Distribution centers are large buildings or warehouses that are filled with a company’s products.
For example, Target owns many distribution centers in many states that provide product to the Target stores located nearby. The products stored in these types of buildings are meant to be sold or redistributed for wholesale, resale or direct to consumers. Distribution centers can have many different names, depending on what the company is storing and transporting.
Total Number of Employees in U.S.: 856.300
Total Number of Managers: 9,560
Total Number of Stock Clerks: 60,670
Total Number of Traffic Clerks: 42,720
Average Hourly Wage: $18.83
Average Working Hours Per Week: 41.1
Total Number of Distribution Centers in U.S. (approx.): 16,962
Electricity for Distribution Centers
While distribution centers come in all shapes and sizes, most require energy to power lights, and equipment including, refrigerators, air conditioner and other types of machinery. There are three major factors to the impact electricity has on both the facilities and industry as a whole. These factors include,
1. Lighting: Most distribution centers are large buildings with one single room. In most cases, part of the center remains in the dark or has limited lighting because of the amount of power it would take to light up the entire building. To avoid short circuiting the lighting system, it is important to investigate the current set up before moving into the building. Frequent maintenance checks will also help to limit future lighting interruptions and problems.
2. Storage: Distribution centers that require refrigerators or air conditioning units typically also have backup generators. These backup systems are a critical component to ensuring that product does not spoil or go bad in the event of a black out or power outage.
3. Maintenance: Many distribution centers have an in house electrician to keep operations running smoothly. It is important to regularly check or inspect equipment to make sure that all parts are working well.
For distribution centers in the United States, it is important to evaluate all options when it comes to purchasing electricity. For some states, energy deregulation allows consumers to decide on the retail energy supplier or the company that can supply electricity to a building. It is really worth it, from a business perspective, for consumers to explore this option. In many cases, retail energy suppliers offer better rates, pricing and plans than utilities (that are still responsible for the delivery and maintenance of electricity).
Top 5 Distribution Cities within the U.S:
- Northern Illinois/Indiana
- Riverside/San Bernardino, CA
- North Central Texas
- Central Georgia
- Greater Kansas City
Largest Distribution Facilities in the World:
- Boeing Everett Factory/Warehouse – An airplane assembly facility located in Washington. It is the largest building in the world, covering 399,480 m².
- Meyer Werft – A major shipyard in Germany, the facility produces the largest luxury ships in the world.
- Jean-Luc Lagardere Plant – Located in Toulouse, this facility is responsible for assembling Air Busses. It covers over 200 hectares of space.
- Target Import Warehouse – This facility is 2 million square foot distribution center to handle large shipments from overseas.
- NASA Vehicle Assembly Building
Alternate Names for Distribution Centers:
- Fulfillment Center
- Bulk Break Center
- Cross-Dock Facility
- Packaging Handling Center