Advantages of Pallet Racking to Maximise Warehouse Storage Solutions

No matter what size of business you run, whether it is a small distribution centre or a chain of warehouses, there is one core goal that it is important never to lose sight of –  keeping your customers satisfied.

Keeping Customers Happy in 2018

No matter what changes you are planning, in 2018, whether you are rolling out a new sales channel or adding more services, it’s important that these changes are implemented without affecting your customers.

In the same way, industry demands and government legislations can all affect your physical and operational processes, but it’s important that they don’t affect your ability to deliver in a timely and efficient manner for your customers.

The most frequent change in any warehouse revolves around storage and space constraints, product handling equipment and methods, and picking methods.

Finding the right solutions for the goods you carry can be quite a task, because of the ever-changing types of cargo that can pass through your warehouse, and getting the storage methods right and efficient is a vitally important cog in maintaining customer satisfaction.

Your warehouse storage methods fall into four main categories: bulk storage, pallet racking, shelving, and carton flow.

1.Bulk Storage Solutions

Bulk storage is the most basic form of warehouse storage. It involves using the warehouse floor as the storage medium. No racks, partitions or boxes are used.

The best form of organisation when using this system, is segmenting of freight by size. Freight is stored on pallets in rows and can also be stacked, depending on the product.

Bulk storage is a cost effective method of warehouse storage, but it offers a very low space utilisation. It also increases the potential of product damage if freight is stacked in an indiscriminate manner.

2. Carton Flow

One step up from floor stacked, bulk storage is the Carton Flow. Use of this method is dependent on the available floor space and the consistency of products in terms of size and weight.

The size and bulk of stored freight is the key to deciding what type of carton flow will be used. The major types are:

  • The wheel track which can be easily expanded/lengthened if your product mix changes. The downside of this option is that, over time, the wheels can bind and eventually lock, halting product flow.
  • The full width roller is a popular option if retrofit is required. It is easier to install, but cannot be altered once fixed in place.

3. Shelving

This is the preferred storage medium when freight is smaller – usually consisting of cartons, boxes and bins that are under 2m square.

There are two main types of shelving for warehouses:

  • Wide Span shelving used where the materials are loose or can be stored in industrial tote bags. These shelves are usually stocked and emptied by hand, rather than with machinery or lift trucks.
  • Industrial shelving is used where there are multiple levels in the shelving, while still maintaining a small footprint. These can be open or have shelves and bins built in. It is built to store even smaller items than wide span shelving.

4. Pallet Racking

The upright frames and horizontal beams of most pallet racks are unmistakable in a warehouse. They are most common storage option, and offer the most flexibility.

There are four main types all of which have different advantages for a business:

  • Drive-In Racking – Multi level system of racks for multiple levels of storage. Installed in a way that forklifts can drive in to store or retrieve goods, using a FIFO or LIFO sequence. Mainly used in industries where square foot costs are higher.
  • Single or Double Deep Racking – The most common racking available. Easy to set up, with best space utilisation of all storage options. To take full advantage usually requires specialised reach trucks.
  • Cantilever Racking – Used for storing very long and rigid products. Goods must be stored in clear order and are better supported on arms rather than beams.
  • Pushback Racking – This involves the use of carts that can be stacked up to 6 deep. The slight decline toward the front beam allows the carts to roll out as the one in front is retrieved.

Which Storage Option for Your Business?

Warehouse storage options vary but with pallet racking provides the best ROI. Other advantages include:

  • Numerous options to fit specific needs
  • Initial installation costs balanced by long term savings.
  • Total stock control, as there is one pallet per space.
  • Easily expanded by addition of extra beams.
  • Offers a high storage density.

Choosing the best type of racking for your warehouse will depend on a number of factors, including your floor space and type of freight you handle. While you can mix and match some of the storage options, most warehouses can do well enough with standard pallet racking.

If you are buying new or used pallet racking, contact Monarch Shelving Ltd. for expert advice on choosing and installing the right storage solution to match your needs.

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Monarch Shelving Ltd
Unit F,Daltry Street, Oldham, Lancashire, United KingdomOL1 4AB
Tel: 0161 627 3444 or 0161 622 0022 | Fax: 01706 880520