Warehouses and distribution centers in the food & beverage industry have unique challenges when selecting a racking design to fit their throughput and SKU management needs. SKU profiles are so diverse that it is imperative to work with a company that can manage all aspects of racking design, installation, and project management to ensure quality and on time delivery at each step of the process. A racking company that manages permitting, safety drawings and applications and manages parts through one source will make the process roll much more smoothly than having multiple parties manage different steps. Here are 2 considerations before moving forward with your next storage racking project.
- What storage racking is going to work?
- Review your warehouse footprint and layout to determine the amount of space available for storage and handling. Identify problems or difficult areas that will need to be addressed during the design process.
- Measure out your clear height to utilize vertical space in the warehouse. Understand that adding vertical height will add stress on the racking structure and therefore could result in added racking supports. Warehouses are getting taller to accommodate larger SKU profiles as well as more inventory per item, so it is becoming more common to use taller racking layouts.
- Identify the type of lift trucks being used to decide on the measurements needed in the racking structure. This could determine type of racking and load capacity for certain pallet positions. Engineers need to know the turning radius and aisle width to calculate the number of pallet positions that can be created in the system. For example, some forklifts require 16 ft aisles instead of the typical 12 ft to turn around safely during operation.
- Who is your client?
- What types of products does your client store? Type of SKU profile will influence the combination of structural racking that is ideal for your storage.
- What inventory flow is right for your warehouse or distribution center? If products are more susceptible to expiration dates then a FIFO inventory flow is the correct storage configuration. Fresh produce and chemicals are examples of product categories that need to follow a FIFO inventory flow.
- Food & Beverage operations are trending from high density pushback systems to more flexible double deep selective systems. With more SKU’s to consider, double deep delivers the right combination of storage density and product accessibility.
Types of racking for food & beverage:
Food and beverage distributors deal with increasingly complex environments to deliver the maximum amount of product types to consumers. Customized warehouse pallet racking solutions are more important than ever to maximize storage density and support warehouse throughput requirements to meet customer demand. Flexibility and scalability are more important than ever to re-configure inventory diversification and meet current economic trends.
- Selective – Ideal for high turnover, high SKU stock count and quick product accessibility.
- Double deep reach – Provides high-density storage at a lower initial capital cost when compared with other high-density storage systems.
- Drive-In – Provides a low budget and high-density storage solution for customers with lower SKU counts.
- Pushback – High-density storage configuration with fast operation and high selectivity.