With all of the supply chain challenges caused by the COVID-19 pandemic — including a shortage of critical parts and workers, and logjams in the movement of product through ports and over the road — there’s no guarantee that anything will arrive in time for the holidays.
To get ahead of these obstacles, and ensure that they’ll be able to meet consumer demands this holiday season, businesses have placed orders for Christmas inventory months in advance. To make that plan work, they need flexible and cost-effective solutions for storing inventory and moving products quickly. Short-term warehousing is one important option for helping retailers adapt to frequently changing logistical challenges.
Short-term warehousing provides space on temporary terms, without the need for long-term leases, giving businesses flexibility in what they store and for how long. Traditional warehouses require companies to make a multi-year commitment for space, and aren’t cost-effective for temporary needs such as the storage of holiday inventory. The current average term for a commercial warehouse lease in the U.S. is around 10 years. But businesses today need flexible solutions that help solve their most pressing supply chain and logistics problems with minimal disruption to day-to-day operations.
Short-term warehousing is available on demand, so that a business can reserve it right away for exactly when and where it’s needed. A company with an excess of a certain product can store it temporarily in anticipation of a busy holiday season. Whether it’s a small business needing to store empty plastic totes, or a large enterprise that requires space for a hotel remodel, on-demand warehousing can help them to quickly adapt to changing supply chain conditions.
Traditional warehousing isn’t a viable option for businesses needing to respond quickly to factors that impact inventory, customer experience and demand. As companies receive influxes of products and struggle to meet overflow needs, they can lean on a cost-effective, short-term solution that doesn’t require them to be locked into expensive long-term contracts. With the holiday season upon us, businesses need to prepare for every possible outcome, and on-demand warehousing is a workable solution for retailers looking to prepare for holiday-induced supply chain challenges and beyond.
Brad Wright is chief executive officer of Chunker.
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