When it comes to making the most efficient use of warehouse space, one of the primary factors to consider is often storage density. Storage density is an important consideration for a number of reasons. First, it is generally the case that warehouse managers have a finite amount of space to work with, i.e. the existing warehouse space. Warehouse space is not easy to come by, and running out of room in any given warehouse typically does not mean that management simply buys more space and continues operations as usual. Investing in new warehouse space is just that — an investment — and it is one that businesses will make only if the pieces are in place and it is a wise business decision. What usually happens, rather, is the current storage systems in place are reorganized in a way that allows for a more efficient use of the space that is already available.

From a business standpoint, it just makes more sense to maximize the systems already in place than to immediately pursue the development of new ones.  Increasing storage density simply refers to storing more product in less space, and thus can help meet the warehouse manager’s overall goal of maximizing warehouse space.

Warehouse Design Push Back

Pallet Rack Systems to Maximize Storage Density

Of course, there are a variety of ways in which one can go about maximizing their storage density, but that’s a topic for another blog post. For this post, we’ll focus on pallet rack systems as a means of achieving optimal storage density. As you might guess, different pallet rack systems have differing levels of storage density. Just like pallet rack systems vary in design and function, they vary in how much product they’re able to store in a given area. A pallet flow rack system, for example, will be less dense than a drive-in system. This brings us to another factor for consideration, however: product flow and efficiency. A person looking to increase storage density by moving from a pallet flow system to a drive-in system may be disappointed to learn that drive-in systems are first-in, last-out systems, meaning they can only be used in situations with a low number of SKU’s and products that are able to sit in storage for long periods of time. Naturally, there’s a rack system featuring a combination of high storage density and an ability to produce high product turnover, right?

warehouse design push back pallet racking

Push Back Pallet Rack

Of all pallet rack systems, one of the best available combinations of storage density and rapid product turnover belongs to push back pallet rack. Push back pallet rack systems operate by placing a series of nested carts at a single pallet position. When a pallet is placed on a cart, it sits at the front of the pallet position until it is pushed backward by a new pallet, which will sit on the cart that was nested beneath. This system of loading means that push back pallet rack systems are first in, last out pallet rack systems.

A Man pretends to push boxes that are sitting on push back rack

However, unlike, say, a drive-in rack system, push back systems are able to retain much of their selectivity and ability to turn over product quickly. Push back pallet rack systems generally store only up to 5 pallets deep, so a relatively high level of product turnover is easily maintained. But, the fact that push back systems store pallets 5 deep, as opposed to, for example, 1-pallet-deep selective racking means that storage density is given great priority in push back systems.

For more information on push back pallet rack systems, visit our push back pallet rack page at akequipment.com.  There you can read more about the benefits of a push back system, and how the team at AK can custom engineer a push back system for your warehouse.

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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