How to: Selecting the Right Depth of Pushback

1.  One of the risks with any deep storage system is the risk of “checker boarding”.  This happens when a deep lane storage system is selected, but there are too many individual SKU’s in the facility to efficiently fill the deep storage lane. 

FOR EXAMPLE:  If you only have a single SKU of an item, and store it in a 6 deep lane, 5 positions of the lane are not filled resulting in 17% utilization of available storage capacity.  Conversely if you have 50 pallets of the same item and store them in 9 lanes of 6 deep (54 available positions), the system will be 93% utilized.  Most modern distribution facilities achieve better than 80% storage capacity utilization.


2.  As a general rule of thumb, for pushback systems to be efficiently utilized, there must be roughly 4-5 times the number of SKU’s of an item in the facility than the depth of the storage lane.

FOR EXAMPLE:  If using 2 deep pushback, there should be at least 8-10 of the same SKU with in the facility, likewise for 6 deep to be well utilized, you would need 24-30 of the same SKU’s.  Oftentimes facilities will be designed with a combination of different depths of storage (selective to 6 deep) to make best use of the floor space.


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