It’s no secret that a cluttered warehouse can disturb operations and productivity. Merchandise, boxes and packing materials scattered around travel routes make it incredibly difficult for employees and vehicle operators to complete everyday tasks.
Effective warehouse organization plays a key role in daily workflow. Employees can navigate aisles, store merchandise and retrieve items quickly and seamlessly. If you’re wondering how to improve warehouse operations, pallet racking is an excellent starting point.
What Is Pallet Racking?
Warehouse pallet racking is a shelving system used to store materials on pallets. The pallets are situated on vertical levels with horizontal rows. Pallet rack organization is designed to make the most of available vertical space, making it easy to retrieve and put away items as needed.
Operators can use forklift trucks to access items stored on pallet rack shelves. This eliminates the time, hassle and risk of manually loading and unloading materials. Pallet racks come in various sizes, capacities and configurations to accommodate different warehouse layouts.
How Pallet Racking Can Improve Warehouse Organization
From receiving and storage to picking and packaging, warehouse teams handle many critical processes each day. Proper organization is a must to streamline these processes and get products to customers on time.
Pallet racking is an innovative storage solution that significantly improves warehouse efficiency. Below are eight ways a pallet racking layout can revolutionize warehouse organization.
1. Optimized Vertical Space
Pallet racking incorporates a vertical structure, saving valuable warehouse space and providing easy inventory management. If your warehouse’s horizontal space is getting tight and expanding the facility isn’t an option, pallet racking uses tall storage racks with more levels.
Rather than only focusing on the floor plan layout, pallet racking embraces the building’s height to boost storage capacity. By leveraging vertical space, you can store as much stock as possible.
2. Bulk Storage Capacity
Pallet racking can increase bulk storage capacity for warehouses with deep inventory requirements. Using vertical storage increases your warehouse’s pallets per aisle ratio, raising your overall pallet capacity. With a pallet racking system, bulk storage in each row can lower the number of aisles needed to reach items.
3. Improved Safety
A disorganized warehouse can be hazardous to employees. Disorganized inventory and shipment boxes can create tripping hazards. Furthermore, a chaotic workplace can slow down inventory collection. As a result, workers may rush to fulfill orders and injure themselves from trips, falls or forklifts also rushing to complete orders.
Thousands of forklift-related incidents occur annually in the United States. Slips, trips and falls — as well as injuries from strenuous activities like lifting, pushing, pulling and reaching — are other commonly reported warehouse injuries.
Pallet racks can improve warehouse safety by removing injury-causing obstacles from travel paths. Rather than cluttering floor space, boxes can be neatly organized on pallet shelves. Freeing up aisles enables vehicles and pedestrians to move around easily without concerns about damaging inventory.
Fewer employee risks and injuries generally mean better productivity, organization and workflow. You’ll likely experience fewer OSHA investigations, worker compensation situations and costly downtime.
4. Technology and Automation
Integrating warehouse pallet rack storage allows you to take advantage of innovative technology. For instance, some pallets have embedded radio-frequency identification systems. These devices allow warehouse teams to track and trace products digitally in high-density storage environments, simplifying movement and organization.
Additionally, electric pallet run shuttles can move inside rack storage lanes along tracks. An operator gives commands through a Wi-Fi control tablet. A forklift can leave the load on the track, while the shuttle picks it up and moves it autonomously. Pallet racks installed in high-density warehouse settings make digital tracking and automation more of a necessity.
Because pallet racks come in several styles, you can easily customize them to your unique warehouse storage needs. Depending on the space’s shape and layout, types of inventory, and your budget, you can choose pallet racking that accommodates your warehouse’s infrastructure and operations.
Pallet racks can fulfill light, medium and heavy-duty storage needs alike. They come in a range of sizes to fit different floor plans.
6. Efficiency and Productivity
Installing a pallet racking system promotes a more productive workflow. It clears up warehouse floor space and reduces the number of obstacles hindering operations. Employees can walk around, operate forklifts and execute processes more efficiently.
7. Lean Inventory Management
Lean inventory management involves identifying and eliminating waste and inefficiencies during material handling tasks. Teams continuously improve processes and time management to reduce wastage. Examples of lean inventory management might include:
- Maintaining accurate inventory records.
- Keeping a safety stock in case of inventory errors or shortages.
- Fixing storage bottlenecks that cause excessive downtime and costs.
Pallet racking coincides with lean inventory management by helping warehouse teams identify and address storage setbacks. Workers can better locate and access merchandise through convenient pallet storage.
8. Improved Product Layout
Pallet racking allows you to optimize merchandise layout for more efficient operations. You can organize products on pallet rack shelves as needed.
For instance, when an item is more in demand during a specific season, you might store it on pallets closest to packaging and shipping areas. Strategically placing merchandise on pallet racks is an excellent way to save time and complete orders quickly.
Pallet Rack Systems From Tennessee Rack
At Tennessee Rack, we design and install warehouse pallet rack systems customized to your needs. Our quality selection includes multiple styles and configurations, each with unique features:
- Cantilever racking: Available as free-standing or fixed storage units, cantilever racking systems have horizontal arms protruding outward from a vertical upright. The ends of these arms don’t have vertical support beams, allowing for easier storage and access to bulky or irregularly shaped materials. They’re ideal for storing products like furniture, lumber, tubing, pipes and steel bars.
- Carton flow racking: Carton flow racking pallets come as standalone units or fully integrated systems. Many include storage at the top and carton-picking abilities at the bottom. After you remove a carton from the storage rack, the next one automatically moves to the front. These systems reduce retrieval times and strains from reaching, pulling and bending.
- Drive-in pallet racking: Drive-in pallet racking includes top tie beams, pallet rack uprights and support rails. It enables dense storage and eliminates the need for aisles. You can customize each system to your specific warehouse needs.
- Selective pallet racking: Comprised of beams, uprights and wire decking, selective pallet racking is the most common pallet storage structure. It features a boltless teardrop design customizable to most pallet shapes and sizes, offering direct access to each pallet. Selective pallet racking is the simplest way to increase warehouse storage capacity.
Incorporate Warehouse Pallet Organization With Tennessee Rack
Are you ready to invest in pallet rack storage for your warehouse? Turn to Tennessee Rack to assist you. Whatever your budget, storage or space requirements, we’ll help you find a solution to meet your needs. Give us a call at 615-739-6174 or request a free quote today!