Pro’s and Cons of a Vertical Storage Warehouse

Vertical Racking System

Vertical Storage Warehouse Increases Revenue

When the pandemic hit, companies started relying on e-commerce to sell products—drastically increasing the need for products on demand. Statista projects sales to be $563B in 2025 compared to $285B in 2017. As a result, businesses are having to expand storage space to stay competitive and meet customer demand. 

Traditional warehouses are generally vast buildings with large amounts of SF. Over the past decade, a million square foot building has become prevalent, but they have drawbacks, such as longer travel causing lower cycle times. Companies are finding vertical storage warehouses to increase profitability while saving long-term operating costs.

VERTICAL warehouse storage

Good Design Affects Productivity

SEA Studio understands that an efficient design results in quicker product access, higher productivity, and quicker cycle times. Therefore, a vertical storage warehouse layout is the most crucial aspect of the design process. Conversely, an inefficient layout can be detrimental to productivity. To design the layout, the team will need a clear understanding of the business. Includes staff working within the facility, racking system, level of automation, and all mechanical system components. This information helps ensures all equipment is laid out in a continuous flow to maximize productivity. 

There are additional features to boost productivity that are often overlooked. 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. In turn, this lowers energy consumption. Adding extra insulation helps control year-round temperature and reduces moisture and energy bills.

Vertical Racking System

Regarding height, vertical warehouses can be up to 100FT tall (approximately seven stories) when built with tilt-up walls.  Other options are 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.

vertical storage warehouse

Increasing Productivity 

There are different levels of automation within a vertical storage warehouse, from fully automated to limited optimization. Equipment like a forklift will be needed to retrieve products from high heights.

Having a fully automated warehouse has advantages. Companies report having quick access to materials resulting in shorter cycle times, optimizing material flow, and better tracking. In addition, fewer employees will be needed lowering operating costs. These are just a few benefits of automation. 

This sounds great, but initial investment costs are considerable. The level of automation is the highest cost. Vertical storage warehouses can be built on an array of budgets. Owners can choose to have limited automation and benefit from vertical storage. The racking system optimizes storage space, increasing product availability.

vertical storage automation

Is  A Vertical Storage Warehouse Right For Your Business?

As e-commerce sales continue to increase, vertical storage warehouses are one solution to staying competitive. In addition, palatable products, such as CPG (consumer product goods), are a good fit for vertical storage.  

These warehouses can fit into an array of budgets, dependent on the level of automation.  A fully automated warehouse will have a higher budget than having a racking system with minimal equipment. Please note that equipment will be needed to pull products from higher heights.

As mentioned above, existing warehouses can be vertically expanded. However, there will be extensive work to complete. 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 to us about vertical storage warehouses.