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What type of racking is best for your warehouse?

Posted by Marianne
March 25, 2014 in Features

The type of shelving that you choose for your storage space will depend on the goods that are stored there, as well as the method by which they are moved into and out of the building.

From a safety point of view, it is often wise to choose a racking system that is strong enough to support the heaviest load that your company stores. That way, if a pallet load is placed in any location on the racking, it will be safe even if an error occurs.

Most racking systems are constructed using a strong material, such as steel, and can be obtained in a variety of sizes and designs to suit the way that you utilise your warehouse.

It is vital to consider the way in that different racking systems affect access to your goods. If you need to be able to get hold of all of your products at all times, then this will limit the system that you can use. Even if you only require access to a proportion of your goods at any time, it is important to choose a system that will prevent items from becoming ‘buried’, as the extra time required to reach them will reduce efficiency.

Wide or narrow aisles

Forklift trucks are commonly used in warehouses to move goods around and the type of lifter that you use will affect your choice of racking system.

What is known as narrow aisle racking creates warehouse lanes that are around half as wide as standard aisles. When using this type of racking you will need special forklifts that operate along guidance systems. These mechanisms speed up the lifters operations and reduce the risk of damage to racking. Having narrower aisles also gives you the advantage that more goods can be fitted into the available warehouse space.

Drive in racking

If your business tends to store large numbers of the same kind of product, then you might find that drive in storage meets your needs.

Drive in pallet racking enables items to be stored at significant heights. The pallet loads are kept on rails and forklift trucks are used to retrieve them. This kind of warehouse racking has a storage capacity that is around 60 to 80 percent greater than that of standard aisle shelving.

Double deep racking

If you would find it convenient to store your pallet loads two deep, while having access to both loads from the same aisle, then you might find that double deep racking fits the bill. It makes efficient use of space because it has fewer access lanes, replacing them with extra racking.

Push back racking

You might decide that one of the most efficient warehouse racking options, known as push back storage, is for you.

Pallets are placed on wheeled carriers and these are then pushed along metal channels. The system allows pallets to be stored up to four deep. During the picking process, once a pallet is removed, those remaining will move forward to fill the space. This greatly increases the speed and convenience of order picking.

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