When an operation gets big enough many warehouse operators start looking for a bigger space to move into. However, before they do so, they can save a lot of time and money by increasing the potential of their existing space. Here are five ideas to help you visualise how you might maximise your warehouse space without moving locations.
Double your space with a Mezzanine Floor
A mezzanine floor is one of the classic tried and true ways to maximise your warehouse space. Warehouses are often built with a lot of vertical space, with high roofs and plenty of room for expansion upwards. A mezzanine floor is a semi-permanent or free-standing structure within a warehouse that acts as a second floor within the building. They help utilise the vertical space available in warehouses by making it available for storage or use in a variety of warehouse activities, essentially doubling the amount of available floor space without having to change locations.
Upgrade your Pallet Racking system
Pallet racking is the most popular method of warehouse storage available on the market today. It is a system of storage that works by placing items on a pallet and then stowing them in horizontal rows with multiple levels, maximising the warehouse space available for storage.
It is important to understand the differences between different pallet racking systems before deciding on which one is right for your warehouse. Some of the more popular ones include:
- Selective Pallet Racking. The simplest form of pallet racking, this method involves installing racks in horizontal rows with multiple levels, with aisles in-between.
- Double Deep Pallet Racking. Double deep pallet racking is the same as selective pallet racking, except that pallets are stored two rows deep. This means that the front pallets need to be moved in order to reach the ones behind them. While less convenient than selective pallet racking it does double the amount of space available.
- Drive-in Pallet Racking. This form of pallet racking removes the aisles between racks and stores the pallets in a large block. It works by driving a forklift into the rack to take the last box that was stored inside. This method is great for fast-moving stock but only allows you to take out the last pallet that was stored in the row.
Ensure that your Beam Placement maximises your vertical space
Rack beams are the structures that act as different levels in a pallet racking system. When a pallet is placed inside the rack there should be approximately six inches of space between the top of the boxes on the pallet and the rack beam above them. If there is more space than this it might be worth considering changing the heights of the pallet racks to maximise vertical space.
Optimise your use of empty space
One of the easiest ways to maximise warehouse space is to minimise how much unused empty space you allow. A simple way to increase your storage capacity is to reduce the space between aisles and add extra pallet racks as a result. In doing so, however, you should ensure that there is still enough space to safely manoeuvre around the warehouse.
Think about the utilisation of unusual spaces
Most warehouses only use the warehouse floor for storage and business operations, however, there are plenty of other spaces that remain underutilised simply because they are ignored. A perfect example of this is the space above the dock doors. Building a mezzanine floor or pallet racking system above dock doors is a perfect way to increase your warehouse space without disrupting the flow of traffic.