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Warehouses are one of the most important elements of logistics systems. At all stages of the movement of MP, starting from the primary source of raw materials and ending with the final consumer, there is an objective need for specially equipped places for the maintenance of stocks. This explains the presence of a large number of various types of warehouses. The movement of the MP through the warehouse increases the cost of the goods, which is associated with the corresponding costs. Therefore, it is necessary to study the problems and methods of effective organization and functioning of warehouses to rationalize the movement of MPs in the logistics chain and reduce distribution costs.

In practice, warehouses can be open areas where raw materials such as coal, ore, or vegetables are stored in heaps; and modern facilities that provide the necessary conditions for the storage of, for example, frozen food.

Specialists use several different terms for warehouses, more often they are called distribution centers and logistics centers. Sometimes it is considered that distribution centers are the storage places of GP on the way to final consumers, while logistic centers store a wider range of products and can be located at different points in the supply chain.

A warehouse is any place where materials are stored as they pass through the supply chain. A warehouse is buildings, structures and various devices intended for receiving, placing and storing the goods received by them, preparing them for consumption and distribution to the consumer. The warehouse should be considered as an integrated part of the supply chain, since its characteristics directly affect the efficiency of transport and distribution activities, determine the possibilities of inventory management, etc.

Warehouse classification
1. In size: from small premises, with a total area of ​​several hundred square meters, to giant warehouses covering areas of hundreds of thousands of square meters.

2. According to the height of stowage: in some the cargo is stored no higher than human growth, in others special devices are needed that can lift and accurately load the cargo in a cell at a height of 24 m and more.

3. By construction: placed in separate rooms (closed), have only a roof or roof and one, two or three walls (half-closed). Some goods are generally stored outdoors in specially equipped areas, in the so-called open warehouses.

4. If necessary, create and maintain a special mode, for example, temperature, humidity.

5. By the number of users: the warehouse can be intended for storage of goods of one enterprise (individual use), and can, on leasing terms, be leased to individuals or legal entities (collective use or warehouse-hotel).

6. According to the degree of mechanization of warehouse operations: non-mechanized, mechanized, complex-mechanized, automated and automatic.

7. According to the possibilities of delivery and removal of goods by rail or water transport: on-site or port warehouses (located on the territory of a railway station or port), near-ground (having a supplied railway line for supplying and cleaning wagons) and deep. In order to deliver cargo from a station, pier or port to a deep warehouse, it is necessary to use automobile or other means of transport.

8. According to the breadth of the assortment of stored goods: specialized warehouses, warehouses with mixed or universal assortment.

9. At the place in the process of movement of MP from the primary source of raw materials to the final consumer of finished products:

1) warehouses in the area of ​​movement of products for industrial purposes:

· Warehouses GP manufacturers;

· Warehouses of raw materials and raw materials;

· Warehouses in the sphere of circulation of products for industrial purposes;

2) warehouses in the area of ​​movement of consumer goods:

· Warehouses of the enterprises of wholesale trade in consumer goods, located in the places of production of these products - output wholesale bases;

· Warehouses located in the places of their consumption - trade wholesale bases.

The main purpose of the warehouse - the concentration of stocks, their storage and ensuring the smooth and rhythmic fulfillment of customer orders. But besides storage, many organizations use warehouses as convenient places to perform other types of work. The general trend is that, at present, warehouses perform more and more tasks that add value to the product, rather than being net cost centers.