Distribution vs. Warehouse Center – What’s the Difference?

Warehouses and distribution centers are very overused terms, sometimes interchangeably, but they are two entirely different things. Supply has always been the cornerstone of consumerism, and the way we get the items from one place to another is critical in their preservation, further distribution, and retention.

To further your understanding of the difference between distributions centers and warehouse centers and the vital role these facilities play in moving shipments from point A to point B we’ve put together a quick comparison of the two.

What Are Warehouses?

Warehouses are storage centers that primarily store items for a prolonged period. Warehouses are typically vast in size and can hold quite a lot of products at any moment. The products from large warehouses get transported into smaller, more manageable distribution centers.

Warehouses serve as a long-term holding department for particular items. They have served a vital role in the past, as their nature has allowed them to stockpile a wide variety of goods.

In modern times though, there isn’t just as large of a need for an abundance of warehouses. While in the past, quick information communication was almost impossible; today, it’s one click away.

This new way of information distribution allows businesses to communicate with warehouses. Quick communication is vital in business and inventory planning.

What Are Distribution Centers

Distribution centers are the modern-day answer to warehouses. While warehouses served a different purpose in long-term stockpiling, distribution centers provide a quick flow of items.

Corporations can contract distribution centers that house a predetermined number of items. The number of items is determined through demand. This fact ensures that a distribution center never has “too much” of anything, but always has just enough.

Warehouses serve for long term storage, as opposed to distribution centers. Distribution centers focus on on-demand distribution rather than storage. Distribution centers work to mix, package, and send out various shipments.

Distribution vs. Warehouse Differences

When it comes to the comparison of distribution vs. warehouse centers, there are a couple of things to note. Now that you understand the two critical differences between distribution centers and warehouses, distribution and storage, respectively, there are a few additional differences.

Some of these are as follows:

WarehousesDistribution Centers
For dedicated, long-term storage of items.For shorter-term storage, with the main focus being placed on distribution.
Relatively low item volatility, infrequent transportationVery high item volatility, frequent send-outs, and transportation.
Warehouses are the suppliers of distribution centers.Distribution centers are the suppliers of businesses and individuals.
Incorporate the minimum technology required for small amounts of planning, even with an abundance of items.The latest in data planning, business communication, and packaging technology.
Ideal for pre-buildup of inventory stock.Ideal for distributing said inventory to a large amount of businesses.
Warehouses often do business with industrial zones and factories.Distribution centers often do business with smaller or larger retailers and businesses.

JRC Dedicated & Short-Term Warehousing Services

JRC Dedicated Services is a proud full-service warehousing and transportation company.
We are a reliable partner for all outsource warehousing needs. Third-party 3PL has seen a steady rise in the past couple of years and outsourcing your transportation and warehousing needs can have numerous benefits for your business.

Some of the benefits of outsourcing your warehousing and transportation needs are:

  • Cheaper labor costs
  • Cost-effective storing
  • Quick and reliable shipping
  • Real-time tracking
  • Dedicated, long term, and short-term warehousing
  • Premium logistics
  • Seemingly endless fleet options

JRC offers its transportation and storage options in the Chicagoland area, close to numerous transportation routes, industrial and commercial zones. For more information, reach out to us today!

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