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How Narrow Can Aisles Be Between Pallet Racking?

Article added Wednesday August 26th, 2015

Making efficient use of space can boost your business. If space is limited then it is vital that you make the best use of space and position your pallet racking as close together as possible without compromising on workers being able to do a good job.

Many warehouse managers want to maximise efficiency by making use of every available square foot of the warehouse. This means horizontal space as well as the vertical.

There obviously needs to be some space between racking, otherwise loading and unloading of stored goods would be impossible.

There are a number of factors to take into consideration when wanting to know how narrow your aisles can be.

  • Design of the building
  • Use of space by other departments or for other uses
  • Forklift turning circle
  • Health and Safety (inc. legislation covering fire escape routes)
  • Length of largest stock
  • Length of largest pallets

An initial consideration should also be the overall amount of rows and aisles you can feasibly have.

Will narrowing aisles allow for any more racking?

Measuring and planning for the redistribution of racking is an important first step. It might be the case that you can shift the pallet racking, creating narrower aisles, but are not able to fit in any extra rows. In this case, it would not be worthwhile going ahead with any changes.

Getting narrower with narrow aisle forklift trucks

Another factor to take into consideration is the type of forklift you use. If you are serious about going narrower then you may want to invest in narrow aisle forklift trucks.

Narrow aisle forklift trucks can work faster and lift higher than regular trucks though they cannot turn in the aisles so wire guidance is fitted in to warehouse flooring.

Will creating a perimeter aisle be an efficient use of space?

No. Many business lay their racking against the four walls of the warehouse but this seemingly logical use of your warehouse space will not give you more room.

Making time to adjust the position of your racking

Consideration also needs to go into when and how you will reposition the racking. Goods will have to be moved from the racking before they are moved and so space needs to be available to accommodate them during the move.

Normal work will also be disrupted while the move is taking place. The most convenient option may be moving racking outside of normal working hours which may mean paying staff over time.

Conclusion

There needs to be careful planning to know if narrowing your aisles will be more efficient for the business. Considerations need to be made to various factors to know whether the project will be feasible and beneficial.

If you need advice on the best option for your business when it comes to narrowing your aisles. Get in touch with us on 0800 085 8117 or fill out our enquiry form.

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