How To Reduce Warehouse Costs in 2024

Whether there’s another global pandemic or a nationwide recession around the corner, reducing your current warehouse costs can help recession-proof your warehouse so your business can survive and thrive in 2024 and beyond.

We’ll look at warehousing predictions for 2024, share how you can reduce your warehouse costs — specifically through automation — and explain exactly how our automated solutions at Modula can reduce your operating expenses and set your warehouse up for profitability.

Reduce your warehouse costs with automation.

Factors That Affect Warehouse Cost

The cost of running a warehouse depends on several factors, such as location, size and storage practices. Understanding each contributing factor can help you take a deeper look at your warehouse costs to identify overspending and find methods to reduce your overhead.


Location has a significant impact on cost, due to the direct correlation of transportation expenses, accessibility to suppliers and customers, and regional variations in taxes, land prices and labor rates.

For example, warehouses closer to distribution channels can help reduce transportation costs, but may have higher land or lease costs.

High-demand areas, like those near major transportation hubs, usually have higher real estate prices, as businesses compete for the logistical benefits these areas offer, such as accessibility.


The bigger the warehouse, the higher the initial construction or lease costs.

Most bigger warehouses require more extensive infrastructure, such as complex electrical systems or plumbing, driving the initial setup expenses. Moreover, arger warehouses incur greater ongoing operational expenses, including electricity, personnel, and maintenance costs.

Storage and Handling

Specialized storage solutions can further affect operating costs, as they are equipped with advanced technology.

For example, a warehouse with climate-controlled storage will require heating cooling features, leading to higher energy consumption.


Wages and salaries represent a significant portion of operational expenses. States with higher minimum wages or labor demands can drive up labor costs, while factors like employee training can also contribute.


While more advanced solutions require higher upfront cost, they can bring a quicker return on investment and reduce costs down the road.


Implementing surveillance cameras and alarm systems, or hiring security personnel all come with associated expenses.

These costs can vary based on the sophistication of the security technology and the expertise of the security personnel.

For example, cameras with night vision or motion detection capabilities might be more expensive than basic cameras that do not have these features.


Insurance can impact warehouse costs, as it is determined by different factors, such as inventory value and the warehouse’s location.

For example, warehouses that store high-value items or hazardous materials can experience higher insurance rates due to the increased risk to the insurance company.

7 key factors of Warehouse Cost

How To Reduce Warehouse Costs in 2024

Get a head start and implement the cost-saving tactics below for profitability in 2024.

Analyze Your Warehouse Operations

Analyzing your warehouse operations can help you pinpoint inefficiencies and optimize your resource allocation and processes, leading to substantial cost savings.

Assess your warehouse operations by conducting regular audits, utilizing data-driven performance metrics, implementing a warehouse management system (WMS) and getting feedback from your employees.

Evaluate Your Transportation Costs

Gauging your transportation practices can help reduce warehouse costs, as you can negotiate better rates with freight carriers, or optimize routing and delivery schedules.

Evaluate your transportation costs by analyzing your historical shipping data, reviewing current contracts with freight carriers and tracking the frequency and accuracy of deliveries.

Maximize Space

Optimizing your warehouse space can help reduce warehouse costs, as efficient utilization reduces the need for a bigger facility and minimizes energy expenses.

Maximize space in your facility by implementing efficient warehouse storage solutions, such as vertical lift modules (VLMs), and integrating a WMS for strategic product placement — for example, placing high-turnover items closer to shipping areas to minimize retrieval times.

Practice Cross Docking

Cross docking is the practice of moving products directly from a manufacturer or supplier to a retail chain or customer. Using inbound and outbound docks, products are received, then immediately transferred to trucks for delivery.

Cross docking can help reduce warehouse costs, as it eliminates the middleman and in turn, minimizes the need for extra storage space and reduces the handling of goods.

To practice cross docking, utilize logistics software to track shipments in real-time and predict arrival and departure schedules. Then, designate specific zones within your warehouse for inbound and outbound activities to optimize the flow of goods.

Buy Used Containers

When it comes to shipping or storing your inventory, opt for used containers. Whether pallets, bins, baskets, trays, totes or others, this may be one of the easiest cost-saving tips in the warehousing industry.

Utilize the Benchmarking Technique

Benchmarking is a technique used to compare your key performance indicators (KPIs) against other warehouses in your industry, to determine how you can improve warehouse management in your facility.

To utilize the benchmarking technique, identify warehouse KPIs, such as inventory turnover and order accuracy, that are most relevant to your warehouse operations.

Then, collect data from warehouses in your industry through industry reports or surveys and analyze the differences and similarities between your warehouse’s performance and the benchmarks.

Protect Your Inventory

Key factors in financial loss when it comes to inventory include stock damage and theft — both internal or external.

If you’re not actively protecting your inventory, you’re risking financial loss.

Hire security guards, install cameras and restrict access to areas that hold your most valuable inventory. In addition, train your employees to properly handle inventory to help reduce accidental inventory damage.

Restrict access to storage areas that contain your high value inventory, to help prevent theft to reduce your warehouse costs
Restrict access to storage areas that contain your high value inventory, to help prevent theft

Maximize Your Equipment

Maximizing your equipment means making sure it is running at 100% utilization.

To make the most of your equipment:

  • Use predictive maintenance to monitor your equipment
  • Track how long each machine is in use or idle to reduce unnecessary wear and tear
  • Set up a maintenance schedule for each piece of equipment based on its age and condition so that it is serviced at least once a year

Cut Down on Energy Costs

Whether for electricity, gas or heat, the total cost of energy can be substantial.

To cut down on your energy costs, improve your warehouse insulation, install solar panels and upgrade older equipment with newer models that consume less power — for example, use VLMs instead of outdated vertical carousels.

Identify the methods that will prove most cost-effective for your warehouse, and make the changes needed to reap the benefits down the road.

Implement Warehouse Automation

Warehouse automation can help reduce warehouse costs in the long term, as it minimizes human error, increases efficiency and reduces costly product damage.

Implement automated warehouse solutions such as conveyor belts, warehouse robotics and automated storage and retrieval systems (AS/RS) to reduce your warehouse costs for 2024.

The Benefits of Reducing Warehouse Costs Through Automation

Automated solutions can help drastically reduce your warehouse costs. The benefits of automation include:

Warehouse Kitting: save space

Optimized Space

Bulky warehouse storage systems such as standard static shelving and pallet racks can take up precious space in your warehouse.

Automated storage solutions can help you make use of every inch of your warehouse’s floor space by maximizing your storage density. In addition, automated storage solutions eliminate the footprint required by static shelving and pallet racks, to improve your operational efficiency.

As a result, you won’t need to move into a bigger warehouse if your business grows — you can save money by remaining in your current facility while effectively storing more items

Improve inventory control Icon

Improved Inventory Visibility

Scheduling your operations based on unclear or inaccurate forecasts can easily lead to some of the most significant waste, such as excessive inventory, resources and movement costs.

A WMS can manage the flow of inventory from the time it is received until it is shipped, and improve visibility over your inventory levels by providing reports on supply chain metrics such as:

  • Stock on hand
  • Stock outs
  • Cost of goods sold
Slotting - Safety in warehouse

Reduced Labor Dependency

Picking is considered one of the most tedious and costly warehouse processes in a manual warehouse.

One solution to reduce labor dependency and cut warehouse costs is to automate repetitive processes.

Automated picking solutions can help by delivering items to your warehouse picker, eliminating the travel time spent walking from one pick location to another. This dramatically improves productivity across your warehouse, making it possible to do more with less manpower.

Minimized Workplace Accidents

Just like any other workplace, warehouse employees are prone to potential accidents, including falls and overexertion.

If you’re not protecting your employees from workplace accidents, you risk higher rates of injuries and absenteeism — both of which are costly scenarios.

Automated systems like vertical lift modules and horizontal carousels can help create a safe working environment for your employees, reducing injuries, downtime and workers’ comp payouts.

From falls to overexertion, automation can help reduce warehouse accidents
From falls to overexertion, automation can help reduce warehouse accidents

Reduce Your Warehouse Costs with Modula’s Automated Solutions 

As the leading provider of advanced storage solutions and inventory management systems, we offer state-of-the-art innovations to help you reduce warehouse costs and set up your business profitability for years to come.

Our automated solutions at Modula include:

1. Modula Vertical Lift Modules 

Make use of your existing warehouse space by utilizing every inch of your available ceiling height.

Modula vertical lift modules come in three models: 

  • Modula Lift: Boost efficiency, picking speeds and accuracy by up to 90% with our most popular vertical lift module.
  • Modula Slim: Leverage the same innovation as the Modula Lift, but in a more compact design. Ideal for smaller warehouses.
  • Modula OnePick: Completely automate your processes with the Modula OnePick. Ideal for facilities that require full automation, such as eCommerce warehouses.
Modula vertical lift modules to reduce your warehouse costs
Modula vertical lift modules take advantage of your available ceiling height

Optimize your warehouse storage space.

Vertical Lift Module

2. Modula Horizontal Carousel

Working with limited ceiling height? You can count on our Modula horizontal carousels

The Modula HC allows you to save space, boost throughput, reduce labor costs, and store and retrieve items as needed with minimal labor.

The horizontal carousel consists of carriers (bins), which are mounted on an oval track that rotates horizontally and delivers stored goods to the picker.

Each shelf can be divided into totes, bins, and partitions to create an efficient and well-organized storage space. Modula HCs are commonly used in warehouses and distribution centers for their ability to quickly handle large quantities of inventory.

When seasonal demands arise, you can boost your picking accuracy by up to 99% with barcode readers and Put to Light Systems (more on this below!)

Check out our horizontal carousel in action in the video below!

MODULA HC: the New Horizontal Carousel for Efficient Picking 

3. Modula Order Picking Solutions 

Are your picking operations quick enough to meet challenging consumer demands? Save time and money with Modula order picking solutions.

Our automated warehouse picking solutions allow your operators to simultaneously fulfill multiple orders.

Modula Order Picking Solutions to reduce warehouse costs
Easily transfer inventory within your warehouse with Modula’s order picking solutions

Our automated warehouse picking solutions allow your operators to simultaneously fulfill multiple orders.

Our Modula Warehouse Order Picking Solutions include:

4. Autonomous Mobile Robots

Need an extra hand with order fulfillment when demand spikes? Look no further than Modula autonomous mobile robots (AMRs).

Check out our AMRs in action in the video below!

Modula & MiR: automatic storage systems and autonomous mobile robots. How do they work together? 

Autonomous mobile robots allow you to: 

  • Automate time-consuming tasks so your warehouse operators can focus on more value-added work that requires human intervention
  • Increase accuracy and productivity to fulfill more orders in less time
  • Balance the uptick in demand during fluctuating and peak seasons
  • Adapt to evolving needs without requiring structural modifications
  • Optimize inventory management when integrated with Modula’s warehouse management system

(Interested in learning more about AMRs? Check out our guide to autonomous mobile robots!) 

5. Modula Warehouse Management Systems

Gain inventory control and visibility to prevent dead stock and overstock with Modula warehouse management systems.

Modula WMS is a comprehensive warehouse management software that improves the accuracy, efficiency, and visibility of all operations.

It integrates with Modula vertical lift modules and any local ERP systems to provide a complete warehouse solution.

This allows you to store and manage your data in a centrally located, easy-to-manage system. Thanks to its scalability, it can grow with your business as your warehousing needs change over time.

Modula warehouse management solutions allow you to:

  • Accurately pick and replenish your warehouse inventory
  • Gain better control over inventory management, preventive maintenance and material handling
  • Prevent potential employee theft and unauthorized access with next-level security and identity systems
  • Operate in batch and multi-order modes

Gain complete visibility over your inventory.

Modula WMS

Reducing your warehouse costs through automation can help you prepare for even the most unexpected situations that might lie ahead.

At Modula, our automated solutions are designed to help you streamline operations and reduce costs throughout the warehouse, from storage to picking and beyond.

Automate your warehouse operations with Modula.