Does Costco have its own distribution center?

In this brief article, we will answer the question, “Where does Costco have its own distribution centers?” and provide information on what exactly is a distribution center, the importance of a distribution center, how these centers work, and whether you can directly order from them.

Where does Costco have its own distribution centers?

Costco has its own distribution centers in Florida, Texas, New Jersey, California, etc. Costco centers are present in Illinois and Turkey too. 

They have around 604 distribution centers present all around the world. Costco’s distribution centers are helping them to reduce shipping costs.

In the United States, there are more than 10 Costco depots present. These are present in Mira Loma, West Palm Beach, Tracy, Atlanta, Morris, Dallas, Monrovia, Laredo, Saltlake City, Monroe Township, and Sumner. 

One of the biggest distribution centers of Costco is located in Salt Lake city. The smallest center is found in Juneau, Alaska.

Costco also has wet and dry distribution centers though the latter is more common. Dry distribution centers store their products inside a room or building whereas wet distribution centers keep them outside. 

What is exactly a distribution center?

A distribution center is a place or building wherein goods are temporarily kept. Distribution centers that deal with perishable goods (meat, fish) can have refrigeration or air conditioning facilities.

It is considered similar to a warehouse wherein products are kept and later transported to markets or stores. 

What is the importance of having distribution centers?

Distribution centers help in keeping a stock of products. Products are sometimes directly transported to customers through distribution centers.

In the case of Costco, products kept in distribution centers are transported to Costo stores. Distribution centers would temporarily hold products before they are shipped or transported. 

The flow of goods is also faster as goods are either consumed or transported and not kept for a long time in distribution centers. 

If there are bulky goods that need to be transported, they can be stored in distribution centers and broken down into smaller bulks before transporting them. 

The distribution center can also handle canceled and defective goods. Canceled or defective goods arrive at distribution centers and then are shipped back to manufacturers.

Distribution centers are pretty efficient too. The cost to maintain them is lesser and it is easier to prepare for delivery. It is convenient for customers as well. Customers can buy small quantities of products directly from distribution centers. 

How do Costco distribution centers work?

An unloader carries the shipped items and unloads these items. The receiver proceeds to check these items and simultaneously mark them on their inventory list. An inventory gun is used to shoot these items.

After the receiver has finished checking these items, the hauler will move these items into the distribution center using a forklift. The put-away driver shoots these products using an inventory gun again and then these products are directed to pallet racks.

The replenishment driver will take pallets from pallet racks. The products are then taken into an area wherein orders are taken. An order filler will start grouping the pallets (brought by replenishment drivers) based on retail stores wherein these products have to be delivered. 

A loader takes away the products and checks the orders. The products are then delivered to retail stores through trucks.

Can you order directly from Costco distribution centers?

Some products can be ordered directly from Costco distribution centers. You will have to then go to this center to collect your order.

Once you obtain your order, it will be notified on the product section of Costco’s website. You can also ship Costco items directly to your home address. If the items have not been shipped, you can contact their customer service.

Costco can ship only in locations within Canada and the US. It cannot ship to international addresses. 

What is the delivery charge for Costco products?

The delivery charge for Costco products would be a minimum of 75 dollars. This can vary depending on the number of items that you have ordered. Products that take 2 days to deliver can have additional delivery charges too.

Are there disadvantages to having a distribution center?

Yes, there can be some disadvantages to having a distribution center. There can be a loss of revenue for the manufacturer. This is because manufacturers have to sell products to resellers at a lower price.

The manufacturer might not be able to directly communicate to their customers either. Communicating with customers and understanding product deficits can help in improving sales.


In this brief article, we have answered the question, “Does Costco have its own distribution center?” and provided information on what exactly is a distribution center, the importance of a distribution center, how these centers work, and whether you can directly order from them.


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