Vertical Storage Warehouse

Vertical Racking System

E-commerce sales have been on a steady rise over the last five years. When the pandemic hit, companies started relying heavily on online sales. Statista projects sales to increase to $563B within the next few years. As a result, companies are expanding their footprint to stay competitive and meet customer demand. 

When we think of a traditional warehouse, a vast space with extensive square footage (SF) pops into our mind. Ten years ago, a million SF warehouse sounded impressive, but it has become more prevalent. However, large flat spaces have drawbacks, such as longer travel times that negatively impact cycle times. 

One solution to increase storage space and lower cycle times is to expand vertically. With land costs drastically rising, building up instead of out makes sense. Businesses report vertical warehouses have increased their profits and lowered long-term operating costs.

vertical storage warehouse

Good Design Affects Productivity

SEA Studios understands that an efficient design results in more accessible access to products and increases the business’s ROI. The layout of a vertical storage warehouse is the most crucial design component. The team will need a clear understanding of the business to design the layout. The number of employees working within the facility, their roles, the racking system, the level of automation, and all mechanical system components are all assessed. The next step is equipment placement, ensuring a continuous flow to maximize productivity. 

There are additional design placements to boost productivity. For example, centrally located toilets within the warehouse lessen travel time for employees. Studies suggest natural light heightens concentration; installing skylights allows light to penetrate deeper into the warehouse. Not to mention, the flow of natural light also lowers energy consumption. Higher grade insulation helps control year-round temperature and reduces moisture. 

When it comes to height, vertical warehouses can be up to 100FT tall (approximately seven stories). In addition, there are different options for exterior walls: tilt-up, precast concrete, steel with metal panels, or prefabricated walls.

Suppose location is vital for your business. Existing warehouses have the potential for vertical expansion. A structural engineer will need to assess the building before the design process begins.

vertical storage automation

Automated Vertical Storage Warehouse

We have clients with fully automated warehouses and others with limited optimization. There are initial costs associated with the level of automation, but they can offset long-term costs. More efficient material flow, less headcount, reduced operating costs, and lower life cycles are benefits of automation. 

Owners can choose to have limited automation and still benefit from vertical storage. The racking system alone optimizes storage space, in turn increasing product availability. All vertical warehouses will need equipment to retrieve products from high heights.

VERTICAL warehouse storage

Would Expanding Vertically Be Right For Your Business?

With e-commerce sales on the rise. Vertical storage warehouses are one solution to staying competitive. Palatable products, such as CPG (consumer product goods), are a good fit for vertical storage.  

These warehouses can fit into an array of budgets, depending on the level of automation.  A fully automated warehouse will have a higher budget than having a racking system with minimal equipment.

As mentioned above, existing warehouses can be vertically expanded. There is extensive work to be completed, and the cost reflects this. At a minimum, the warehouse’s structure will need to be braced and the roof removed with the addition of interior support and steel beams to increase the height.

Let’s connect if you’re interested in speaking about vertical storage warehouses.

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