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Material Handling Solutions

How to Get the Most From Your Warehouse Shelving

Posted July 15, 2022

Finding the perfect warehouse shelving solution isn’t as simple as it might sound. There are many things to consider, from inventory management to the picking process to warehouse shelving layout. Overcoming these challenges and considerations can help you get the most out of your warehouse operation. 

Naumann/Hobbs is prepared to be a strategic partner when it comes to material handling. This means we are here to offer solutions to help businesses of all kinds and sizes make the most of their warehouse shelving so you can increase efficiency, better serve customers, and ultimately improve ROI.

Ready to learn more about maximizing storage space and ensuring your industrial shelving is used as efficiently as possible? Let’s dive into the details and go over some need-to-know information from Naumann/Hobbs.

How Do You Maximize Space Utilization in a Warehouse?

It’s a fact: there is a finite amount of storage equipment and space available in your warehouse. According to most industry figures, a warehouse is at capacity when it is 85% full. 

These numbers hold true for distribution centers, assembly operations, storage operations, and other facilities. This means that if you are approaching the 85% figure, it’s time to rethink space utilization and start looking for ways to maximize warehouse shelving units with help from a strategic partner. Working with Naumann/Hobbs can ensure you make the most of your space, avoid congestion, and keep materials moving.

How do you maximize space utilization in a warehouse? Here are some options we’ve outlined below.

Take Advantage of Vertical Space

Expanding warehouse shelving layout up is usually the first choice when facilities are low on space. Most of today’s warehouses have built-in fire suppression systems that allow storage up to 18 inches from the system. This means when it comes to storage and safety, there’s nowhere to go but up! 

A few warehouse storage racks you can use to take advantage of vertical space include:

  • Mezzanines: Mezzanine storage platforms are the true hero when it comes to maximizing vertical storage space in a warehouse. A mezzanine will extend your warehouse storage space vertically by creating a second level.
  • Carton Flow Racks: If you use FIFO (first-in, first-out) processes in your warehouse, carton flow racks are an ideal choice. Older inventory slides down easily so you can keep it accessible and moving.
  • Pallet Racks: Your warehouse is likely already using pallet racks. Working with a material handling design and layout expert from Naumann/Hobbs can help you make the most of your pallet racks.

Reduce Aisle Width

Another way to get the most from your warehouse is to reduce the width of your racking aisles. Narrow and very narrow aisle forklifts make it easy to save space. Standard warehouse aisles can be 10 to 12 feet in width, but the use of narrow and very narrow aisle forklifts can work in spaces as small as eight feet in width. This means you can increase your storage space by up to 40% by squeezing in and reducing the aisle width in your warehouse.

Add Half-pallet Storage

You might not need full-pallet racking for everything in your warehouse. In fact, many items are stored in half-pallet quantities. Using racking designed for an entire pallet to store half-pallet goods can be an inefficient use of space. Adding half-pallet storage space can ensure that goods are appropriately sized for their warehouse shelving and create as much as 50% more room in these areas of your facility.

Put Underutilized Space to Work

Taking an honest look at your warehouse shelving space can help you identify areas that might be underutilized. For example, is there space above the receiving dock doors? This might be a space to store slower-moving goods and materials that aren’t accessed as frequently. Along the same lines, there might be space to hang shelving above your warehouse conveyor. This is another ideal space for items that are not replenished regularly.

What Type of Racking Is Most Commonly Used in a Warehouse?

Most warehousing, fulfillment, and distribution experts agree that selective pallet racks are the most versatile style of shelving on the market today. These racks help maximize warehouse shelving space through efficiency and adjustability.

Selective pallet racks have many applications. You’ll find they’re great options for general warehouse and distribution centers, manufacturing, and even low-turnover retail goods.

Want to learn more about warehouse racking? Explore information about custom warehouse racking and more.

What is the Best Racking System for My Warehouse?

While selective pallet racks might be the most commonly used shelving in warehouse operations, they might not be the best for your unique situation when you really need to maximize space. The right kind of shelving for your product will ensure your warehouse is operating efficiently and making the most of the space available.

Let’s look at some of the warehouse shelving options available from Naumann/Hobbs:

  • Double-Deep Reach Racks: As the name indicates, double-deep reach racks are twice as deep as standard selective pallet racks. This means they create high-density storage, increasing capacity up to 50%. These racks are a cost-effective solution for general warehouses and manufacturing facilities.
  • Drive-in/Drive-thru Racks: You’ll find that drive-in/drive-thru racks are another high-density storage option for your warehouse. These racks let forklift drivers cruise right in and collect materials up to six pallets deep. Most have a separate entry and exit to keep things moving smoothly and safely. You’ll find these racks put to use in all kinds of facilities, including those with high-turnover retail products, general warehouses, and even cooler warehouses.
  • Push Back Racks: Sometimes called back racking, push back racks sit on casters or carts that slide forward when the front pallet is removed. They work similarly to carton flow racks or even the dairy cooler you’ll find at your local grocery store. These racks can help make the most of warehouse shelving space by making products accessible. This can boost productivity by increasing accuracy and improving order picking speed. These racks are common in food-grade warehouses and general warehouses alike.
  • Cantilever Racks: Large, bulky items are often best stored on cantilever racks. They allow you to make the most of horizontal space for items like carpet rolls, lumber, and even furniture. You can add material handling accessories like spring-loaded entry guides and decks for safety and increased utilization. 

Get the Most From Your Warehouse Shelving with Naumann/Hobbs

Looking for more information on getting the most from your warehouse shelving? Look to Naumann/Hobbs. Our experts in material handling and warehouse layout and design can help you ensure you’re using the space in your facility to the best of your ability. Our services don’t stop there: Naumann/Hobbs offers forklift training, new and used equipment, pallet jack safety training, and much more.

Ready to learn more? Reach out to Naumann/Hobbs now by phone at (866) 266-2244 or contact us online.

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