When it comes to warehouse shelving and storage, pallet racking ranks as the number one storage system. So, what exactly is pallet racking? Well, pallet racking is a storage system developed with the use of pallets (skids) to store and manage inventory in the most efficient manner. Pallet racking is a highly customisable system and provides warehouse operators with a lot of flexibility when it comes to storage. There are a lot of different varieties of selective racking, each designed to meet specific storage needs.
If you are looking for a way to optimise space in your warehouse, then pallet racking is the way to go. Here’s a list of ways in which you can use pallet racking to maximise storage space.
Pick and Choose the Right Pallets for Your Needs
One of the biggest mistakes that many store operators make is to invest in the wrong type of pallet. There are a variety of different pallets available in the market. Each one is designed to meet a particular need and, when correctly used, pallets can double your warehouse’s storage space. But conversely, when utilised in a wrong way, pallet racking can fail to provide impressive results. So the first step is to determine which type of pallets you should invest in and develop a storage system that is efficient. For instance, standard pallet racks are the ideal choice when dealing with high turnover and a huge variety of products. Choose the best material racks to avoid any future issues related to corrosion, etc. Where considering FIFO (First In First Out), a pallet flow rack will work well. Pallet flow racks can be loaded from one end and unloaded from the other end. Typically, the first pallet loaded will also be the first pallet to be unloaded, making it the perfect choice for FIFO requirements.
Invest in A Partial Pallet Storage System
Depending on your warehouse operations and inventory, a partial pallet storage system could be just what you need to optimise storage space. Having a partial pallet system has its advantages. It helps clear up floor space and ensures that pickers and replenishers have quick and easy access to products. This, in turn, means better productivity and faster operations. Having an area dedicated to partial pallets, where you store all your fast-moving products can help smoothen out your everyday warehouse operations and help you make some changes to your warehouse storage system without having to invest time and money in a complete overhaul.
One of the quickest and easiest ways to increase storage space is to maximise your vertical storage capacity. A good rule of thumb is to use around eighty percent of the available vertical space. Making use of the available vertical space will lead to more cleared up floor space, which can then be utilised for other purposes (including stocking additional inventory). Better use of vertical space will also help in reducing the distance travelled by pickers and replenishers which can be a huge advantage in warehouse operations. Also, when inventory is not spread out over vast floor space, the need for more lighting and climate control system decreases, which in turn leads to lower electricity bills. That’s always a plus!
An often-overlooked area when it comes to storage is the space between aisles. While you need floor space between aisles to access inventory and navigate through the warehouse, the space overhead can be used to store more inventory which is where the tunnel rack system comes into play. It makes use of the overhead space between aisles and provides you with almost ten percent increase in storage space, which is an impressive amount when it comes to warehousing where profit margins are small, and every little bit counts. The bottom of the tunnel rack should be just above clearance space to let vehicles move through the aisles without any hurdles.
Narrow-Aisle Pallet Rack
Narrow-aisle pallet racks are, as the name suggests, pallet racks with narrow aisles between them. Using these pallet racks clears up floor space and helps maximise the height at which inventory stacks. But be warned that decreased aisle width means slower operations as pickers and replenishers will need to navigate through the aisles carefully, taking more time to access stock. Also, usage of special forklifts and vehicles as a narrow-aisle will not fit traditional vehicles. Whether a narrow aisle pallet rack is for you depends on the payoff. What is more important to you? Increased storage capacity with FIFO accessibility or faster operations? If the answer is to maximise storage capacity, then you might want to consider this pallet racking option for your warehouse.
If you want your room to operate to its fullest possible capacity and efficiency, then you need to ensure that you spend time and effort in continuous improvement which involves analysing your WMS—Warehouse Management System—to figure out the ways in which you can increase your productivity. There are still many innovations taking place around this industry and going our lives even more easy. Depending on your inventory and the changing needs of your business, you can find new ways in which to improve your warehouse’s storage capacity. And pallet racking, being a highly flexible and customizable system, makes continuous improvement a very easy process to achieve. You can re-assemble your pallet racks, dismantle racks that are not required and do various other things to ensure that your warehouse is functioning at its optimal level at any given point in time.
There is a reason why pallet racking has taken over the warehouse and manufacturing facilities as the number one storage system. In this fast-paced world of changing needs and preferences, having a flexible shelving system can be an adamant advantage. While traditional shelving systems can turn obsolete and stop meeting our needs, pallet racks can be re-assembled any number of times to meet our requirements. Having such a flexible storage system means that you can make full use of every inch of available space in your warehouse. With so many types of pallet racks at your disposal, building the most efficient storage system that leads to smooth operations and higher profit is now a reality.