FULFILLMENT UPDATE: Distribution Centers “Popping-Up” Closer

Distribution Centers “Popping-Up” Closer to the Customer to Meet eCommerce Demand

By Katie Kuehner-Hebert—

When it comes to ecommerce fulfillment, it’s all about location, location, location. And that location must deliver speed and agility. That’s why more and more retailers with ecommerce operations are augmenting their traditional larger distribution centers with “pop-up locations”—which can be temporary to handle orders during peak holiday seasons or sporting events, or semi-permanent to permanent to more quickly serve particular growing markets and urban areas.

“A lot of ecommerce warehouse and distribution buildings are increasing, as companies are constantly reducing the amount of time and the cost to fulfill orders,” says Brian C. Neuwirth, vice president of sales and marketing at MHI member UNEX Manufacturing. “We’ve seen a shift in putting distribution facilities as close to the customer as possible, especially for ecommerce businesses.”

There’s been a variety of locations that are specific to the end-customer, Neuwirth says. But many of these facilities are not automated or are just semi-automated, so there is still a good deal of manual operations going on inside of them—just because they may be temporary.

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