Co-warehousing: What to Know About Coworking + Warehousing

How co-warehousing is shaping the future of ecommerce and entrepreneurship
By Kelly K
April 17, 2024

You’re a small-scale ecommerce company looking to take the next step in your business. You’ve been working out of your house for a few months, but now the cardboard boxes are  stacked three high in the garage, and your family is wondering when they can have the spare room back.

You, my entrepreneurial friend, need a co-warehousing facility.

Coworking + warehousing, also known as co-warehousing, is a popular coworking niche that has taken North America by storm, thanks to popular venture-backed facilities like Saltbox.

The model enables small business owners to scale by providing access to warehousing facilities at an affordable price point. And with new co-warehousing businesses popping up all over the world, it’s clear this trend is here to stay.

In this article, we’re breaking down everything you need to know about co-warehousing with the help of one of our clients, Shedpoint. Shedpoint is a Calgary-based co-warehousing community dedicated to helping entrepreneurs and local businesses grow and succeed. 

Together, we’ll unpack what co-warehousing is, what the benefits are, and what the future of this way of working holds. Let’s dive in!

What is co-warehousing?

Co-warehousing is an all-inclusive shared working facility used by multiple small businesses. It typically provides office space, warehousing space, networking opportunities, and logistics services to help members operate a consumer product goods or ecommerce business.

Here is an example of some of the services and amenities provided in a typical co-warehousing facility:

  • Daily carrier pickups
  • Loading docks
  • Photo studio
  • Conference rooms
  • Accounting services
  • Legal services

Co-warehousing spaces are intended to operate as an all-in-one resource for small businesses looking to start or expand their CPG business. Instead of having to navigate logistic services and write-up contracts on their own, entrepreneurs can access these resources and more in a single space, increasing their chances of achieving business success.

Why is co-warehousing becoming more popular?


The world has been moving towards a more digital way of buying for some time now. But according to Shedpoint General Manager Jesse Brown, COVID was when things really took off.

“Covid accelerated the move online that was already happening…whether it was brick and mortar businesses doing it to survive or people who lost their jobs and opened up an Etsy shop,” explains Jesse. 

While ecommerce businesses have been popping up left and right post-pandemic, many founders lack the capital to afford their own warehouse, as well as the logistics knowledge to operate a distribution center on their own. This leaves them working out of their garage and manually shipping items via UPS.

The co-warehousing model aims to solve a lot of these problems by offering flexible, all-inclusive warehousing facilities coupled with professional-level distribution.

“This shift online and people's growing desire to buy local will drive co-warehousing growth to new heights over the coming years.”
Jesse Brown, General Manager at Shedpoint

Who uses shared warehouse spaces?

Co-warehousing is used by any company or person that manages physical goods. This includes:

  • E-commerce companies
  • Small business owners with retail distribution
  • Construction and manufacturing companies
  • Distributors

Anyone who is looking to send and receive shipments of physical goods, who doesn’t want to do it out of their house, could benefit from using a co-warehousing facility.

It is particularly beneficial for small ecommerce companies in a high-growth phase, or those who are looking to scale beyond what is possible from their home.

What are the benefits of co-warehousing?

What are the benefits of co-warehousing

Co-warehousing offers a wide range of benefits to its members including:

  • Networking opportunities
  • Access to resources like pallet jacks, loading docks, and USPS shipping supplies
  • Flexible leases
  • Affordable facilities
  • Larger spaces than one would have in their home
  • Centralized, private place to receive and send shipments

Above all, Jesse notes the biggest benefits he sees to co-warehousing is community, flexibility, and business acceleration.

“It accelerates their business faster than they ever imagined. There are numerous opportunities for economies of scale,” says Jesse. But as with coworking, the true value lies in the community.

“The community aspect is huge - people are starving for connection and collaboration, and a co-warehousing location is often where these entrepreneurs first step out of a home business.”
Jesse Brown, General Manager at Shedpoint

What is the co-warehousing business model?

The co-warehousing business model falls under the space-as-a-service or flex space category with its primary revenue driver being selling or renting space.

Here are the primary ways co-warehousing spaces make money:

  • Renting space on a month-to-month basis: this is where businesses do their packaging and store their inventory. It can range from 100s to 1000s of sq ft. 
  • Coworking memberships: most co-warehousing spaces also operate a separate, traditional coworking space that is available for members and non-members.
  • Additional services: part of the appeal of a co-warehousing facility is that it is all-inclusive. However, there may be an opportunity to charge for additional services that are outside the scope of the business, such as legal or accounting services.

It’s important to note that the overhead of co-warehousing is significantly higher than a traditional coworking business. It will require a lot more space and resources to operate a warehouse compared to a regular coworking space.

Join the We Run Flex Community for Coworking and Flex Space Leaders

Jesse also points out that general memberships and pop-ins don’t work the same way with co-warehousing as they do in an office. 

“There is a fundamental difference between coworking and co-warehousing in the sense that 90% of your floor space will be spoken for in co-warehousing due to inventory requirements,” explains Jesse. “Given that constraint, you need to be thoughtful in designing a space that is flexible and customizable for your members.” 

With that, let’s take a closer look at the similarities and differences between co-warehousing and coworking.

Co-warehousing vs coworking


You can think of co-warehousing as a coworking niche that sits under the coworking or flex space umbrella. Essentially, co-warehousing takes the coworking business model and offers additional benefits and services that appeal to those that need industrial space.

With co-warehousing, you’re still getting the flexibility and sense of community that coworking offers. However, you’re also receiving business support and services that you need to run your business.

Many co-warehousing facilities also operate a separate coworking space within the facility complete with daily drop-ins, private offices, and dedicated desk offerings. That’s why we often refer to coworking niches as coworking + – they’re offering coworking along with something new and niche.

“After a lot of market research, we knew that by bringing a similar value proposition of flexible and custom real estate options to companies that need industrial space, we could provide a launchpad for the next wave of great local businesses.”
Jesse Brown, General Manager at Shedpoint

Example of a co-warehousing membership plans

Co-warehousing plans look a little bit different than your traditional coworking membership plan.

Shedpoint offers three membership plans that resemble a traditional coworking model and three plans that include warehousing amenities.

Here is what their warehousing plans look like:

Small Warehouse Space Medium Warehouse Space Large Warehouse Space
$750/mo $1350/mo $2200/mo
12×12 sq ft 12 x 24 sq ft 24 x 24 sq ft

All plans include fulfillment and logistics services, a private and secure space, and everything included in a general membership including:

  • Photo booth
  • Fully stocked kitchen
  • Meeting room bookings
  • WiFi
  • General business support

The higher membership costs account for the additional space and services that are offered at a co warehousing facility.

Examples of co-warehousing facilities

Let’s take a look at a couple of Optix clients who are shaping what it means to be an outstanding co-warehousing facility.


Shedpoint Co-warehousing Community

Shedpoint is a Calgary based co-warehousing facility “created by young entrepreneurs, for young entrepreneurs”. Their flexible membership offerings and beautifully designed office spaces make them a desirable place for budding ecommerce businesses to get their start.

Shedpoint offers more than just a space to start a business however – they also offer a sense of community and a wide variety of services designed to support early-stage startups. This includes an on-site logistics coordinator, professional photography equipment, and a recording studio all under one roof.

“Landlords have traditionally been extractive - we aim to completely change that approach and instead focus on the success of our members' businesses over all else.”
Jesse Brown, General Manager at Shedpoint


Crate Co-warehousing

Crate is a co-warehousing facility based in Houston, Texas. They offer short-term flexible leases, suites of up to 10,000 square feet, and a number of helpful amenities including loading docks, pallet jacks, package receiving, on-site logistics, and more.

The team at Crate is committed to “enhancing service quality with our efficient storage solutions”. They also care deeply about the people that they serve, with a commitment to providing the best experience possible for their members.

These are just two co-warehousing facilities here in North America, but there are so many other incredible spaces leading the charge with this niche. If you’re looking for more co-warehousing inspiration, check out our article on the top 10 co-warehousing facilities in North America.

What does the future of co-warehousing look like?

Co-warehousing is still a relatively new concept that will continue to evolve over time. Communities like Shedpoint are leading the way in shaping what the future of co-warehousing will look like.

When asked how he sees co-warehousing evolving over time, Brown says he sees it becoming a more holistic approach to work.

“Entrepreneurs can come into a location, select from a number of modular options to build the perfect package for their business (logistics, space, fulfillment, tech, etc.), and grow within the community as they scale,” says Jesse. This is the future that he believes in, the future he is trying to build.

Co-warehousing facilities will make starting a business easier than ever, while providing business owners with the community they need to feel well supported in the process.

If you’d like to learn more about co-warehousing, check out Shedpoint’s guide to co-warehousing.

If you’re opening a new co-warehousing facility, get in touch with a member of the Optix team to find out how we can support you and your members to succeed.