Racking and Warehousing Tips (Part 3)

TIP #11 Don’t plan the space based on reusing existing equipment

Since the original space was planned, the storage requirements have likely changed in terms of the number of SKUs, SKU size, quantity, available storage space and in some cases, regulations.

As such, the planned space must be configured to accommodate current needs at a minimum. This will inevitably mean different sizes and types of storage solutions than previously used. It’s important to plan accordingly to the last detail. Once there is agreement on the current plan, make sure to review what was in place to see what, if any, items can be reused. This might lead to a higher budget, but in the end, it will prove to be a less costly, more efficient long-term storage space.

TIP #12 Product classification and Warehouse Aisle labeling

If you manage a large warehouse, it’s crucial that racks and products are stored within their category or use. For example, all food items both perishable and non perishable should be stored relatively close to each other whereas cleaning products and other chemicals should be together. This way, old and new employees no longer need to struggle looking for the product. Instead of blindly wondering, they can just look up to find the sign by the aisle. This method is inexpensive and easy to implement.

If your warehouse is only accessed by employees, the labels should be simple and easy to remember. It does not necessarily have to include the names or type of the product. It could be just simple labeling like below.


Whereas, if your warehouse is Wholesale market or Retailer supermarket, the aisle labels should include name and type of product to avoid confusion.



TIP #13 Perishables FIRST!

If you’re warehousing perishable goods, now is the time to start paying attention. The first rule of warehousing perishables is to ROTATE, ROTATE, ROTATE! All perishables should have manufacturing date and expired date on them. Store food will only decrease quality over time. Therefore, its crucial that perishables are rotated on First-In-First-Out system. Most warehouse or supermarkets have standard operation procedure (SOP) for their employees to rotate the perishables as first priority of their Job Description in the warehouse.

In conclusion, always rotate the perishables first-in-first-out and have visible record of “use by” and “expired date” on all the food.

TIP #14 Pallet racking Vs Normal racking

The difference between pallet racking and normal racking (long span shelf) is that pallet racking uses pallet for storage where as normal racking is beamed with steel plate, wood plank or other cheap/strong material.

Deciding which type you should use depends on the size of your warehouse. If your warehouse is huge or going to be huge in the future, you should use standard pallet racking. By using Pallet racking, the material will be handled with forklift or reach truck. Where as normal racking has limitation of using forklift and reach trucks.

Another advantage of using pallet racking is that the rack can go as high as the reach truck or forklift can operate. Normal racking usually have only 2 or 3 levels since it is accessed by labor or manual material handling methods.

Below is an example of pallet racking


TIP #15 Double Deep for Double Storage

There are two ways to store multiple pallets in racking (deep lane pallet storage): put pallets in the rack and have them move inside the racking using gravity or have the lift truck enter completely (drive-in) or in part (deep reach) to store and retrieve the pallet.

Drive in Racking


Deep reach Racking


Alright, that’s 5 warehouse tips for this week. Contact SCZengineering for free survey and consultation if you’re setting up a new warehouse or expanding your existing one.

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“Minimum Space, Maximum Storage”