Rising wages and cost pressure on rentals and energy are creating a growing need for higher-density storage systems in distribution centres. Manufacturers. distributors and retailers are all trying to get the most out of their available floor space. Space optimisation is the goal: the continuing rise in the demand for consumer goods, particularly pharmaceuticals, food & beverages, and textiles has pushed up costs and highlighted the need for more efficient storage systems. Is your current facility providing enough space for expansion? It is possible to redesign and optimise your existing layout to provide more space using high-density storage solutions.
How does high-density storage work?
High-density storage means storing the largest quantity of products in the smallest amount of space while minimising storage costs. It requires using the right type of storage and racking systems, optimising vertical space, and reducing aisle space. The characteristics of the items stored will define the type of storage needed. There are many options for storage media dependent on the type of stock to be handled and the required throughput and access required. The ideal solution is often a combination of more than one type of racking system. The aim is to achieve more efficiency at least operational cost whilst considering both safety and maintenance.
The advantages of high-density warehouse storage
- more efficient inventory management and accessibility
- better productivity of throughput – faster picking and packing
- lower operational costs – staff and utilities
- enclosed storage media reduces damages and lost items.
- improved safety and security
- increased customer satisfaction
The different types of racking solutions
A warehouse racking system is a storage solution designed to stack materials in horizontal rows with multiple levels. The design of pallet racking will vary depending on the type of goods it is intended to store. Some racking solutions are better suited to perishable goods such as food or medicine, whereas others are better suited to the longer-term storage of bulky items such as building materials. Some of the most common types of racking systems are:
- Selective Racking. The selective racking system is inexpensive and has a wide selection of sizes. Double-deep options increase storage density by allowing two pallets to be stored back-to-back.
- Pallet Flow racking. Pallet flow racks are a high-density storage system that uses a combination of elevated rails and dynamic components such as gravity rollers, conveyors, etc. Using this racking system can double or even triple your storage capacity.
- Case or carton-flow racking. This type of racking consists of shelves equipped with rollers or wheels that allow cases or cartons of products to flow forward as they are picked.
- Drive-in racks. The drive-in racking system offers maximum density storage of products by allowing products to be stored in multiple positions deep, cutting down on aisle space.
- Push-back racking. This high-density storage option is like drive-in racking but can store pallets up to five deep. The system is commonly used in food and cold storage applications.
- Narrow Aisle Racking. Narrow aisle racking emulates the characteristics of selective racking, which offers better access to every pallet. The warehouse storage racks set up high-density storage by making better use of the floor area and roof height.
More about how storage solutions maximise storage space utilisation and efficiency in our recently launched whitepaper Optimise Warehouse Storage Capacity- Guide LP – The Supply Chain Consulting Group (sccgltd.com)
Trends in high-density warehousing
- Using vertical space
Vertical solutions are addressing the increasing demand for efficient space utilisation. Businesses are optimising their warehouse storage by using taller racks, mezzanines, and automated vertical lifts. Multilevel warehousing, which involves utilising mezzanine floors, is another solution to limited floor space.
Automated storage and retrieval systems (AS/RS) improve efficiency, accuracy, and speed in managing inventory. Autonomous mobile robots (AMRs) and robotic arms are extensively being used for picking, packing, and sorting.
A WMS provides data-driven decision-making and technological support for modern warehouses. Cloud-based WMS solutions offer scalability, flexibility, and real-time visibility across multiple locations.
- Flexibility and Scalability
The expansion of e-commerce and changing customer demands in the B2B environment means warehouses need to be flexible and scalable. Modular storage systems and adjustable racking solutions allow for easy reconfiguration and expansion as needed.
Businesses are continuing to adopt eco-friendly practices to reduce energy consumption, minimise waste, and lower carbon emissions.
Advances in software solutions provide the opportunity to enhance overall productivity, help minimise human error and reduce labour costs. The expansion of choices in high-density storage solutions means better utilisation of existing space leading to cost savings.
Need an expert?
Implementing high-density storage solutions is an excellent way to maximise limited warehouse space. Selecting the right warehouse storage solution can be a confusing and exhausting task due to the wide variety of systems available in the market. There are upwards of 25 key players, each providing a range of equipment and solutions. Some of the leaders are Daifuku Co. Ltd., Kardex AG, Interroll Dynamic Storage., Jungheinrich AG, etc.
Our team of experienced warehouse consultants can recommend the best solutions for your needs in terms of warehouse space optimisation. Book a consultation with our expert consultants at +44(0)1926 430 883 or email your enquiry at email@example.com.
- Warehouse organising solutions | Supply Chain Consulting Group (sccgltd.com)
- Digitization of Warehouse Equipment Maintenance – Supply Chain 24/7 (supplychain247.com)
- 4 Benefits of Implementing High-Density Storage Solutions (unex.com)
- High-density storage – Mecalux.com
- What Is High-Density Pallet Racking – And Do I Need It? (invictaracking.co.uk)