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What is the Average Warehouse?

Government data tells us that the average warehouse is 17,400 square feet and was built after 1980

assembly line

Warehouse and storage buildings are used to store goods, manufactured products, merchandise, and raw materials. What does the typical warehouse look like? How does yours compare?

Here are some statistics from the United States Energy Information Administration:

Warehouse size

The public tends to think of warehouses as large buildings. In reality most warehouses are relatively small. Forty-four percent were between 1,001 and 5,000 square feet, and seventy percent were less than 10,000 square feet.

If you're operating in a warehouse more than 50,000 square feet, you're in the minority. Only a few exceed 100,000 square feet vs. the bulk of smaller warehousing facilities. (The data is a bit skewed because they count the smallest "warehouse" facilities such as parts rooms at a car repair shop and personal storage units).

Only about 1,000 warehouses were over 500,000 square feet, on a sample of 600,000 facilities.

Lots of (relatively) newer buildings

People tend to build new warehouses rather than refurbish older ones. The "why" of that is up to speculation, but it's easy to understand that many companies can't get what they need in terms of placement, power, access, layout, or other factors in existing locations. They may build new because it yields a more efficient operation for the long term. Twenty-five percent of warehouses have been built since the 1990s and almost half have been constructed since 1980. The median age of a warehouse seemed to be about 24 years.