Warehouse space comes at a premium in Seattle, where the vacancy rate is just 5.6 percent, according to CBRE Inc., a real-estate brokerage. With several more years left on its lease, Raj started renting out small sections of its floor on a month-to-month basis using Flexe Inc., an online service that pairs warehouse owners with companies that need space.
“It just offsets some of what I pay out of pocket for rent,” said Jeff Lykins, Raj’s owner.
It also helped several companies who had exceeded their storage capacity and needed a place to stash extra goods. Raj’s imports have shared shelves with pallets of toys, auto parts and ramen noodles. This type of arrangement is known as “collaborative logistics” - that is, when companies work together to maximize efficiency in their supply chains, rather than operating in isolation.
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