Warehousing Aisle Width: A Critical Decision
Over the past 20 years, the move from high-density long-term warehousing to short-term selective storage has had a significant impact on inventory management. Industries tend to manufacture in smaller numbers, sending out one pallet or case at a time to customers rather than huge quantities. This has affected the way space is utilised in warehouses such as Warehouse Space London company http://uplands-e17.co.uk/. As well as looking to save space many of these new designs and methods of storing items in a warehouse also take into consideration health and safety needs of the business, especially if equipment is needed to move items around.
There are a number of areas to consider while working out space-saving. Smaller containers such as bin racks are a must for short-term storage and smaller shipments, and they help with the layout of the warehouse or storage facility. Identifying the optimal aisle width that will include maximum space utilisation while meeting requirements for flexibility and safety is a key factor in warehouse planning.
The machinery employed in the aisles and the products that will be stored are vital to consider. Vehicle specifications, as well as the size and weight of the loads they’ll be carrying, are critical details. The shape and size of your warehouse needs to be taken into account. Experts stress the importance of preparing plans of your warehouse that take into account anything that might restrict your layout, such as structural supports, door sizes, docks and height restrictions.
If you’re planning changes that include changes in the way your inventory is stored, you’ll need a good idea of the kinds of storage racks and containers you’ll require and factor those into your plan.
Determining the Optimum Aisle Width
Warehouse lift trucks are generally categorised by the width of the aisle that they can handle. Forklifts, for instance, are generally Wide Aisle (WA) lift trucks and typically operate in aisles with a width of at least 11 feet. Aisles of between 8 and 10 feet are known as Narrow Aisles, while Very Narrow Aisles are less than six feet wide – trucks are specially designed to rotate only the load out of its rack, rather than the entire vehicle rotating.
Moving from a Wide Aisle system to a Narrow Aisle system can increase capacity by up to 25%. While your plans may be limited by the machinery you already have in place, smart choices of storage racks and bins can help maximise your storage.