
  • How do you move warehouse inventory?

In a brand-new space, you can experiment with ways to improve and make your business more efficient.

How Long Is This Guide?

This guide consists of a total of five chapters. Here’s a quick breakdown of what you can expect.

Chapter 1: Location. Before you move your warehouse, you must ensure the location is practical. We examine what should be near to boost shipping efficiency and prevent bottlenecks.

Chapter 2: Zoning Warehouses. What to consider when designating zones for different activities, such as space for shipping areas and stations, sorting stations, office space, and more.

Chapter 3: Warehouse Layout. This chapter focuses on the best practices for racking, shelving, aisles, and bins and keeping a warehouse organized, safe, and workable.

Chapter 4: Warehouse Equipment. We look at the equipment and tools you will need in your new warehouse. You may need to invest in new warehouse equipment.

Chapter 5: Making the Move. The final chapter considers everything you need to organize to move to your new warehouse.

Chapter 1: Location