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Posted by Stephanie on April 29, 2024

Efficient warehouse management is only possible with the proper storage solutions. While many options are available, consider selecting structural pallet racks for your warehouse. This type of racking system is built with hot-rolled steel, which offers several advantages, the primary of which is that it’s resistant to damage by forklifts and any other lift equipment you use in your facility.

Regardless of the types of items you’re storing in your warehouse, it’s highly recommended that you choose pallet racks that will enhance picking operations as well as loading and unloading tasks. If you’ve noticed that your warehouse storage system needs to be improved in some areas, upgrading to structural pallet racks may help you streamline your operations and boost efficiency.

When considering upgrading to structural pallet racks, consider the return on investment (ROI) this system will provide. Weigh the upfront costs against the long-term savings you’ll gain by making this change. This guide delves into structural pallet racks and their many benefits to warehouses and distribution centers.

Pallet Racking Installation

Maximizing Warehouse Space Efficiency

Structural pallet racks optimize vertical space utilization by allowing you to store items at your preferred height. The durability of the steel frames ensures that the structural uprights can be stacked without issue. By taking advantage of the vertical space in your warehouse, you can increase the facility’s storage capacity and reduce the need for additional space.

Structural pallet racking also has a higher load capacity than other systems, so you can store heavier items without purchasing special storage units. Since structural pallet rack systems make using the vertical space in your warehouse easy, you could improve your storage capacity by 200 to 300%. Consider speaking with a material handling specialist to estimate how much you can improve your facility’s storage capacity by switching to structural pallet racks.

Ensuring Safety and Risk Management

Structural pallet racks are designed with safety in mind. The build quality is better when you compare this racking system to a roll-formed rack. You’ll benefit from more durable steel columns and thicker channel corners, which is why structural systems can withstand more impact. Once you implement this system, you will likely notice far less forklift damage. Higher durability also results in lower maintenance requirements and a longer lifespan.

Structural pallet racks can also be equipped with more safety features. For example, you can outfit this racking system with features like aisle markings, load capacity signage, and rack guards. If you live in an area prone to seismic activity, structural pallet racks can be designed to withstand these forces.

Investing in structural pallet racks also mitigates the chances of product damage and accidents. The steel structure’s high durability ensures that equipment collisions don’t cause much damage.

Pallet Racking with Row Spacers and Column Guards

When designing a structural pallet rack system, consider the industry standards and regulations related to warehouse safety. Your storage system must comply with all national laws and local building codes. You must also abide by two standards: Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) regulations and Rack Manufacturers Institute (RMI) guidelines.

You can keep your personnel safe and avoid potential legal issues by meeting these standards. To understand the types of regulations, OSHA’s general guidelines include rules like:

  • Use lockout/tag-out procedures
  • Transparent surfaces, floors, and aisles of hazards that might cause falls or trips
  • Make sure your facility is well-ventilated
  • Train employees to understand ergonomics and how to implement them
  • Only make manufacturer-approved modifications or repairs to your pallet racking system

Improving Workflow and Productivity

Structural pallet racks contribute to a more organized and streamlined warehouse layout. You can use your facility’s vertical space to reduce the square footage you need for storage significantly. When designing this storage system, you’ll need to account for the flow of goods in your warehouse and the arrangement of aisles. For example, double-deep racks provide more storage capacity while allowing you to maintain product accessibility.

When you upgrade to structural pallet racks, strike a good balance between accessibility and storage density. High accessibility leads to faster retrieval times, and if pickers can get to items quickly, your facility’s productivity rates should improve.

Long-Term Adaptability and Scalability

Structural pallet racks also offer long-term adaptability and scalability, which aren’t available with other racking solutions. These systems are highly flexible, ensuring they can accommodate evolving storage needs. For example, suppose you’re about to grow your business by offering your products or services to international customers. In that case, you can alter structural pallet racks to deliver more capacity as your business grows.

Structural pallet racks are made with modular designs that allow for easy reconfiguration and expansion. Running out of floor space in your facility can be a significant ordeal if you have a more rigid racking system. If your storage solution can’t be reconfigured or expanded, you may be unable to scale as quickly as you’d like. In this type of scenario, product delays are expected. If your customers regularly receive late shipments, they may no longer do business with you.

Investing in adaptable rack systems provides long-term benefits and allows you to future-proof your warehouse. You can use different configurations depending on the load weights and sizes you need to store.

4 Pallet-Deep Push Back Racking System

Financial Considerations and Cost Savings

Before investing in structural pallet racks, some financial considerations might impact your decision. For example, the upfront costs associated with this racking system can be high. However, you’ll benefit from long-term cost savings because of less maintenance, reduced labor costs, and fewer replacement needs. Since these systems are highly durable, they don’t need to be repaired as often. Over time, you’ll save a considerable sum of money.

As mentioned, two of the most common warehouse storage options include structural pallet racks and roll-formed systems. Roll-formed racking is made from cold-rolling steel that can be snapped into place. These materials are lightweight, so their load capacities are lower. They’re also more susceptible to being damaged by lift trucks.

Structural racking systems use strong steel materials that can withstand more damage. If you need to spend $10,000 annually to maintain a roll-formed system, the maintenance costs for a structural unit may be less than half of that. Remember that structural racks last at least five years longer than other types.

Environmental and Sustainability Benefits

Several eco-friendly aspects of structural pallet racks are unavailable with most other racking solutions. For example, the materials used to construct these racks can be recycled, which is excellent for the environment. These materials are also more energy efficient than their counterparts. The right pallet rack system optimizes your warehouse space and reduces material wastage.

Sustainable practices are essential in modern warehouse operations. By using efficient storage, you can avoid additional expansion or construction, which should minimize the wasteful consumption of energy and raw materials. This strategy should reduce your facility’s carbon footprint.

Pallet Racking

Implementing sustainable practices and investing in environmentally friendly solutions help the environment and align with corporate social responsibility goals. A focus on social responsibility empowers your employees to promote these causes. If implemented correctly, it can also help your bottom line.

Modern consumers prefer to do business with brands that share their beliefs, meaning being socially responsible can improve your company’s image and help you build your brand. Making your warehouse more sustainable can also lead to higher employee morale, which might result in better productivity. In this situation, your warehouse would likely become more profitable.

By installing long-lasting structural pallet racks in your facility, your storage system should last for years, so your warehouse will produce less waste. This is just one aspect of how your facility can become more sustainable.

Conclusion

When appropriately installed, structural pallet racks have the potential to deliver a high ROI. They are more durable than most systems and can be repaired or maintained less often. Depending on the quality of your existing storage solution, these racks should make your inventory more accessible, boosting picking rates.

While the upfront costs are high, structural pallet racks offer numerous long-term benefits, including cost savings, scalability, and improved safety. Consider structural pallet racks’ holistic value proposition when evaluating warehouse storage solutions.

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With over 32 years of experience in material handling, QMH is committed to providing end-to-end solutions for companies with distribution, logistic and warehousing needs. From permit approval management to full-service execution from the ground up, QMH delivers unique solutions providing distinct value in record time.