Ways to Save Space in a Warehouse and on the Road

Warehouse forklift

Finding room in the warehouse and reserving space on the road is an important endeavor for any supply chain. There are several reasons that your organization can be running out of usable space in the warehouse and on the road.

An organization needs to be able to effectively store their products and ship them without having to purchase new real estate. Let’s take a look at some of the most common issues that are cause an organization to seemingly be running out of space without the profits to indicate growth.

Safety Supply over Abundance

Having an abundant supply of the right inventory may seem like a positive and normally it is unless it is an overabundance of supplies that are not moving. Using forecaster models is not an exact science and it can result in an overstock of an organizations safety supply.

Fulfilling customer orders at a 100% rate is something to celebrate but a closer look at the warehouse reveals that many times the warehouse is a literal mess. There will be pallets of products stored in aisles with products spilling over.

There is blocked visibility which is dangerous and there can be confusion in locating products. An over-abundance of products even the right types of products when not stored correctly.

It is fine to beef up the safety supply load to be able to respond to immediate demand but there has to be an orderly storage method in place. Pallet collars can help to better organize the over-abundance of supply and help to better organize the warehouse.

At least having the right products on hand even when in abundance means that the disarray in the warehouse is only temporary. On the other side of the coin if you have too much stock that is not moving than the space shortage will have to be addressed differently.

Over Abundance of the Wrong Products

In a bid to be able to respond to customer demand sometimes the space is being used up by the wrong type of products. Stocking up the wrong products is a combination of effects.

The warehouse may not be managing the inventor levels. The sales projections may be off, planning was not given enough thought, latent data was used in the planning, in most cases it is a combination of all of the variables.

The wrong inventory can be taking up valuable real estate in your warehouse. A really good example of a real life situation occurred when a mid-sized organization reached their warehouse capacity but was not really seeing the profits that they thought they would brought in a consultant that found 800 pallets out of their 3000 that contained outdated goods. Over 400 of the pallets had not had any sales in the previous 12 months. Many of the 400 untouched pallets had not had any sales in the prior THREE years.

The pallets had pallet walls making it difficult for the warehouse employees to see what the pallet contained because of the work involved with removing the pallet walls, the pallets were ignored.

Many of the pallets that were taking up room in the warehouse were half filled yet they were taking up a full space. Had these pallets had easy to remove pallet collars they may not have sat for three years taking up much needed space.

The consultant helped this company clean up their inventory and suggested that pallet collars were used in the future not only to open up space in the warehouse but to also to make better use of the space. The pallet collars are height adjustable so as items were removed from the pallet a collar can be removed.

Poorly Utilized Space

Making the most of space is imperative but often times when an organization is “running out of space” they are actually just misusing the space. With a few adjustments the space can be easily opened up. This is not a unique situation, it happens to most organizations at one time or another. This actually happens in all warehouses at one time or another.

Reducing the mismanagement of space can come down to just choosing the right tools for storage. Some of the things you can do to minimize the amount of space that is needed is to add pallet collars to all pallets which can help to reserve space by adjusting the height of the pallet.

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Organization can also look at the value of using pallets for mixed loads. Low vertical space use is also an issue that can be overcome by using pallet collars. Since pallet collars are adjustable you can easily get more vertical storage space with them. When you consider the amount of vertical space you can shave off of a pallet by using pallet collars instead of using pallet walls.

Pallet collars also add a great deal of stability for stacking purposes.

Finding Space on The Road

Once you have solved some of your warehousing issues next it is time to make the most out of your shipping space. There are plenty of studies that indicate that shipping less than full trailers can result in a reduction in efficiency, profits and customer responsiveness.

There are a few things that need to be addressed when you are trying to find more space on the road. First of all most truckloads are not really truckloads. They are usually partially loaded. The floor space may be taken up but the vertical space is left empty. You need a reliable method of packaging that allows worry free stacking even in a truck trailer.

Pallet collars make any pallet an instant stackable container. Taking advantage of the vertical space in a trailer can easily influence the efficacy of the supply chain.

A well known consultant in the shipping industry offers the following advice “working with the customer to develop creative packaging solutions that will allow their product to be stacked while still providing an acceptable level of protection.  This should generate lower transportation rates which will help offset the investment in packaging.”

Pallet collars are THE perfect solution for adding some much needed space on the road. They offer a rigid stackable surface so that pallets can be loaded to the ceiling in the trailer leave less unused space. Pallet collars can help to protect fragile freight. A lot of unused room in a truckload of goods is left empty to preserve the integrity of the goods but with pallet collars set firmly in place even fragile goods are protected meaning that the empty space can be used.

Many trailer loads are seemingly full but they are no where near the potential weight load. Combining orders on pallets can easily take advantage of the left over weight availability. Combining orders can save greatly on shipping.

Of course always get the permission of the clients by explaining that combining orders can save them money as well. Pass part of the savings on to the customer and watch as they line up to take advantage of mixed order shipping.

Another very important point to consider when moving goods and products is to consider whether the exclusive use of a particular trailer is necessary. Many industries opt for exclusive type trailers to transport goods and they sort of get stuck in a rut of exclusivity.

Being flexible in your trailer choices can open up possibilities and easily help to find the extra room that is needed for transport.

Better Planning and Collaboration

Better planning and more effective collaboration can help to reduce an over abundance of both the right and the wrong inventory. Planning and collaboration for product movement that is accurate can help to reduce the size of the loads that are being trailered by combining orders onto the same pallet.

Pallet collars can work great when you are combining shipments onto one pallet. Order A can be contained within the lower collared area while order B can be contained in the upper collared area. Unlike combing orders using other methods that pallet collars provide an accurate way to layer in orders.

Collaboration and planning using the right tools can help to reduce the need for additional space. Discussing shipping options with a client can help the organization to come up with movement solutions that may have not been considered before. Of course open collaboration and better planning can facilitate cost savings to all parties.

Overall

Unless your organization has experienced a great deal of growth which can be measured by profit margins there is likely plenty of space in the warehouse that you are not utilizing. That space may be in areas you have not considered like the vertical space.

Using the right tools can easily help to free up the space that is needed. Pallet collars are a great addition to any packaging solution because they offer the flexibility that is necessary to take full advantage of every inch of space. The space is there you just need to figure out what is taking it up and make the necessary adjustments.