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Surviving the Real Estate Crunch: Five Techniques to Improve Warehouse Efficiency without Relocating

In today’s challenging business environment, securing additional warehouse space can be an uphill battle. The industrial real estate shortage has forced businesses to stay in their existing facilities, even when they’re running out of space. To compound the issue, renewing leases often comes with a significant price hike, with rents soaring by at least 30% and, in some cases, even doubling. However, there’s good news! By optimizing your racking layouts and making the most of your current space, you can not only address storage constraints but also reduce ongoing storage costs, improve operational efficiency, and potentially save on labour expenses. Here are five effective ways to achieve this:


Embrace Vertical Storage – Build Up:

When horizontal space is limited, thinking vertically is the key to unlocking additional storage capacity. Vertical storage solutions, such as selective pallet racking or double-deep racking, allow you to make the most of the warehouse’s height. By utilizing taller racks and optimizing vertical space, you can significantly increase storage capacity without expanding your footprint. This approach not only saves on rental costs but also improves operational efficiency by reducing the distance travelled by forklifts and personnel.

For example, North American Steel offers a range of vertical storage solutions designed to optimize warehouse space. Our selective pallet racking and double-deep racking systems provide easy access to every pallet while maximizing storage density and can be built up to 50 feet high.


Implement Dynamic Flow Racking:

Efficient inventory management and order fulfilment are crucial for businesses dealing with limited space. Dynamic flow racking systems, such as pallet flow or carton flow, offer an ideal solution. By utilizing gravity to move products along inclined shelves, these systems enable seamless product rotation and facilitate first-in-first-out (FIFO) inventory management. This optimizes space utilization, reduces the need for excess aisles, and enhances picking efficiency.

Imagine a warehouse where perishable goods need to be rotated regularly. Dynamic flow racking ensures optimal stock rotation, minimizes waste, and maximizes the use of available space.


Opt for Semi or Fully Automated Storage Retrieval Systems :

In the quest for improved efficiency and reduced labour costs, semi or fully automated storage retrieval systems (AS/RS) are a game-changer. These systems utilize advanced robotics and technology to handle the storage and retrieval of goods with precision and speed. AS/RS can access narrow aisles and utilize vertical space efficiently. By automating these processes, you can significantly increase storage density and eliminate the need for extensive manual labour, ultimately saving costs and improving operational efficiency.

Consider a scenario where a business faces high labour costs or labour shortages.

Implementing semi or fully automated storage retrieval systems can streamline operations, enhance productivity, and optimize the use of limited warehouse space.


Utilize Cantilever Racking:

When dealing with long, bulky items such as lumber, pipes, or steel bars, traditional racking systems may not suffice. Cantilever racking offers an excellent solution for storing these types of items. With its long arms extending from vertical columns, cantilever racking provides unobstructed access to stored goods. By eliminating the need for horizontal beams and uprights, you can optimize storage capacity for long and irregularly shaped items within the same square footage.

For instance, if your business operates in the construction industry, cantilever racking allows for efficient storage and retrieval of long steel beams, freeing up valuable floor space.


Implement Storage Platforms and Mezzanines:

When floor space is limited, utilizing vertical space effectively becomes paramount. Storage platforms provide an excellent opportunity to create additional storage or operational areas within your warehouse. By constructing raised platforms above existing floor space, you can optimize storage capacity or create new workspaces. These platforms can be customized to meet your specific requirements, whether it’s additional storage, office space, or picking and packing areas.

Imagine a retail business facing space constraints for fast-moving products. By installing a mezzanine platform, they can create an additional level of storage, freeing up floor space for more productive operations.

In conclusion, the scarcity of industrial real estate and rising lease costs pose significant challenges for businesses in need of additional warehouse space. However, by optimizing racking layouts and embracing innovative solutions such as vertical storage, dynamic flow racking, semi or fully automated storage retrieval systems, cantilever racking, and mezzanine platforms, businesses can effectively maximize their existing space, reduce storage costs, improve operational efficiency, and potentially save on labour expenses.


With North American Steel’s expertise and quality racking systems, businesses can overcome space constraints and optimize their storage and distribution operations, all within their existing facilities. Don’t let space limitations hold you back—unleash the potential of your warehouse and contact us today!

Article originally published to A+D Wire.