Warehouse Space vs. Industrial Space - What's the Difference?

by Michael Kotendzhi | Warehousing
Warehouse Space vs. Industrial Space - What's the Difference (1)

When running a storage-oriented business, it is crucial to understand different types. The two most common ones are warehouse space and industrial space. Even though they might look the same, there are a few key differences. Let's take a look at warehouse space vs. industrial space and understand the difference between the two.

The Definition of Warehouse Space

A warehouse is the epitome of storage space. However, while a regular storage unit mainly contains boxes, a warehouse is an ample space that offers more possibilities. It needs to be organized a lot better. To run an effective and organized warehouse facility, you need to synchronize your software, machinery, and employees. That's the only way to run a smooth operation and avoid mess.

In addition to proper organization, warehouse space also provides businesses with the advantage of scalability. The vast size of a warehouse allows for future expansion and growth, accommodating increasing inventory demands and potential business expansion.

What is Industrial Space?

Although an industrial space might look like a warehouse, its primary use is entirely different. While a warehouse is used for storing boxes and managing customer shipments, industrial space is reserved for a variety of business processes:

  • manufacture;
  • assembly;
  • fabrication;
  • packaging;
  • business meetings;

An excellent way to explain industrial space is to look at it as a warehouse and office space combination. Industrial space offers the advantage of versatility. With its combination of warehouse and office functionalities, businesses can streamline their operations by having production and administrative functions in the same location. This integration can foster collaboration and efficiency among employees.

Why Should You Care About the Difference?

Since industrial space can be warehouse space, many people would think that it's not important which one you choose. This would be a huge mistake.

For example, if a company looking for warehouse space rents an industrial unit, it will pay a lot more. The price for industrial space is significantly higher. On the other hand, if a company needs industrial space but rents a warehouse, it will need to squeeze all of its operations into a smaller area. Neither of the options is a suitable solution.

By understanding the distinction between warehouse space and industrial space, businesses can make informed decisions based on their specific needs. This knowledge can help them optimize their operations and make cost-effective choices when it comes to leasing or renting the appropriate space.

Another crucial difference between the two is the location. While the warehouse location needs to be connected with all the major transit lines and be close to customers and carriers, the industrial space is often located on the city's outskirts. The property fees are lower, and there is more space in general.

Warehouse Security vs. Industrial Space Security

Another considerable difference between the two is the level of security. Running a warehouse means you need to take care of your customers' belongings. A lot of employees have access to it, and there is a lot of machinery being used. Some warehouses also grant access to their clients. When improving warehouse security, you need to think about all of the above.

Industrial space has a different level of access. In most cases, it is not allowed for customers. Furthermore, being on the city's outskirts, there is a large open space which makes it easier to monitor. On the other hand, all of the production and critical company processes happen inside. The level of security also needs to be high.

Additionally, the infrastructure and layout of industrial space often include specialized security measures such as surveillance cameras, restricted entry points, and controlled access to sensitive areas, ensuring the protection of valuable assets and intellectual property.

Can a Warehouse Be an Office Space?

The answer is yes. In fact, many companies are hunting for medium-sized storage facilities and renting them solely as office space. Because of the location, they are well connected with their clients. And, the monthly fee for a warehouse is lower than for an expensive office building. Moving a company into a warehouse is an excellent way to save some money and reduce operational costs.

This is a very creative way to build an office and have plenty of space for all employees. If you get this request from a business client, redirect them to for more information about corporate relocation. This is where they can find tips on organizing an office relocation to your warehouse with ease.

Is it Better to Rent or Buy Industrial and Warehouse Space?

All of the research so far shows that the best solution is to rent. It allows a lot more flexibility, both for the customer and the owner. Furthermore, many companies will choose to pay rent over paying the full price of the property. This is especially true for most small businesses that do not know for how long they will need the space.

Renting industrial and warehouse space allows businesses to avoid significant upfront costs associated with purchasing property. Instead of tying up capital in a property purchase, renting allows businesses to allocate those funds toward other critical areas of their operations, such as inventory, marketing, or technology upgrades. Additionally, renting provides the flexibility to adapt to changing business needs, allowing for easier expansion or relocation as the business grows or market conditions change. Overall, renting offers a more cost-effective and adaptable solution for businesses in the industrial and warehousing sector.

Key Differences Between Warehouse Space vs. Industrial Space

As you can see, there are a few significant differences between warehouse space vs. industrial space. The key takeaway is that industrial space is much better for organizing business operations, while a warehouse facility works mainly with customers.

In Summary,

Understanding the differences between warehouse space and industrial space is essential for businesses seeking the right storage and operational solutions. By considering factors such as organization, versatility, cost, location, and security, businesses can make informed decisions that align with their specific requirements, leading to more efficient operations, reduced costs, and better overall business performance.

For over 30 years, 18 Wheels Logistics has strived to be the most customer-centric trucking, warehousing, and logistics company around. Based in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, 18 Wheels relies on experience and integrity to make customers happy and remain on the cutting edge of shipping and logistics management.

If you have any questions about this article or you would like to talk to us about your shipping needs, please call us at (604) 439-8938.

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.