WarehousingStorage is always an important aspect for the development of economy. The warehouse is actually a static unit for keeping and storing commodities in a systematic manner with some scientific help so as to maintain their original quality, value and usefulness. Typically rail, truck or bullock cart transport the merchandise to the warehouse initially and later moved by hand and stacked inside. In India normally ,manufacturers, importers, exporters, wholesalers, transport business, customs etc., use them. Today's warehouses have are not merely a storage place but have many logistical facilities which helps in making available the right quantity, at the right place, in the right time, in the right physical form at the right cost. Automatic conveyors, computer operated cranes and forklifts for moving goods and also usage of logistics automation software's for warehouse management is what we find in today's warehouses.
Types of Warehouses
- Private Warehouses: These types of warehouses are owned, operated and controlled by the company storing the goods, such as retail chain stores or multi-brand multi-product companies. In general the material handling system plans the warehouse to get efficient movement of the goods. Control, flexibility, and other benefits like improved dealer relations are the features of a private warehouse.
- Public Warehouses: These warehouses are used for storage of goods by traders, manufacturers or any member of the public by paying of a storage fee or charges. Licenses are issued to private parties by the government to carry out the operation of these warehouses. The warehouse owner acts as owner of the commodities and is expected to take good care of them. Transportation by rail and road are some other facilities provided by them and are responsible for the complete safety of the goods. These warehouses are found convenient by small manufacturers as they cannot afford to construct their own warehouses. Flexibility in the number of locations, no fixed cost and capability of offering value added services like packaging and labeling are some other features of these type.
- Bonded Warehouses: These government licensed warehouses store imported goods before their payment of tax and customs duty. Importers are restricted from removing their goods from these warehouses until they pay the customs duty. Sometimes the importer may not be in a position to pay the full tax or he may not require all the goods immediately and so the goods are kept in bonded warehouses by the customs authorities till then. Hence these goods are said to be in a bond. branding, packaging, grading and blending are the facilities provided by these warehouses. Importers bring their buyers for inspection of goods and they are repacked according to their own requirements which helps in facilitating the marketing of goods. Goods can be removed as and when the importers or buyers require and the customs duty is paid in installments. There is no need for the importer to block funds for payment of import duties before the goods are sold or used and if he wishes to export the goods kept in the bonded warehouse he may do so without paying the customs duty.
- Government Warehouses: These warehouses are totally under government control and are usually managed by agencies set by the public sector like Food Corporation of India, State Trading Corporation, and Central Warehousing Corporation.
- Cooperative Warehouses: A few marketing cooperative societies or agricultural cooperative societies usually set up their own warehouses for their own members.