You know, when a distributor gets products from a manufacturer, he has to store those goods in a place before he finally distributes them to groceries and other retail stores.
A grocery distribution centre serves this purpose. It is a building where products are stored before being delivered to groceries.
Big wholesale distributors own their own distribution centre and distribute products to grocery stores that need them or other wholesalers who buy from them, but some other distributors make use of another person’s distribution centre. We can say two distributors merge to use a distribution centre. This reduces operational costs.
When looking out for a distribution centre, keep in mind that not all of them use the title ‘distribution centre’. Some make use of names like, package handling centre, warehouse or fulfilment centre. Some are even referred to as Bulk break centre. These names are used to refer to the kind of work they do.
For instance, a package handling centre receives ‘packages’ and delivers them. A warehouse or fulfilment centre, on the other hand, delivers goods directly to customers who ordered the products from online stores or through catalogues.
A bulk break centre collects shipping trucks of products that are broken down for redistribution to several grocery stores as well as other retail stores.
Distribution centres are usually quite big accommodating about a thousand truckload of goods in a year. This means if we are to divide the truckloads per week, that would be about 30 truckloads of goods in a week!
Generally, the distribution centre has 3 sections; the most known is the storage zone but aside this section, a distribution centre also has a shipping dock and receiving dock. These sections in the distribution centre can further be divided into subsections for different types of products. For instance, perishable goods have to be kept aside in a different space from non-perishable goods since perishable goods need to be refrigerated to keep them fresh for further distribution.
The docks sections, that is, both the shipping and receiving dock section have areas in them that deals with goods for storage, transport, as well as, other requirements which the distribution centre may need.
Grocery distribution centre operations is one of the most demanding workforces in terms of human labor. This is so because they deal in what we consume the most. Food
The work involved in distribution centres is so tedious for humans that distribution centres are moving to automation. Automation is the use of technology. When it was first used, it was used to automatically calculate and pick full cases rather than having people count and do the order selection. Later on, automation was used in picking dry foods.
So far, the use of automation has increased the volume of work. Its use has also reduced warehouse damages that human labor could have otherwise caused in the process of counting or carrying. A distribution centre starts its work immediately the products arrive.