6 Different Types of Warehouse Storage Systems
September 19, 2020
What are the different types of warehouse storage systems?
- Storage cabinet
- Pallet storage system
- Static shelving
- Multi-tier racking
- Double-deep racking
- Mobile shelving
Warehouses may employ either one or a combination of different types of warehouse storage systems. Depending on the system’s efficiency, warehouses can greatly improve their order fulfillment and picking processes. An organized storage system is also the key to promoting a safer workplace environment. It helps in avoiding any potential hazards that may endanger warehouse employees as they handle heavy machinery and move about the warehouse. Continue reading to learn more.
A storage cabinet system is one of the simplest types of inventory management. Cabinets can hold volumes of materials, depending on their capacity. For warehouses that typically house larger goods, they may require larger storage cabinets — the same is true for the alternative.
Storage cabinets can be modified according to what kind of goods they need to store. For example, smaller objects of the same variety can easily be stacked in a storage cabinet partition alongside parcels that may be lengthier. Any material that is stored inside a cabinet is also less prone to external conditions, allowing the objects to prolong their shelf life.
Pallet Storage System
As the name suggests, pallet storage systems make use of pallets in stacking multiple parcels at any given time. These heavy-duty pallets usually come in materials like plastic, plywood, or wood, but the latter two are far more common across logistics facilities.
This system is a great space-saving option for warehouses that don’t necessarily have a large square area. This is due to the fact that the pallets can be stacked on top of one another without falling. Forklift operators can easily unload and load pallets onto the rack in a safe manner.
In pallet storage or pallet racking systems, the pallets are supported by the entire framework of the rack. You’ll find essential components like wire decks, beam connectors, posts, and bracings. They’re made of durable materials like steel to ensure that the structure doesn’t just topple over when packages are being rearranged.
Static shelving is considerably less flexible compared to storage cabinets or pallet storage systems. This is because they’re fixed to a specific location inside a warehouse facility. While this layout may be beneficial, especially in locating SKUs of the same type, they’re difficult to modify.
However, one advantage that static shelving has over other storage systems is that they’re more stable. Its barebones structuring allows it to accommodate other static shelves that can be placed in small distances apart from one another. It helps warehouses optimize their space, especially when they’re handling only light-to-medium inventory that can be manually arranged on each shelf.
Have you ever wanted a way to maximize your warehouse’s storage space without any expansion work? Then you may want to consider the multi-tier racking system. A distinct feature of multi-tier racking structures is their large dimensions. This means that parcels in the medium to large size range are suitable to be organized in multi-level decks.
Warehouse managers have the option of storing similar SKUs at one or two levels of the system. However, like the static shelving system, multi-tier racking offers very little mobility with respect to the load of the parcels they’re carrying. Nevertheless, they do offer a higher level of accessibility. Warehouse employees can easily navigate each level using aisles, ramps, and staircases that are strategically located around every level. These accessibility options are also optimized to offer good traction for utility carts and other wheeled transport.
Double-deep racking systems are similar to pallet racking, but the latter can store a greater capacity. In this storage framework, two standard-sized pallet racks are positioned back to back. This system is usually employed in warehouses that have limited floor space but are handling a high-volume inventory.
In double-deep racking, the LIFO (last in, first out) inventory system is mainly used. As such, this is not really intended for perishable inventory. Instead, they’re used for items like clothes, appliances, or electronic devices, for example.
Double-deep racking inventory management helps warehouses to better prioritize SKUs according to their value. Goods that can accrue a higher value over time can be safely stored through a double-deep racking method. However, this may also increase the chances for warehouse overflowing to occur. As such, warehouses should weigh out their options on whether or not to practice double-deep racking for organizing SKUs.
Also called mobile shelving, a mobile rack system contains higher storage capabilities compared to a static shelf. In mobile shelving, a track is affixed to either end of the rack. Each rack system is sturdily supported by conventional components like decks and bracings, except with the addition of a chassis that enables the system to be moved in a lateral, sliding motion.
Apart from a higher storage space, mobile shelves can also increase the space utilization inside a warehouse by more than 40%. This allows for more flexible maneuverability for forklifts and other transport materials. With the extra space, it’s possible to implement another type of storage system altogether to accompany the mobile shelves.
When choosing from different types of warehouse storage systems it’s important to understand the warehouse’s requirements. Some storage systems are fit for warehouses that are mainly storing large parcels, while some systems are more suitable for warehouses that aim to better maximize their space. Since each system has its own advantages, warehouses may likewise experiment on combining them — even more so if their handling inventory contains different types of SKUs.