If your business operates in the manufacturing or retail sectors, then the chances are that you have some form of warehouse on premises. Service companies may also have warehousing requirements, if they carry an extensive inventory in order to facilitate the provision of their services.
For manufacturing components or service parts, in-house storage is obviously far more convenient than hiring external warehouse space, because you need immediate access to your stock, so when your storage requirements outgrow your current racking space, clearly the ideal solution would be to install additional racking.
If your business premises do not have any free space where you can install additional racking, don’t be too quick to assume that this means you need to relocate. There may be other ways to increase the available storage space by changing the type of warehouse racking you use.
Choosing a Solution That Meets your Requirements
Switching from standard aisle to narrow aisle, or even to powered mobile pallet racking can sometimes offer an increase of up 80% storage within the same square footage.
Narrow Aisle Racking
Narrow aisle racking does prevent the use the use of standard sized forklifts and reach trucks, but if you hire your trucks from a leasing company, then it should be a simple matter to get them replaced with VNA (very narrow aisle) equivalents.
This type of racking provides all the convenience of standard racking, but it does come with the added expense of requiring specialist lifting equipment. This cost is obviously far cheaper than the cost of moving premises would be, plus the expense can also be offset against the increase in storage space.
Powered Mobile Pallet Racking
Powered mobile racking is installed on steel rails that are sunk into the concrete floor of your warehouse. The racks can then be moved along the rails via an electronic console, this means that only one aisle is required for numerous rows of racking, the racks are simple moved to position the aisle between the racks you want to access.
Powered mobile racking will offer the largest increase in storage space, but high volume warehouses may suffer a loss in productivity due to the fact than only one aisle per racking block can be accessed at a time.
Another option you could consider if your business has a high volume but low product count inventory, is drive-in pallet racking. Each of the above racking types can offer increased storage space over standard racking, but which solution is right for your business will depend on a few factors. Any good warehouse racking specialist will offer a free pallet racking design service. They will be able to advise you which solution best fits your business by looking at the type of lifting equipment you use, the kinds of goods that you are storing in your warehouse, the amount of space you have available, and the volumetric throughput that your warehouse needs to achieve.