In the materials handling industry, there is no driving force more powerful than efficiency. And, with the e-commerce platforms such as Amazon and eBay promising same day dispatch and next day delivery, efficiency has become synonym with speed. The speed of your warehouse operations is not influenced by your men alone or by the materials handling equipment, but also by the storage solutions you choose. To that extent, the pallet racking systems have become to warehouses what skeletons are to our bodies, the backbone of organisation, efficiency and productivity. If any part gets broken, your business will suffer and will suffer greatly, which is why investing in warehouse racking has become such an important matter, requiring careful consideration.
As mentioned above, the materials handling industry has registered an important shift in rapid order fulfilment and this has triggered a shift in the type of pallet racking systems that are in demand as well. Businesses are building new warehouses or expanding their existing facilities, acknowledging the need for speed and efficiency, therefore they’re looking for racks that can support this trend. Even though there are still customers looking for selective racks, most warehouses today are shifting towards multi-level pick structures and flow systems as to keep up with rapid fulfilment.
This shift in demand is not entirely caused by the desire to increase speed of operations, but also by the need to have automated storage and retrieval systems that can help maximise inventory turns and reduce the amount of stock on hand, so that you can turn it more rapidly. Properly planning the racking and shelving within a warehouse can deeply impact the efficiency of a business and therefore owners and managers today are acknowledging the importance of this investment, which is shown by their change of product preferences.
Since racking is the backbone of warehouse operations and the choice of structure you make has a huge effect on the efficiency and productivity of your business, it becomes essential that you have deep knowledge of the different systems available on the market, with their strong and weak points, as well as their suitability. The most basic type of warehouse racking is the low density system, which can be either single deep or double deep racking. These are also the less expensive variations, but today’s marketplace has made price almost obsolete as a decision factors, because so many other issues are of high importance now.
High density pallet racking would be a step up from the low density racks and this type of systems can be configured as drive-in or drive through, the only difference being the number of access ways. Last, but not least, the most versatile solution comes as dynamic storage systems, such as pallet flow racks, push back racking or live racking. These allow for an easier and faster rotation of inventory and better support speed of operations throughout the warehouse.