The sharing economy has exploded in the last decade, and chances are you’ve been a part of it even if you didn’t realize it. The sharing economy is a market that has grown out of the Great Recession where people are pooling and sharing their resources with others. Examples of the sharing economy include:
- AirBnB. You can list a spare bedroom on this website and rent it out to vacationers and visitors to your area. You have the extra space, and they are willing to pay you for it to avoid staying in an expensive, impersonal hotel room.
- Uber. Have a car and nowhere to go? Become an Uber driver and you’ll be paid to give people lifts to the destination of their choice. You have the vehicle and they need a ride, so you share your resources with them.
This sharing economy model is coming to the warehouse industry as well. Our warehouse consultants are seeing more and more “shared warehousing” solutions. So what is it, how does it work, and is it a good idea for your business?
What Is Shared Warehousing?
Shared warehousing is the process of businesses working together to solve their warehousing issues. Some businesses have too much warehousing space, meaning they are spending too much money on storage that they don’t need which is hurting their bottom line. Other businesses don’t have enough warehouse space and are struggling to make room for their inventory. When these two businesses pool their resources, suddenly everyone has the space they need without losing a bunch of money to waste.
How Does Shared Warehousing Work?
Right now, it’s primarily up to a warehouse to advertise their available space and network with other businesses nearby to let them know it is available. It’s likely that in a short amount of time there will be websites and even apps that connect businesses with too much room with businesses with too little of it so it’s easier to find each other.
Is This a Good Idea for Your Business?
It depends on a lot of factors. If your business just requires some extra space on a seasonal basis, it might make sense to “borrow” the space from a nearby warehouse instead of paying for the room year-round. You’ll want to consider the additional costs that come with sharing a warehouse, though, including transportation to and from your shipping area, which might make the costs of sharing a warehouse more expensive than expanding your own warehouse to meet your needs.
It’s Not the Only Solution Out There
While shared warehousing could be an option for your business, it’s certainly not the only one that you have. Our warehouse consultants can help you find more room in your existing warehouse by optimizing your layout and your warehouse equipment. If you are running short on room and looking for a way to expand your storage without moving your warehouse, it’s time to talk to our team. Give us a call or contact us through our website today for more information.