When it’s time to set up a new warehouse or refresh your current one, it can be easy to make mistakes that will set you back financially or impede your path to maximum productivity. Follow our simple tips to make sure you avoid common pallet racking mistakes and set your warehouse up correctly. 

What do you actually need? 

First of all, you need to assess your requirements carefully. Do you stock a lot of very heavy items? Are you storing foodstuffs? Are your goods particularly fast moving? All of these questions (and others) will affect how you go about setting up your warehouse with pallet racking.

Make the most of your space 

The best time to optimise your warehouse space is when you are first setting up. You need to think about the height you want to store items at – vertical space is often forgotten but it shouldn’t be wasted. Likewise, don’t set your racking too far apart – consider narrower aisles with a one-way system to ensure that there are no traffic jams. 

Make the most of your shelving 

When it comes to your pallet racking, find an option that has adjustable shelves. This way, you can make sure that every single rack is used to its fullest capability – leave just a small clearance for forklift or pallet truck operators to lift the pallet before sliding it out, and then the next shelf can be installed nice and close. 

Buy right, or buy twice 

Pallet racking can be an expensive investment. Buying a cheaper model made from inferior materials, or not getting the best type of racking for your site and your needs, can force you to replace the racking before very long, meaning that you will have spent out twice. The old adage about buying cheap and buying twice applies here – it is worth spending more to get a high-quality racking solution that fits your exact requirements. 

Safety first 

We all know that safety in the warehouse is crucial – you probably already have regular forklift inspections and personal protective equipment (PPE) for your staff, for example. But it can be easy to forget to ensure your racking is in good condition – conduct frequent walkthroughs of your site to ensure that everything is in order, and add racking inspections to your scheduled detailed inspections. 

Protect your racking 

Warehouse operatives, including forklift drivers and pallet truck users, can sometimes be guilty of rushing, not concentrating or losing focus. This can result in corners being cut (literally) and pallets or vehicles impacting your racking units. You can combat this by using barriers – these are usually fitted securely into the ground near corners. Typically a bright colour, they act not only as a physical shield that protects your racks but also as a visual deterrent for drivers and operators to avoid.

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