Six Types of Warehouse Storage
Warehouse storage consists of goods of all shapes and sizes for purposes that vary from overnight delivery to long-term storage. Consequently, there are many different storage methods in warehouses, each with its associated equipment and each optimized for a different usage scenario.
Here is a review of the most common warehouse storage solutions and the recommended products to implement them.
Bulk racks, also known as static shelving, are general-purpose warehouse storage racks for items of many dimensions. Bulk racks are most popular for warehouses that stock their shelves by hand rather than by forklift and need to store and pick items in variable quantities rather than by pallet load.
The main benefit of bulk racks is the incredible flexibility they provide—you can store almost any item of typical dimensions, and pick in small volumes as orders come in. For all these reasons, bulk racks are common in warehouses that serve retail and eCommerce operations.
There are different types of warehouse racking. Steel bulk racks are categorized as standard, heavy-duty, or high-capacity.
A standard rack with welded uprights has dimensions of 8′ W x 2′ D x 10′ 3″ H with three levels of shelves. Decking is an optional extra and comes in particleboard, steel, or wire varieties. A wide span version (dimensions 5′ W X 4′ D X 10′ 3″ H ) is also available for larger items or higher quantities per shelf. These and similar shelves are built to support the most common types of bulk storage and are appropriate for items of average weight such as plastic and paper goods.
Heavy-duty shelves (3′ W X 1′ 6″ D X 7′ H) are suitable for warehouses that store industrial parts with substantial weight, such as automotive and machining parts. Each reinforced steel shelf can hold 2,800 pounds.
High-capacity shelves (4′ W X 1′ 6″ D X 8′ H) have five levels and carry 1,900 to 2,300 lbs on each shelf. Shelf sizes range from 36 to 96 inches. These high-capacity shelving units are ideal for small but heavy parts that will be packed densely.
Among warehouse storage methods, pallet racking is at the opposite end of the speed and quantity spectrum from bulk racks. Pallet racking entails storing items on a pallet and then moving the pallet as necessary. As a storage strategy, it excels at quickly moving large fixed quantities and is often chosen for warehouses that prize speed of operation. The limitation of pallet racking is that it’s hard to deal in quantities of less than a pallet’s worth. But the trade-off of flexibility for speed is often worth it.
A pallet racking system consists of pallet racks shelving, pallet rack decking, and the pallets themselves.
At StoreMoreStore, pallet rack shelves range from two to four levels in height increments of 8, 12, 14, and 20 feet. There are racks to fit pallets that are 40″W x 40”D, 42″W x 42”D, 48″W x 42”D, and 48″W x 48”D.
Pallet rack decking comes in solid and perforated steel versions, in widths to match your pallet shelves. The load capacity is 3,000 pounds per piece. Raised beam channels are also available to support loads that are not on a pallet.
StoreMoreStore produces plastic, galvanized steel, and heavy-duty aluminum pallets. Plastic pallets are easily cleaned, and ideal for the medical and food industries. Metal pallets support large loads (up to 6,600 lbs on the floor) and will find many industrial applications.
We’ve covered two different types of warehouse storage systems. Next up is an innovative approach called flow racks. This system uses angled decking equipped with rollers to move packages and pallets from the back of the rack to the front. This separates the input aisle from the output aisle, allowing for uninterrupted picking as items are placed in the rack.
Because items flow through the rack in the order they are placed there, flow racks promote a first-in, first-out (FIFO) storage strategy. Flow racks are best suited to medium and higher turnover items and are common in perishable goods environments such as the food industry.
Industrial-grade cabinetry organizes items of many different sizes in a secure location, protected from theft and environmental wear and tear. StoreMoreStore’s heavy-duty cabinets have either solid or ventilated doors and are fully lockable. Modular cabinets store and organize many parts in a compact space. Available in widths from 24 to 60 inches, these cabinets can support up to 400 pounds per drawer, making them suitable for heavy parts of all kinds.
Mezzanines allow you to add an additional floor to your storage facility, greatly expanding your storage capacity at a lower cost than typical construction. Mezzanines can be free-standing, rack-supported, or shelving-supported. StoreMoreStore has prefabricated mezzanines in a variety of floor space and height options that meet IBC and OSHA regulations.
In combination with any of the warehouse storage methods described above, it’s easy to add security to your facility by using wire mesh security partitions. These rapid-assembly wire panels prevent theft and unauthorized access to your storage racks. You can use them to create a secure “mantrap” entrance to your warehouse or place your most valuable items behind wire for extra protection. StoreMoreStore has one-, two-, three-, and four-wall options ready to ship.
Get Warehouse Storage Solutions From StoreMoreStore
That completes our review of the main types of warehouse storage. If you have a storage application that doesn’t fit neatly into the products described above, check out our industrial shelving and industrial products categories. These products can store a variety of goods, from the very small to the very large.
At StoreMoreStore, we believe that every warehouse should be outfitted with a storage system that is fit for its purpose. To speak with our expert staff about choosing products that make sense for your warehouse, contact us anytime at (855) 786-7667 or by email.