How to Select a Warehouse Racking System?

The racking system you have in your warehouse has a big impact on the efficiency of your operation. There is a large range of racking systems that are available that will allow you to choose the right level of storage density and efficiency.

There are so many different types of racking such as the cantilever rack, very narrow aisle rack, push back rack etc. There are certain considerations that you will have to look at when selecting a racking system. You need to consider the nature of the product that you are storing and how your operation is run.

You don’t need to stick to one type of racking system. But before you select a system, you need to consider the product flow requirement sin your operation and whether you are planning to store the products on pallets. Examine your available storage area and vertical space that is available for tall racking solutions. Some products will need special storage conditions such as a cooler or freezer. You will need to list down all of these questions to outline what you are looking for in a racking system.

The flow requirement of your operation refers to how the products move throughout the process. And there are two types of methods that are used which are FIFO which is short for first-in, first-out, and LIFO which is short for last-in, first-out. Any products that have an expiration date such as perishable food items will require FIFO storage. This is a good option for rapid stock rotation. In LIFO, the product that is stocked last will be removed first. Therefore, it is best suited for products with a long shelf life or bulk storage products.

Think about how the product moves around the warehouse. You will have dynamic storage in areas where items are most frequently selected for fulfilling orders. You will need to prioritise high selectivity in the racking system for this. The fixed storage area of the warehouse will keep the overflow of products. This is basically your reserve storage area. There are many options you can consider when you go with pallet storage. Some examples are drive-in rack, push-back rack and pallet flow. But if your method is piece picking, you can go with carton flow racking. This can be used with different or same sized cartons or even tilt trays.

It is very important to understand the available area and the shape of the warehouse. Measure the height of the space from floor to ceiling. You have to think about the width of the aisles, depth of storage, and the requirement for product handling equipment such as forklifts. Understanding the dimensions of the warehouse space is crucial to creating a better layout and selecting the right racking to make the best use of the space available. You need to consider whether you are going for manual picking of products or using a forklift and other handling equipment. For manual picking, you can select a carton flow rack. A push-back rack can only be used with forklift picking. But it is a space-saving racking system for warehouses with high ceilings.

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