Using Carton Flow to Minimize Wasted Space Against the Warehouse Wall

When you're up against the wall, consider replacing static shelving with carton flow to increase space utilization.

Warehouses and distribution centers - especially in the nation’s largest and most expensive commercial hubs - often find their backs against the wall (literally and figuratively) when it comes to optimizing their space. With industrial real estate prices at a premium, every square inch of your facility must be used efficiently.

By using a carton flow solution against your warehouse wall, you have the opportunity to increase your storage density, decrease your operation’s footprint, and create quick and ergonomic picks.

Warehouse Storage Solutions
If you’re storing products along the wall at your warehouse or distribution center, this drawing will look familiar. This layout is extremely common but causes huge inefficiencies in your order picking operation. When storing products on static shelving against the warehouse wall:

  • Products can only be loaded from the front and only as far as you can reach into the rack.
  • Dead spaces behind the product add up to massive costs in wasted square footage.
  • Once the first product is picked, subsequent picks become slow, unergonomic, and inefficient.

In this example, we’re using standard wine case dimensions (12”x10”x13”) in a first in, last out application. The most you could store on these shelves (without getting a ladder or shepherd’s hook to fully load a level) is 70 cartons, with each pick costing more time and creating more dead space in your operation’s footprint. Over time, this will cost your warehouse or fulfillment center thousands of dollars in wasted space and false out of stocks.

Guide to Optimizing Warehouse Space Utilization

Utilizing an alternate layout with carton flow can drastically improve the capacity of your storage racks against the warehouse wall. Instead of using four levels of static storage, you can use four levels of carton flow lanes or carton flow beds designed to push your products all the way to the rear of the rack in a first in, last out application.

By storing those wine cases on dynamic carton flow, you can store 96 cartons in the same footprint as 70 cartons and fully load your racks against the wall without a ladder or other tools. Using high-profile carton flow lanes allows you to push product back past the beam and into the dead space between the rack and the wall, unlocking even more valuable and usable space. Using this alternate layout:
Carton Flow Solutions

  • Increases your storage density by 37%.
  • Increases SKU count by 13%.
  • Guarantees an ergonomic pick at the point of pick, preventing false out of stocks.

Depending on the size of your cartons or cases, you may be able to store more SKUs in the same footprint and realize even more space savings. Carton flow storage systems with a range of weight capacities can allow you to use this space-saving layout, even if you’re dealing with heavier products.

Over time, replacing your static shelving against your walls with carton flow solutions from UNEX will save your warehouse or distribution center thousands of dollars and eliminate costly wasted space.


Our space optimization specialists can design a customized carton flow solution that drastically boosts your storage density and utilizes every valuable square foot of your operation, no matter the challenges your space presents. We’ve helped countless customers optimize their operations and turn their storage systems into profit machines. Click here to get in touch with a member of our team!

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Posted by: UNEX