When we’re out shopping, whether it’s for clothes, home goods, or even a car, it’s often tempting to focus our attention on one thing above all else: what we have to pay right now. There’s an overwhelming number of choices when it comes to buying almost anything nowadays, and one of the easiest ways to start whittling down the options is to compare costs.

Push Back Racking as a cost-effective storage strategy

While the initial cost is may be front and center in our minds, there’s a good chance we’ll also be considering the longer-term pros and cons — or at least we know deep down that we should be considering the long term pros and cons. In several of our blog articles, we’ve talked about push back racking in terms of achieving optimal levels of both selectivity and storage density. We’ve also mentioned the fact that it’s often a more expensive option than standard selective and other varieties of warehouse storage rack. However, this only tells half of the story. The other half of the story contains the part where push back racking allows businesses to make better use of their warehouse space, store more product, and cycle that product with less effort. The second half of the story is when many companies see the higher initial investment of push back racking paying dividends, specifically by way of allowing a higher volume of product movement and storage density and making labor processes easier and more efficient.

If you were to compare two jackets that look nearly identical but were priced $50 apart, it may seem blatantly obvious that the less expensive of the two was the better deal. However, upon closer inspection, you may find that the more expensive of the two was made from high-quality, durable material, and has a lifetime warranty to boot. You do the math and realize that, if the more expensive of the two last forever, it will be vastly less expensive per time-worn than the shoddy jacket.

Push Back Racking RBI

One of the ways it does so is by saving on labor costs. As mentioned above, push back racking makes warehouse labor processes more efficient. For example, forklift drivers do not have to remove “blocking pallets” in the front of push back racking because push back’s design means each pallet position stores from 2-5 pallets of the same SKU. In addition, pallets are loaded and picked in a FILO inventory retrieval order. Many forklift operators also feel that push back racking is an easier system to work with than standard selective rack, and that it takes less time to learn how to use. The efficiency or lack thereof of warehouse labor can be a major resource or a major liability, and push back rack systems can turn the tables from the latter to the former.

Push back racking provides greater storage density than selective rack, and can generate a storage capacity increase of up to 90%.

As was also touched on earlier in the article, push-back simply allows warehouses to store more product with the LIFO (last in, first out) design. Many companies can only sell as much product as they’re able to store and distribute, so responding to an increase in demand by installing push back can boost business over time. Push back racking provides greater storage density than selective rack, and can generate a storage capacity increase of up to 90%. The result, if implemented properly, is often the ability to rotate through a higher volume of product and make better use of the available warehouse space instead of needing to build an addition or lease new space.

Push back racking usually isn’t cheap upfront. Push back pallet racks are engineered warehouse storage systems, and the initial investment needed to implement it will likely be higher than some other pallet racking options, such as selective or drive-in racking. However, the potential long-term benefits of push back rack should also be taken into consideration during the decision-making process. For some businesses, the value may not be there. For many others, however, push back racking’s exceptional storage density, labor savings, and speed of use will result in the growth needed to make a push back system more than worth the investment. Learn more about all of our pallet rack systems. 

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About AK Material Handling Systems

We deliver value to our customers by providing the absolute best combination of quality products, helpful customer service and competitive pricing. We specialize in warehouse layout & design, pallet rack systems, engineered sales, mezzaninesmodular offices and completed turn-key warehouse systems. For more information email us or call (800) 722-5908