The Benefits of Very Narrow Storage in Your Warehouse
Perhaps one of the biggest challenges warehouse managers face every day is making the best use of existing space. Oftentimes, building new storage units, or adding onto existing warehouse facilities just isn’t in the budget. As experts in warehouse management and order fulfillment we wanted to let you know about a practical and effective solution to this common storage challenge—very narrow aisle (VNA) storage.
Very narrow aisle racking is a great solution for those looking to add storage space to their warehouse without physically moving their operations. Standard racking aisles are at least 12 feet or wider. Narrow aisle racking is 8 to 10 feet wide. However, very narrow aisle racking can be as narrow as 6 feet, which will enable you to store up to 50% more product in the same footprint. By reducing unnecessary aisle space, you can make more room for more racks.
Converting to a VNA configuration can also represent major costs savings when compared to purchasing or moving to a new facility. Consider raising your roof at the same time as you’re converting to a VNA system and you’re looking at even more cost savings.
Very narrow aisle racking systems are completely selective, which means you have access to every pallet. In addition, pallet racking can be customized to very exacting specifications depending on the needs of your organization. For example, very narrow aisle racking can be configured using roll-formed or structural rack components. The objective is optimal storage at the lowest cost.
Aisles that are narrower also mean less floor space, which can be a big advantage. The more floor space there is, the more likely workers are to leave empty pallets and other debris lying around, which is a safety concern.
Costs savings, efficiency, safety—with all of these advantages, you may be wondering why all warehouses aren’t set up with very narrow aisles. Keep in mind that the main component that decides your aisle width is your lift truck. You’ll need a special forklift to navigate very narrow aisles. VNA trucks (turret trucks) usually only turn the load instead of the whole vehicle. Oftentimes, guidance systems like guide rail or wire is used to keep the trucks on track.
But there have been exciting advances in forklift technology. Recent remodels of forklifts that can move in smaller spaces have made very narrow storage possible in more warehouses. With a very narrow aisle racking system, modern truck designs with “swingmasts” and articulated forks allow for aisles as narrow as 65 inches without the need for guidance systems. This kind of space efficiency allows you to maximize the amount you can store and, in turn, increase your ROI.
If you have limited space and you don’t want to move to a bigger warehouse, very narrow aisle racking may be your solution. To find out more about VNA storage and other warehouse solutions, contact Taylored Fulfillment Services today. We provide advanced inventory systems and order management functionalities to include all core warehouse handling and value-added services for proper chain management, such as unloading, receiving storage, stock control, inventory location tracking, order fulfillment, order picking, pick and pack processing, and shipping.
Taylored Fulfillment Services is a fully integrated third-party logistics provider specializing in wholesale, retail, and direct-to-consumer until fulfillment. Headquartered in Iselin, New Jersey, they operate 1.5 million square feet of warehouse and distribution space, strategically located near the nation’s busiest ports, including Los Angeles, Long Beach, and New York. Since its humble beginnings in 1992, Taylored Fulfillment Services has grown to become a national leader in distribution, fulfillment, and warehousing.