What is storage?

means stocking a large quantity of merchandise in one place. is defined as the act of keeping materials or merchandise for a set amount of time in a place that meets the right safety regulations.

is a key stage of management. This concerns all flows and product stocks, resources, supplies, equipment, etc. In addition to planning, manufacture and transport, must be carefully thought-out. conditions guarantee the goods remain in suitable condition and last long enough, and make handling and final product distribution easier for agents. Storing a large number of goods in a warehouse generally calls for pallet racking (pallet area) and a forklift to access the highest shelves.

Specificities of storage

concerns a wide array of professionals and private individuals. The main lines of business concerned with are:

  • Raw material producers;

  • Packing material producers;

  • Producers of finished and semi-finished products aimed for consumption;

  • Distribution companies;

  • Manufacturing workshops and;

  • Departments that manage spare parts and after-sales.

Warehouses have evolved, and are increasingly being relocated to the outskirts of big cities - given their massive size. Certain products are sometimes stored for several weeks, or even months, in chambers and central purchasing centers. Warehouse equipment has been modernized, allowing for improved merchandise management. Furthermore, the private market has also opened up to . Whether for moving houses, construction work or renovation, lots of consumers need freely-accessible space to store their possessions.

Examples and practical applications

Not everyone can handle - which is different from simply putting a small number of objects in a cellar or garage. Professional is subject to a number of regulations, mostly aiming to ensure user safety and proper product packaging. Below are the main measures to be complied with:

  • An operating authorization must be delivered depending on the type of merchandise stored, and how close it is to residential areas, public buildings and waterways;

  • A circulation route for motorized vehicles must be defined all around the warehouse;

  • Emergency exits and a map of the area must be available;

  • Minimum and maximum cell sizes must be complied with: at least one meter high, no more than 1,600 square meters in surface area, and no more than 60 meters in length to limit fire hazards;

  • Warehouses of more than 3,000 square meters must be fitted with an automatic fire detection system; those spread out over more than 50,000 square meters must have a comprehensive fire-fighting plan;

  • The warehouse’s ventilation and flooring water tightness must be ensured, to prevent air and water pollution;

  • Electric lighting alone is authorized;

  • Heating systems must have an outdoor control unit.

Storage in figures

Below are the figures for France, for 2015:

  • 11.2 thousand companies offering services

  • 77.2 billion euros in turnover, ex-tax

  • 14.5 billion euros in turnover for export

  • 270,9 thousand full-time employees working in

Regulatory cornerstones

  • Decree dated 17 August 2016 pertaining to the prevention of incidents in covered warehouses

  • Law on health and safety at work, articles 70 to 100

  • Safety Code stipulated in the Building Law