5 Reasons Why Clients Are Moving

Drive-in racking is a firm favourite when it comes to high-density racking solutions, especially in distribution centers and cold stores where maximizing capacity is a key driver.   

However, like every racking solution, drive-in racking isn’t perfect and as companies are looking to get eve3rything they can out of everything they’ve got, many are looking at the benefits Radio Shuttles can offer over Drive-In. 

1. Increase storage capacity 

Drive-In Racking is seen as a superb high-density storage solution however it has its limitations. 

As the name suggests Drive-In Racking requires a forklift truck to enter the system to deliver and retrieve pallets. If you try to make the system too deep or too high, the time and effort to carefully position the pallet makes it virtually impractical to operate effectively. 

The traditional approach is to restrict the Drive-In racking to approximately 4 pallets high and 7-10 pallets deep which tends to see a grid layout of operating aisles for forklift trucks. 

With a Radio Shuttle system, the forklift never enters the system. The Radio Shuttle does all of the work to take the pallet from the face of the system to the next available position.  This enables the system to be as deep and as high as your cube allows and avoids the need for operating aisles, thus maximising the available space. 

2. Avoid Costly Racking Repairs 

Manoeuvring the forklift into the racking system to deliver and retrieve pallets automatically increases the likelihood of uprights being damaged and causes the racking system to become a health and safety issue. 
As a rule of thumb, we estimate that approximately 5% of uprights are likely to be damaged annually in a drive-in solution. 
Replacing the damaged structure is only one element of the cost. The time and money involved in offloading the goods in the bay and the affected surrounded areas is often the biggest cost but often overlooked in the analysis of the overall cost. 
Compare this to the Radio Shuttle solution where the forklift never enters the racking structure, dramatically reducing the likelihood of racking damage and any ongoing maintenance to the shuttle itself can be carried out safely at ground level – often with a replacement shuttle to ensure the operations continue without disruption. 

3. Reduces Travelling Times 

Travelling loading times are one of the hidden costs in warehousing. Every forklift driver will be saying that they are going as fast as they possibly can and asking a forklift driver to try to speed up may only result in further damage to the racking. 
But when you consider that a forklift driver may have to enter a drive-in system and carefully manoeuvre 7 pallets spaces deep before retrieving a pallet from the fourth level, you can understand why travelling times are so high. 
And that doesn’t take into considerations that he may have to drive halfway across the warehouse just to access the relevant bay. 
With a real pressure to minimise the amount of time a wagon is sitting on the docking bay, companies have had to invest further in their fleet of forklift trucks and drivers, whereas a change in the racking system may in fact offer significant long term savings. 

4. Increased Utilisation 

The maximum available capacity is one thing but only if you can use it. 

One of the biggest issues with Drive-In Racking is managing the available pallet positions through the day to day movement of goods. 

Once pallets are retrieved from the racking system, it can be difficult to replenish stocks and therefore many companies spend significant amounts of time for instance during the night shift, simply moving pallets within the drive-in racking simply to maximise their utilisation. 

In the research we have carried out, we estimate drive-in racking to deliver an average of 65-70% utilisations, however, if this utilisation rate requires significant man-hour to deliver, the hidden costs of wages and fuel for forklifts must be taken into consideration. 

In comparison, a good design radio shuttle solution can expect to deliver on average 80-85% utilisation. 

5. Energy Savings 

As every company becomes more environmentally aware, coupled with government legislation and rising energy costs, more and more businesses are examining every opportunity to reduce their carbon footprint. 
As well as requiring fewer forklift trucks, due to reduce travelling times, reducing electricity or LPG consumption, radio shuttle solutions require less lighting in the middle section of the racking where there is no requirement for operators or forklifts to access. 

SOURCE: Max The Cube