Choosing a Vancouver Warehouse – What’s Important?

by Michael Kotendzhi | Warehousing

A good, spacious warehouse can be a solution to many problems. Whether you are dealing with a long-term supply chain or you need to store your items for a while safely, a warehouse can be just the thing you need. But, once you decide to look for a warehouse, you need to know how to pick one suitable for your needs and your budget. So, with that in mind, let's take a closer look at choosing a Vancouver warehouse.

What to consider before choosing a Vancouver warehouse

With an area of 2883 km², Greater Vancouver is a big place. Therefore, when looking for a warehouse in it, you need to know what precisely you want out of it. The main four factors to consider are location, services available, utilized technology, and safety.


If you plan on using a warehouse for a prolonged period, you need to understand the importance of its location. Know that transportation costs can quickly pile up. So, even if the local warehouse seems costly, the remote "cheaper" one will be much less budget-friendly.

Another noteworthy benefit of getting a nearby warehouse is that you can respond to customer requests with the necessary efficiency. Modern customers, be it businesses or people, expect a high degree of efficiency. Therefore, it is usually paramount that you have your warehouse facilities nearby.  If you have various locations or plan to relocate your business across the country, using a warehousing company with multiple locations would be a great benefit.

Available services

Depending on why you are renting a warehouse facility, you might need to look for different services. A small company that requires help with the supply chain should look for a warehouse that offers loading and packing/repacking. On the other hand, an enterprise company can afford to focus solely on warehouse size and not look for extra services. If you run an online store, you might want 24hour access to your warehouse. But, if you use your warehouse to keep your business operational, you can sustain yourself with standard work hours. Keep in mind that most warehouses cater to a specific industry, such as alcohol & beverage warehousing. So, if you are unsure what services you need, find a warehouse that already deals with companies like yours.

Another critical point to keep in mind is that most warehouses have storage restrictions and requirements. If you plan on storing flammable products, food, or hazardous chemicals, you need to find a warehouse that can safely handle them. Here, again, you will be best off if you first check out warehouses that work closely with your industry.

Available technology

The technology that the warehouse provider has can make a huge difference in its effectiveness. Ideally, the warehouse you choose should have the necessary technology to allow you to track your inventory and set up shipments easily. More and more warehouses implement automation, which makes both of these processes much more straightforward. Know that you will have to connect your warehouse to your sales team and CRM team to have proper responsivity. So, try to inquire about how to set up your software before you've chosen a warehouse.


The final point to consider when choosing a warehouse is its safety measures. It should be your top priority if you are going to use the warehouse for storing hazardous items. But, even if you aren't, you should do a thorough checkup of the safety measures that the warehouse uses. Remember to inquire about which articles will be stored next to yours. Since warehouses usually keep a large number of different items, you want to ensure that the neighboring ones don't affect yours. For instance, if you plan on storing clothing, you don't want them to be near food that can pass on the smell.

When choosing a Vancouver warehouse, it also won't hurt to go over the legal aspects of potential warehouse mishaps and get a firm understanding of who is responsible if they occur. You may even have to get third-party insurance if your items are particularly fragile and valuable.

Michael Kotendzhi is President of Operations & Transportation and a partner at 18 Wheels. Michael has over 15 years of experience and is equipped with a degree in Logistics from the University of British Columbia Sauder School of Business. As well as a background in logistics from XPO Logistics (formally Kelron Logistics), North America's largest contract warehousing provider.

Michael's experience includes supply chain management, reverse logistics, & domestic transportation. He has developed 18 Wheels' trucking solutions, effectively utilizing the sister company's vehicle fleet and building a transportation supply-chain network across North America.