A distribution center is an interface in the form of a building complex that functions exclusively within a logistics network. This can be a warehouse, a transshipment point or both in combination. Usually it is the combination in which goods are stored, moved (material flow in intralogistics) and transferred to different means of transport.

In a distribution center, the individual goods are generally put together according to customer and order specifications by means of order picking and distributed to smaller distribution centers via the outgoing goods department. In other words, a distribution center describes an interface function of logisticsin which material flows between producers and customers are organized and handled. Typical functional areas aregoods receipt, storage, picking, packagingand goods issue.

Capacity utilization in the distribution center

On the basis of key figures, one can estimate and plan the internal expenditure and yield of such a handling and storage location.
For example, in goods receipt these are the factors

    • Received items (pallet),
    • incoming shipments,
    • Goods identification,
    • personnel,
    • Unloading techniques,
    • water, rail and
    • street delivery to be considered.

Another variable is the so-called throughput time fulfillment, in which, for example, picking and finishing (packaging) play a major role.

For more information see Job Turnaround TimesandPicking and Packing.


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