Improve Your Warehouse Pallet Storage With These 7 Pallet Storage Methods
16 Jan 2020
Storing wooden pallets in a warehouse is a lesson in efficiency and logical thinking.
You need to ensure you can store as many pallets as possible in the space you have.
But you also need to make sure you can retrieve the pallets with ease.
In the following, we have outlined seven different pallet storage methods.
1. Block stacking
2. Stacking frames
3. Single-deep pallet rack
4. Double deep rack
5. Drive-in rack
6. Pallet flow rack
7. Push back rack
Each has its own unique purpose and use case.
Read on to discover which wooden pallet storage method you should be using.
First of all, we have the cheapest storage method.
You can install a block stacking storage system for wooden pallets in any warehouse. The only thing you need is open floor space to store the pallets. This storage method does not need any type of racking.
In block stacking you place pallets on top of one another on the warehouse floor in lanes or blocks.
Pallets are stacked to a specific height based on different criteria which includes:
1. Pallet Weight
2. Pallet Condition
3. Clearance and capability of warehouse forklifts
Pallet retrieval works on a last in, first out basis (LIFO). This means you can’t retrieve pallets on a date basis (FIFO). This can result in a phenomenon known as honeycombing. Whereby empty spaces occur that can’t be filled until the whole lane is empty.
Stacking frames are often used to provide temporary racking during busy periods as stacking frames are constructed from decks and posts and can be moved if required.
Stacking frames allow pallets to be stored several high. This is particularly helpful when pallets aren’t stackable.
Like in the block stacking storage method honeycombing can occur.
Single-Deep Pallet Rack
Single-Deep pallet racking resolves honeycombing issues faced by block stacking and stacking frame methods.
This storage method allows access to each pallet stored in the rack as you can immediately refill an available space in the rack.
Single-deep racking is a configurable and popular racking system suitable for different heights.
The downside is that single deep racking needs plenty of floor space which allows for suitable navigable isles.
Double-Deep Pallet Rack
Double-deep racking is made up of two single-deep racks placed together. This has the benefit of reducing the number of isles needed.
This does open it up to honeycombing like block stacking and stacking frames and you will need a double reach forklift to store and retrieve pallets.
The drive-in rack is a sort of amalgamation of double-deep racking and block stacking.
It features drive-in lanes that provide five to ten load spaces which provide access to forklifts to store and retrieve the pallets.
Reduced forklift manoeuvrability increases the amount of time to store and retrieve pallets.
Drive-in rack solutions use ‘the last in, first out’ retrieval principal.
Pallet Flow Rack
This is an expensive solution but ideal for warehouses with high throughput.
It consists of a conveyor belt that allows you to remove pallets on a first in, first out basis (FIFO).
Pallets move from one end of the rack to the other for retrieval. Once removed, another pallet is stored in its place.
Push Back Rack
A rail-guided carrier guides loads into place. Using the force of the load to push previous loads back further into the storage system.
As a ‘last in, first out’ solution this method isn’t suitable for anyone needing a ‘first in, first out’ system.
When a load is removed, the next load in the lane is forced down the lane to the position of the removed load.
This results in each lane having loads in an ideal position for removal.
So there we have it.
The seven different warehouse storage methods you may wish to use.
As you can see there are two main retrieval methods. First in, first out and first in, last out.
Before you decide on your storage method, make sure you have a good understanding of your desired retrieval order.
This will affect which pallet storage system you can use in your warehouse.
You’ll also want to evaluate your available space and budget. These are the two main things along with retrieval order that will affect your storage solution.