Warehouse Location Sizing

Accurate warehouse location sizing is imperative when designing a new facility. Locations must be designed for product dimensions and estimated product cubic velocity. But do you design a future warehouse based on current product dimensions and velocities? That depends. Read on.

warehousing for ecommerce businesses, warehouse space

Understanding your expected product dimensions is critical for space allocation and location sizing when designing a new warehouse. You must have a thorough understanding the the product dimensions you plan to ship to allocate the proper amount of space in the proper location.

In addition, you want to make sure you have each location type represented in multiple zones to allow for flexibility, based on your pick path. 

Let’s start with the easy location types and sizes and move on from there.

Bulk Storage

Traditional shelving is ineffective when managing hefty inventory like appliances, machinery, or building materials. Bulk storage offers a robust and efficient solution for storing large, heavy items.

Benefits of Bulk Storage

  • Strength and Stability: Bulk storage systems are built to handle significant weight loads, ensuring your bulky items’ safe and secure storage.
  • Space Optimization: By utilizing vertical space with tall racks or shelves, bulk storage maximizes your warehouse footprint.
  • Improved Organization: Designated storage areas for bulky items keep your warehouse organized and prevent clutter, enhancing safety and retrieval efficiency.
  • Inventory Management: Bulk storage often integrates with pallet systems, allowing for easy tracking and identification of your inventory.

Identifying Products for Bulk Storage

This process is fairly simple and is comprised of several categories to consider. They are:

  • Product that will not fit into rack locations due to high cube. Examples include knock-down (KD) furniture, TVs, appliances, etc.
  • Pallets of product that will not fit into rack locations due to rack weight constraints. Examples include pallets of copy paper, bottled liquids, etc.
  • A slapper line can convey large quantities of promotional products (expected to ship quickly). Examples include office chairs, printers, small TVs, etc.
  • Products that ship alone, meaning they are not married up to other SKUs on the order

Rack Storage Space Design

Pallet Rack Systems: Choosing the Right Fit

Pallet racks are the backbone of many bulk storage operations. These versatile systems utilize pallets to efficiently store and organize large quantities of items. But with various types available, selecting the right one depends on your specific needs:

  • Selective Pallet Racking: This is the most common and adaptable option. It features horizontal beams supported by uprights, allowing individual access to each pallet using a forklift. Ideal for frequently accessed items or situations requiring easy stock rotation.
  • Push-Back Pallet Racking: A space-saving solution perfect for storing slow-moving or seasonal inventory. It utilizes multiple pallets on slightly inclined rails within a rack bay. Pallets are loaded last-in, first-out (LIFO), maximizing storage density but requiring a forklift to access pallets deeper in the system.
  • Drive-In Pallet Racking: This high-density system maximizes space utilization by creating multiple lanes within the rack structure. Forklifts can drive directly into the lanes to load and unload pallets. However, it requires dedicated aisles for each lane and is less suitable for frequently accessed items due to reduced accessibility.

While pallet racks reign supreme for bulky items, their close cousin, rack storage systems, offer exceptional versatility for a wider range of inventory. These robust structures feature horizontal shelves supported by upright posts, providing a flexible storage solution for:

  • Boxed goods: Ideal for storing packaged items of various sizes and weights.
  • Bagged items: From flour sacks to pet food, racks keep bagged goods organized and accessible.
  • Odd-shaped items: Unlike traditional shelves, racks can accommodate irregularly shaped items with proper configuration.

Choosing Your Rack Configuration:

When selecting a rack system, consider two key factors:

  • Weight Capacity: Ensure the rack system you choose can accommodate the weight of your heaviest stored items.
  • Shelf Configuration: Rack shelves come in various materials and configurations (solid, mesh, split) to optimize storage for your specific needs (accessibility, ventilation, weight distribution).

Shelf Space:

Keeping it Handy: The Power of Shelving Units

For smaller, hand-retrievable items like spare parts, tools, or fast-moving inventory, shelving units become the heroes of warehouse storage. These standalone structures offer several advantages:

  • Accessibility: Shelf-based storage allows for quick and easy access to individual items, perfect for frequently picked inventory.
  • Adaptability: Shelves come in various heights and lengths, allowing customization to fit your specific storage requirements.
  • Organization: With dividers, bins, and labels, shelves promote a well-organized storage environment, simplifying inventory management.

Choosing the Right Shelf Material:

Shelving units come in various materials, each with its own advantages and considerations:

  • Wire Shelving: Offers excellent visibility and ventilation, ideal for storing lightweight items and promoting air circulation. (Con: Less weight capacity compared to other options)
  • Metal Shelving: A sturdy and popular option for a wide range of applications. (Con: Can be heavier and more expensive than wire or plastic shelves)
  • Plastic Shelving: A lightweight, rustproof option suitable for storing non-corrosive items in dry environments. (Con: Lower weight capacity than metal shelves)

Discover more from Warehouse Whisper

Subscribe to get the latest posts sent to your email.

Similar Posts

Leave a Reply