Not every eCommerce retailer deals in non-perishable goods, even though many 3rd party logistics companies (3PL) run their companies like that’s all there is out there.
Fragile products such as cosmetics and nutraceuticals, for example, can’t be stored outdoors or in a non-insulated warehouse where temperatures can fluctuate wildly. For these more delicate items, a temperature-controlled warehouse is the only way to go.
What is a Temperature-Controlled Warehouse?
When you think of warehousing and distribution, you probably imagine a basic metal storage building without much going for it.
That’s not what you get with a temperature-controlled warehouse. Instead of being little more than barns, temperature-controlled warehouses much more closely resemble office buildings. They even have most of the same amenities, like finished flooring, security systems and climate control!
Goods that have expiration dates are also generally somewhat fragile and require proper handling. Any missteps and pallets of items risk being ruined and you face serious retribution from customers. But don’t fear, because your temperature-controlled warehouse protects and preserves your products so they arrive at your customers’ doors in perfect shape.
Here are just a few features of a good temperature-controlled warehouse:
- Temperature control and monitoring. For your products to be at their best, they have to be held at room temperature, all day and all night.This means your warehouse needs a powerful climate control system to maintain temperatures in the low 70s, ideally between 72 and 74 degrees Fahrenheit. Steady temps are maintained due to the diligence of temperature-controlled monitoring systems, which call for maintenance if there’s even the slightest problem.
- Security systems and video surveillance. Of course, having an air conditioner alone isn’t enough to protect your precious cargo.That’s why the best temperature-controlled warehouses are equipped with sensitive security systems and video surveillance to ensure that nothing walks away from inventory unexpectedly.
- State-of-the-art WMS systems. Warehouse management is a serious business and it takes pretty powerful software to keep track of so many SKUs constantly moving into and out of the warehouse. Not only do you need good quality control for your shipments, but a state-of-the-art WMS system to create the data that can help better inform your eCommerce efforts.
- Clean and pest-free environment. Temperature-controlled warehouses are the Cadillacs of warehousing environments. Not only should dust be kept to a minimum with epoxy-sealed floors that are easy to clean and maintain, pest control must be a high priority to prevent damage to your products in storage. Both are simple tasks in temperature-controlled warehouses!
Temperature-controlled warehouses might not be the ultimate solution for every type of product, but if you’re looking to have warehousing and distribution for your new beauty line or herbal supplements, they’re a must. Ask your 3PL if they offer these facilities and how to get started with temperature-controlled storage today.