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Need More Distribution Center Storage Space? Just Look Up!

Need More Distribution Center Storage Space? Just Look Up!

The Storage Problem

It’s an age-old problem. Business is booming, orders are coming in and flowing out, and, now, you’re running low on storage space. Seems like it happened over night.

But are you really wanting to look for a new property? The costs of relocating can be a painful hit. You eye the property next door, but you know they aren’t going anywhere. Besides, you want continuous space, not two separate facilities. Even thinking of relocating sends your head spinning. So many factors to consider. You quickly look around for a different option. You could move your aisles closer together, but then you’d need to look for a narrower aisle forklift solution. Not bad, but still a hassle. Seems like you’re stuck between bad, worse, and worst options. Bummer, since the problem you’re facing actually means business is booming!

But there’s still another option.

It's Time to Look Up

There is another option though, and it’s one that most people miss.

All you have to do is look up.

The great majority of warehouses and distribution centers have wasted vertical storage space both in between beams and above the rack. Take a look at your pallet racking to see if you may have space to increase your storage:

  • Between Beams

    According to an article in DC Velocity by Mitch MacDonald, “’almost all pallet [storage racks] use only one, or perhaps two, slot heights, which unavoidably creates waste between the top of the pallet and the beam above it’” (DC Velocity. March 2019. Pg 80). In other words, take a walk through your rack, and you’ll likely find an excess of airspace in your slots. Not all of your product will be the same size. Therefore, slots should be configured to maximize pace usage rather than going with a standardized slot size. Kevin Gue goes into further detail on the subject in his article, “Finding Warehouse Space in Unexpected Places.” 

  • Above the Rack

    the majority of facilities have space to spare above their rack. The addition of even one slot across a warehouse can make a world of difference when it comes to storage space. And now, advanced reach trucks can handle the additional lift height. With safety requirements in mind, consider setting up a survey of your facility to see if adding additional racking vertically is a good option for your facility.

Make Space

Ultimately, it’s all about what’s right for you and your operation. Sometimes, finding a new place with more spread-out room is the answer. One day, we hope you do outgrow your facility all the way around because that means you’re thriving!

In the meantime, though, take the time to walk through your facility or have a professional survey your space. There’s lots more room for storage than you may think.

Source: DC Velocity. March 2019. Mitch MacDonald. “Finding More DC Space Can Sometimes be Pretty Easy.” Pg. 80.