So the question now lies in what type of warehouse racking systems you will choose. The short answer to this important question is that it depends. There are quite a few factors that you need to consider when making the decision and they are as follows:
- How much are you willing to invest in your warehouse racking solution?
- How much is the available floor space in your storage facility?
- How high are the ceilings in your warehouse?
- Are you currently using pallets? What are the types and sizes?
- How many different types of products are you planning to store in the racks?
- How often do you need to get a product in the pallets?
- What is the shelf life of your stored products? Will you be requiring the First In, First Out or FIFO method or the Last In, Last out (LIFO) method?
- How many pallets are you planning to store?
- What type of fork truck will you be using when accessing the racks? What is the maximum lift height of the forklift trucks?
The most basic method when it comes to pallet storage is the floor stacking. In this method, the pallets are placed on the floor in different rows. The rows can be set up as deep on the floor which will be dependent on the accessibility requirements. If the pallet can support a load, then you can stack it up. This is typically employed in a last in, first out system. An advantage to this method is that there is no investment in equipment needed and it has a high storage density. On the other hand, the disadvantages of this method include the following: poor accessibility to the individual pallets and it occupies a bigger floor space.
Selective pallet rack
The most common type of storing pallets is the selective pallet racking. This method uses uprights and cross beams in order to create a shelf that can comfortably store pallets. Selective pallet rack systems usually have multiple shelves per bay which will depend on the height of the pallet as well as your ceiling. A bay is usually one pallet deep. The advantages of selective pallet racking are as follows:
- great accessibility to different pallets
- low investment involved when compared to denser storage solutions
Drive In and Drive Thru Pallet Racking
Drive-in racking systems allow fork lift trucks to drive directly into the bay of the storage facility. The only major difference between the drive-in and drive-through racking system is whether there is an available entrance at only one side (drive-in) or on both sides (drive-through).