Maximizing floor space is a constant challenge for warehouse managers. Businesses are always looking for ways to increase storage while keeping operational costs low. Although many facilities view warehouse storage as two-dimensional floor space, pallet racking systems enable businesses to maximize warehouse space vertically.
Businesses create a larger available area on the warehouse floor by using vertical space. This can improve workflow, open up forklift routes, improve product visibility, and contribute to a more efficient facility. It may also mean businesses don’t need to outsource certain fulfillment tasks or invest in a costly property expansion.
If you’re looking for a cost-effective way to save warehouse space, consider upgrading to a pallet racking system designed for vertical storage. At Shelving + Rack Systems, Inc., we provide various racking systems that help your business build upward, improving space utilization and inventory management.
Benefits of Vertical Storage
Vertical storage solutions are beneficial in multiple ways:
Increases floor space
One of the main benefits of a vertical warehouse storage system is the increased floor space. Stacking pallet racks vertically on top of each other not only allocates more storage space but also opens up floor space. This gives staff more room to navigate the warehouse on foot or using forklifts, creating faster and more efficient picking, retrieval, and fulfillment operations.
Increased floor space also decreases clutter. Clutter negatively impacts warehouses by reducing product visibility, increasing the number of trip hazards, and lowering staff productivity levels. Clutter also poses a safety risk for forklift operators, making warehouse navigation more difficult.
Excess inventory without adequate storage space often leads to overloading. The items being stored weigh more than the recommended load capacity. Overloading places excessive stress on the beams, shelves, and supporting components, jeopardizing the structural integrity of the racking system.
A compromised pallet racking system is susceptible to collapse, particularly if it comes into contact with warehouse machinery.
Improves storage organization
Storage organization is crucial to ensure an efficient and productive warehouse facility. Vertical storage systems are designed to organize and hold specific types of products efficiently. For example, drive-in racking is designed for storing large volumes of high-density goods. It enables easy forklift access from one side for a speedy retrieval process.
Choosing the right type of vertical racking can help optimize your warehouse to facilitate faster and more efficient operations. This results in speedier material handling, efficient order processing, and timely deliveries. All these elements combined can improve the organization’s bottom line.
A more organized warehouse also reduces picking errors and can prevent accidental damage. Vertical storage can dramatically improve the fulfillment process for a warehouse and distribution center.
Improves warehouse safety
Warehouse safety must be prioritized by management. Since workers deal with material handling equipment and heavy-duty goods daily, warehouses present significant safety hazards. Multiple fatalities occur in the U.S. warehousing and storage sector every year.
By using space more efficiently, vertical storage creates a safer environment for workers, free of clutter, overloaded racks, and trip hazards. However, it’s important that all pallet racking is installed correctly to ensure safety according to OSHA guidelines. Poorly secured vertical storage racks may be more dangerous than floor-based storage.
Vertical Storage Options
There are several different vertical storage options, with some types being more beneficial for specific classifications of products. At Shelving + Rack Systems, Inc., we provide high-quality new and used vertical storage options, ensuring you have an efficient system for your warehouse. Some of the most effective pallet racking we supply include:
Cantilever racking is a vertical storage option designed to store large, bulky items. Lumber products, furniture, metal tubing, and piping are difficult to store due to their irregular shape and weight. Cantilever racking systems enable space-efficient storage of these items by using vertical space.
Cantilever racks are assembled using two uprights that slot into baseplates. These components form the frame which anchors the system to the ground. Arms and sway braces attach to the uprights, creating a stable base for the shelving units. This type of rack is easily accessible using a forklift.
At Shelving + Rack Systems, Inc., we provide several different cantilever options. We stock all-welded racks along with standard, medium to heavy-duty cantilever racks. These are durable storage options manufactured using powder-coated steel. Each level has a load capacity of 1,500 lbs., ensuring it can support large items, such as bar stock or tubing.
Drive-in racking is a high-density storage option. It is one of the most space-efficient solutions for similar or identical goods. Drive-in racks are designed to organize inventory vertically and into several deep pallets. The racks are wide enough for a single forklift to drive through, which is an ideal option for a last-in-first-out (LIFO) inventory management system.
As a high-density system, drive-in racks can be very cost-effective. However, with limited space for forklift access, protective equipment is necessary. Invest in guard rails, column protectors, and aisle tape to help prevent accidental collisions between forklifts and rack beams.
Our end-of-aisle rack guards are manufactured from heavy-duty, powder-coated steel, providing solid protection to rack upright legs. They came in different sizes, ensuring you can find a guard to fit your rack system.
Our guide rails help direct forklift operators through the aisles without colliding with beams. The standard models are ⅜” thick with a 3” x 4” angle. They are coated in yellow safety paint; however, you can order them in blue, gray, black, and orange if you prefer.
Selective pallet racking
Selective racking is often referred to as standard racking due to its popularity and versatility. Selective pallet racking consists of dual uprights that hold horizontal beams for easy storage and retrieval. Selective racks feature an open design, enabling forklift access from the front or the back of the aisle.
Selective pallet racking is versatile and customizable, making installing, servicing, and reconfiguring your system quick and easy. Single selective pallet racking is one of the most common configurations, making it an excellent option for low-density storage in warehouses or distribution centers with a high turnover.
We provide individual storage equipment components, enabling warehouse management to create custom racking designed specifically for their premises. Our FastRak uprights have a capacity of up to 7,000 lbs.
We also supply corresponding footplates that anchor the uprights to the floor for improved stability. These can be easily attached to concrete or other epoxy flooring materials.
Determine Your Vertical Storage Needs Today
At Shelving + Rack Systems, Inc., we are more than an equipment supplier. We provide comprehensive services that help with designing and planning, equipment procurement, assembly, installation, and integration.
To discuss your options in more detail or speak to a project manager about automated storage like vertical carousels or a custom storage solution, call us at (800) 589-7225.