Warehouse Storage 101 – Basics

When a person steps into a warehouse storage facility, their first impression may be “here’s a room full of racking and other storage products; not much else to it.” This is a common misconception among the uninitiated; the warehouse storage facility is complex living entity. There are so many dynamic interactions including shipping and receiving, packaging, inventory controls and the behemoth known as eCommerce. Warehouse storage and its associated products and systems is an ecosystem unto itself. But with all these interacting and moving parts there are still some foundational products that comprise the system.

Regardless of what your warehouse stores and handles, there are a few specific products that all distribution warehouses require. These products and equipment are crucial to the effectiveness of any distribution center or warehouse. Big or small, your facility will require a this equipment or some combination and configuration of material handling products.

The Right Storage Solution: Having the right inventory storage systems is crucial. Palletized cartons, large items or bulk goods are better stored by pallet racks and associated storage products. Smaller items, such as individual cartons are best stored on more suitable products such as industrial shelving and other steel shelving products such as Metalware Wide Span Shelving. There are many storage options to select, and it may take some planning and consulting to assess the best solutions to meet your requirements, but the time and research will prove invaluable in the long run.

Pallet Racking: Pallet racking generally come in two types; roll form and structural. Structural pallet racking upright tend to offer more strength and more durable than roll-form, but generally come with a higher price. Warehouse storage pallet racking has many variations including:

If you needed to get goods from one area to another quickly you would utilize a Pallet Flow system, whereby the pallet is discharged at one end and retrieved and the other, presumably close to the shipping area. These systems can be upward of 24 pallets deep and satisfy FIFO inventory requirements. Because the system is self contained there is reduced risk of injury and pallet or product damage. Configure the necessary amount of lanes wherever you experience the most physical inventory movement, as opposed to sales volume, and a problem solved.

Forklifts: Although this may seem quite obvious, it always surprises me when storage warehouses try to do without one. If you have any taller shelves, deal in heavier pallets of items or heavy individual items, or just need a way to move inventory more effectively, forklifts are a great way to move inventory far more quickly and safely than doing it by hand.

Warehouse Office: Having an in-plant office can help efficiency and effectiveness in nearly every aspect of the storage warehouse. When changes in your business create new demands for in-plant space utilization, modular offices and building products provide you with unlimited flexibility to respond quickly and cost-effectively to your needs. These offices act as meeting rooms, logistic centers and offer a quiet zone.

I understand you cannot build a reasonable solution with these few items, but it’s a start. Your best bet is to consult a Storage and Material Handling Integrator for the solution that best fits your needs and requirements