Warehouse & Storage Guide



Choosing the perfect warehousing partner can seem like a big task but we are here to talk you through the process.

From choosing a partner, calculating costs and managing budgets to meaningful questions both parties should be asking. In actual fact with the right warehousing and storage company long term relationships can be built and are essential for the mutual benefit of both businesses.

Browns Distribution Services Ltd have been providing businesses across the supply chain with warehousing and pallet storage solutions for over 65 years and are known for their cutting edge IT, high service levels, flexibility and overall pallet delivery service offerings.

Below we will explore:

Browns Distribution are ready and waiting to help you with your requirements and can prepare proposals for your complete supply chain needs.

What is Pallet Warehousing and Storage?

This service is generally the requirement of companies who need to store large volumes of freight in an outsourced facility.

The chosen warehouse can either provide block stacking, where the pallets are stacked on top of each other or fully automated, modern racked aisles. The products can come in direct from the client or from overseas. This is a service that Browns offer and has an excellent reputation in the industry.

A company that offer warehousing normally has infrastructure to destuff and tip containers from overseas on a dock leveller, stack the products and boxes onto pallets with relevant batch and SKU references and then safely wrap the goods for safe storage or despatch.

At this stage the product is ready for onwards pallet delivery or to be stored into the fully racked storage warehouse.

If the palletised product needs to be delivered then barcode labels would be generated, placed onto the pallet and then scanned into the distribution system. If the pallet needs to be placed into short or long term storage it follows a similar process to the delivery but is placed into the stock warehouse. A storage label is placed on the pallet and it is located in a racked location and then updated on the online stock control system.

Customer can then log online to their storage account and view what stock they have in the warehouse, how long it has been there, what's on the pallet and how much it is costing them to store.

Some customers like to storage 50 pallets and other larger companies can store 5,000 pallets and even greater.

Browns Distribution boast 12,000 pallet locations at our Midlands depot in Staffordshire, Stoke on Trent and offer a complete end to end integrated solution.

Warehousing and Storage Guide

What to Look for in a Warehousing Company?

There are lots of companies that advertise warehouse space but you must ensure you do your research.

The internet can make companies look far better than what they actually are. Images of nice facilities can be purchased online and then placed on websites. Some warehouses can be dirty, not dry and dangerous. Dust can quickly gather on your products which will upset the delivery point.

If you are storing food grade products then pigeons and rodents can also be a problem so pest control must be checked. Some warehousing companies also block stack pallets when they shouldn't because the goods aren't suitable for stacking.

Below is a quick reference guide check list:

  • Has the warehouse got undercover unloading facilities?
  • Is the warehouse damp?
  • How many staff work unloading containers?
  • How many dock levellers does the storage facility have?
  • How many containers a day can be processed?
  • Is the marshal area big enough to destuff and check containers?
  • Is the lighting suitable and is there likely to be any picking errors?
  • How many pallets can be picked on a daily basis and can they manage your freight?
  • What IT systems are used (Paper based systems are very old fashioned and cause errors for the supply chain)
  • What is the cut off for requests?
  • Is the site secure with CCTV and a good quality fence?
  • What are the sizes of the racked locations and will your pallet fit into them?
  • What stock rotation principle are in place?
  • What is the cost is the warehouse and storage services?
  • What is a typical RH&D Charge (Receipt, Handling & Despatch)
  • What is the charge to empty (Tip, Destuff or de-van) a container?

What Questions Should I Ask During a Meeting?

Once you have reviewed all of the systems you should visit the site and ask for a full site tour.

You will soon be able to see if the warehouse will be capable of storing goods. If it is a modern, barcode regulated facility they should be happy to show you around. Following correct PPE and HSE rules a tour could take as long as an hour.

It is important that you view their IT system too and understand, depending on what level of integration you require, make sure that it will do what you need.

The company you are talking to should also ask you questions about your requirements so be prepared. If they do not ask you questions there may be a problem.

They should want to know:

  • Number of SKUs or batches to be picked from.
  • Stock turnaround (usually given in how many times the stock turns around annually)
  • Are the containers loose loaded or palletised?
  • Stock holding levels / Maximum stock held within a week.

Where stock is free standing - as this would need to be due to height the square footage per pallet is based on floor area utilised.

In essence a storage quotation would be:

  • RH&D
    Price for in and price for out.
  • Pick Price
    Dependant on number of SKUs and complexity of pick
  • Consumables
    Pallets - Wrap - Boarding, etc.
  • Inbound Cost of Devanning Containers
    Dependent on loose loaded or palletised.
  • Stock administration and reporting needs.

If they do not require the above information it might be best to reconsider their commercial pallet storage proposal. You should feel completely comfortable with them as they will be shipping and storing your valuable goods.

What are Typical Pallet Storage and Warehousing Costs?

Many companies have different pricing structures but they should all be simple and easy to understand.

If they over complicate the pricing structure then they may also complicate the supply chain process. Another big difference of storage prices is the location of the warehouse.

Logically the ideal place for storage is:

  • Midlands
  • Staffordshire
  • Stoke on Trent
  • Derby
  • Nottingham
  • Stafford
  • Litchfield
  • And other surrounding areas.

This is because these areas are centrally located and easy to access and despatch for onward distribution whether part load (LTL) or full load (FTL). Perfect for ecommerce and other similar businesses. You should expect to pay more money for pallet storage in the South like London and South East, East Anglia.

Below is a guide for typical pallet storage prices. Please bear in mind that these prices are for clean, modern, safe and secure, racked and barcode regulated warehouses:

  • Unload a 20ft Container Loose Goods/Boxes
    £125.00 - £150.00
  • Unload a 40ft Container Loose Goods/Boxes
    £175.00 - £225.00
  • Unload a 20ft Palletised Container
    £75.00 - £125.00
  • Unload a 40ft Palletised Container
    £125.00 - £175.00
  • Unload a Palletised Curtain Sided Trailer
    £75.00 - £125.00


  • Provision of physical good quality pallet and pallet wrap
    £4.50 per pallet (not coloured or CHEP)
  • Storage of UK Standard pallet 1200 x 1000 up to 1600 high
    £1.25 - £2.50 per pallet per week or part thereof
    Storage Price usually depends on quantity stored
  • RHD (Receipt, Handling & Despatch) In bound into stock
    £1.75 - £2.25 per pallet
  • RHD (Receipt, Handling & Despatch) Out bound out of stock
    £1.75 - £2.25 per pallet

Pick and Pack Charge

  • Loose Carton Pick
    £0.30 - £0.40
  • Full Pallet Pick
    £2.25 - £2.50
  • Full Pallet Pick (Reworked)
    £4.00 - £5.00

As you can see you can expect to pay different amounts depending on what service you require. Hopefully you now have enough information to make a more informed decision about your budget considerations during this process.

If Browns can help you with any aspects of warehousing and storage please reach out to us and we will ensure you and your products are well looked after during the process.

01782 525300
Browns DistributionRavensdale, Tunstall, Stoke-on-Trent
Staffordshire, ST6 4NU, UK
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