Undoubtedly one of the most significant challenges for any warehouse facility is increasing their storage areas. Distribution centers need fast-moving environments, and warehouse managers need to ensure they have stored goods where they are easily accessible. Employees can make sure orders are sent to customers as quickly as possible.
There are many storage solutions available, and you can utilize different types in the same warehouse. Each design has their own advantages and disadvantages and managers need to ensure they choose the right ones to help improve efficiency.
Carton Flow Racks
These racks work like a conveyor belt. An employee puts the item on at one end, and a colleague takes it off at the other. The system is modular, so managers can build them to fit around their existing warehouse layout.
Carton flow racks save time by quickly transporting goods from one location to another without an employee having to walk the item across the floor. They are a very safe method of material handling as the system moves heavy items, rather than staff needing to carry them.
These types of racking systems allow access to each pallet stored, without having to move any others out of the way. Managers often choose this racking as the accessibility helps with efficiency. While they are a common choice, they do require more space than some other options.
If storage space is a priority, then a selective pallet rack may not be the best option, and you may be better off with a high-density storage system.
Double-Deep High-Density Storage
One such system is a double-deep pallet rack. These frames can accommodate two pallets deep, helping managers to eliminate unnecessary aisles. While there is an advantage in saving space, most forklifts can only work with a single deep pallet rack. You can also build these frames up vertically to take advantage of the space between floor and ceiling.
This issue means you need to remove the front pallet and then the second pallet or invest in a forklift with telescopic arms to lift both pallets at the same time.
Each warehouse manager will have their priorities and can decide for themselves if double-deep racking is a good investment.
Another type of high-density storage is a drive-in racking system. Pallets are stacked in tightly, eliminating the need for extra aisles. Pallets can be placed directly in the frames, or the structures can also be supported with wire decking.
As the name suggests, the forklift driver maneuvers in between the steel frames, and removes the pallet. This system works on a first-in-last-off basis, and so organization is paramount.
As these frames fit very close together to save space, the drivers need to be very careful not to damage the structures when loading or unloading. It’s essential to carry out a maintenance schedule and report any damage so you can ensure the frames remain in good condition.
Push Back Racking
Another type of high-density storage racking is a push back rack. Working on a first-in-last-off basis, the forklift driver places the pallet on to a cart, which itself is sitting on inclined rails.
Gravity then moves the stretcher towards the back of the rack. Usually holding two-six pallets deep, these racks are an excellent choice when space is at a premium. Known as a pallet flow rack, they move pallets gently on the rails to minimize the risk of damage to your goods.
For heavy-duty materials, look no further than a cantilever racking system. Often used to hold heavy industrial materials such as structural steel or timber, these structures are robust. The supporting arms extend out from the vertical frame, and forklift drivers can load their goods on to the frames.
While these racks are capable of holding substantial weights, they are also straightforward to construct. As they are modular, you can choose how many frames you need, and then build up vertically to maximize storage space.
Warehouse managers will always need more floor space. At Shelving+Rack Supply, Inc., we have a wide range of pallet racking systems available to meet almost any workspace need.
Contact us today for advice on choosing the storage rack or pallet racking system to transform and maximize your warehouse floor space.