Richmond’s Warehowz recently entered a partnership with Nexterus, a Pennsylvania third-party logistics company, to help its customers find excess warehouse space. It’s part of a strategic shift for the local company, connecting transport firms with its on-demand warehousing services.

Warehowz contracts a network of 2,500 warehouses across the country. It helps shippers find excess warehouse space for short-term warehouse rentals.


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“I like to say we are the Airbnb of warehousing,” Chief Revenue Officer Rich Oprison said.

When Warehowz first started, it tried to identify companies that shipped products, but Oprison said the process was challenging. A huge number of companies ship their products, and identifying the decision-makers proved difficult.

“It’s a real problem when we try to go direct,” he said. “For us to go find those, it’s like finding a needle in a haystack.”

That created the shift in strategy. Warehowz has begun working with a small network of shipping and logistics firms, called third-party logistics companies, or 3PLs. These are organizations that help companies move products from one place to another. A large company like Amazon or Walmart conducts shipping and logistics internally, but most companies need help finding trucks and managing logistics.

The 3PLs also have clients with warehouse needs, and Warehowz has been working with these companies to funnel business to its own network.

Oprison said Nexterus taps into a new market for the company. It focuses on shipping products for small- and medium-sized businesses. Warehowz is teaching the Nexterus sales staff to ask its clients about warehouse space needs. Oprison said it is a new way of thinking for Nexterus and the industry as a whole, because 3PL salespeople often only worry about transportation.

He said the line of business has been fruitful and that the 3PLs have tapped into a new set of customers for Warehowz.

“Our 3PLs have brought us everything from pizzas to caskets,” Oprison said. “We actually have a company called Titan Caskets, which is online caskets.”

The 3PLs all approach the relationship differently. Some of the partners are marking up the service and selling it. Others just refer customers directly to Warehowz. And some do not mark up the price but do it as an added service to the customer.

Oprison said tapping into the logistics industry has been positive, but it is too early for the company to specialize in a particular area. Warehowz tells the 3PLs to refer every customer who expresses a need. But the company has started to see a pattern — large construction projects and e-commerce companies work well for the platform. The needs of these types of customers are large enough for a warehouse to be interested in leasing space, and they have an ongoing need for temporary warehouse space.

Oprison said his company does not have enough data to draw larger conclusions, but he foresees a time when Warehowz will make that data available to 3PLs. That way they can target the types of customers best suited for the platform.

“It’s a newer angle for us to find business,” Oprison said. “It’s sitting right under our nose.”

The company has raised $9.7 million to date, according to PitchBook, including an in-progress $2.5 million round of venture capital.