Are you thinking about adding to your existing pallet storage? If you have large numbers of pallets for a single SKU, there are a number of alternatives to traditional selective pallet rack that you may want to consider.
The systems described below work best for on-hand pallet quantities of 10 or more pallets per SKU. If you have large numbers pallets that come and go in an unpredictable manner or in a seasonal pattern, you may want to consider dense floor storage alternatives to traditional rack storage. Floor storage is the topic for this month. Next month, we will look at deep rack storage alternatives.
Block floor storage: By far the cheapest of the alternatives, this strategy is great for creating very high density in a very small space. If you can safely stack your product three or four pallets high, it can be the cheapest and densest of any alternative. The key is that you must manage your stock, keep in well organized in rows, and if FIFO is important, you must pick lanes clean before putting away newly received pallets. More likely, you may have a situation where you can stack only two pallets safely. In that case you will need to consider the purchase of equipment to safely stack pallets on the floor.
Stacking frames: Stacking frames eliminate the problem of stacking height by using a rigid frame that can support loads that could not otherwise be stacked. Stacking frames are completely portable and can be set up in a matter of minutes. Another advantage of stacking frames is that they can be used to stack loads that are not flat or level on the top. Stacking frames can be moved to any floor location and can be taken away and stored flat (or even outside) when not in use, so that they are great for occasional large or seasonal receipts.
Sam Flanders is president of Durham, NH-based Warehouse Management Consultants.