Storage and Shipment, A Warehouse In Every City?

With the emergence of the chain stores in the early 20th century, the concept of vertical integration of the supply chain management, from manufacturer to delivery of products was the norm. Vertical integration is the process of one company owning or controlling all of the manufacturer and supply of its products and services. Companies like A&P, as dominant a retailer in 1930 as Walmart is today owned their own fleet of fishing boats, bakeries, canneries and trucking companies. Walmart does own their own trucking company, but obtains the 100,000-150,000 different products they sell. Walmart built itself into the behemoth it is because of always being ahead of the curve, but in equally large part because it does not technically have any significant warehouses. It utilizes a process of cross-docking where vendor’s products are shipped to directly to picked up by Walmart’s trucking firms and deliver them to Distributor, not Warehouse Centers, carried immediately on conveyer belts and reloaded on trucks that deliver them directly to the companies over 6,000 stores.

Few companies, especially upstart ones can afford a warehouse. I2I maintains a database of warehouses across the country who will lease out space, often as needed to companies for a fraction of the cost of maintaining their own warehouses.


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