In warehousing, as with any other type of business, there’s increasing pressure to make the most of resources. Where warehouses are concerned, this means making the best possible use of the available space. To do this, many companies are turning to innovative technologies to allow them to operate with narrower aisles, making more space for product storage.

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Articulated trucks

Warehouse space is in increasing demand, indeed in some areas space is increasingly scarce – http://www.devonlive.com/exeter-has-massive-demand-for-industrial-space-and-is-running-out-of-room/story-30326610-detail/story.html. This level of demand pushes up rental costs or drives firms to look for different locations. Many companies are therefore seeking to find ways of making the most effective use of their existing warehousing space.

Replacing conventional reach-style forklift trucks with articulated versions has several advantages. These trucks can work in narrow aisles which is a key factor. They can also reach higher, up to 15 metres in some cases, allowing maximum use to be made of vertical space as well as floor space.

Other factors to consider are using double-reach trucks, allowing pallets to be stacked further from the aisle, again making more effective use of the available space.

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Leaner operations

Pressures on space also lead to warehouses looking to make their operations more efficient across the board. Among other things, this can mean investing in used pallet racking from a company such as http://www.rackzone.ie/, rather than buying new.

It’s also the case that operations themselves may be streamlined. This involves better planning of storage to ensure fewer truck movements, keeping fast turn over items closest to loading bays and slower moving lines further away, for example. It’s also necessary to plan around the number of trucks that will be operating in a particular location. Do they need space to be able to pass each other at certain points? With pressures on costs it’s often felt that using fewer trucks will deliver savings, however, it’s important to plan for the worst, as if your operation has to stop due to a breakdown, it can disrupt the whole supply chain and cost you money.

In situations where staff or members of the public are around, there are also safety implications. This is where pedestrian operated trucks operating at low speeds and giving the driver a clear view of his surroundings can come into play and be advantageous.

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Kenneth Hart