3 Ways COVID is Changing Warehousing and Distribution Forever



COVID-19 has resulted in changes in just about every aspect of life, and the warehousing and distribution field is no exception. With several changes that need to be made to handle the shift in the way that business is done in general to adapting how tasks must be completed to minimize physical contact, huge adjustments are being made and many will not go back to the way they were. There are many ways that the material handling solutions industry is helping clients adapt to the ever-shifting landscape, learn the new normal, and become better prepared for emergencies in the future.


Space must be maximized


As there is an increased need for stock on-hand, as well as a requirement to have enough space for employees to safely distance, utilizing every inch of space within your warehouse or work area is more important than ever. Installing a mezzanine to add a second floor for additional storage and workspace can go a long way in maximizing the space within your building’s footprint and keeping your business thriving and productive, no matter what the future may bring. This will provide room for the larger amount of inventory needed, as well as a place for employees to pull and process orders for any increase in direct shipping due to the pandemic.


More automation is being used


Good or bad, task automation is used at a higher rate due to COVID-19. For some warehouses, this means reducing the workforce, but there are also ways of automation that reduce the physical contact needed to complete the same tasks. For example, gravity flow racks and conveyors can help to transport items from one part of a building to another without as much physical contact. Installing these material handling solutions will help increase employees’ safety during a pandemic and help reduce the person-to-person spread of illness in any situation.


Increased growth of eCommerce activities


Stocking brick and mortar stores will never again have the same importance for many industries. As it has been required to move more and more activities online, companies have needed to adapt to this trend. For some, this means revamping warehouses and increasing the stock levels to allow for the processing and fulfillment of direct orders from customers. Entire warehouses that were once shipping out to retailers only have needed to be revamped with the proper material handling solutions to create a “pick-and-pack” situation that is better suited for direct to consumer sales.


Changes are inevitable, especially in a pandemic. Making the necessary changes to your warehouse to increase capacity and create a more efficient process will ensure your operation’s safety and productivity. Contact us at IPP for a free quote for warehouse and material handling solutions.