As the e-commerce market continues to boom, distribution centers are being stretched to carry more and more SKUs. Warehouse space is expensive, so building a new one is often out of the question. Plus, rents have continued to rise and vacancy rates are low. According to CBRE, “Demand has exceeded supply for nine consecutive years by an average of 94.1 million sq. ft., driving the vacancy rate to a historic low of 4.3%.”
CBRE continues to say, “The industrial real estate sector will continue to evolve in 2019 amid the integration of logistics and retail. Major markets with large population centers and complex supply chains will continue to capture much of the logistics demand; however, significant growth prospects are evident in secondary markets with strong demographic shifts. Occupier demand should remain strong in 2019; however, lack of available logistics space will challenge the expansion or relocation plans of some users. As a result, absorption gains may soften while average asking rents rise. “
Businesses looking for additional space must be prepared to pay more or make the most of their current warehouse storage capacity. What can you do when your warehouse starts to run out of space? You could rent additional space if you can find it or build an entirely new distribution center. But that is often cost prohibitive. The best thing to do is to optimize your existing warehouse space.
First, analyze the material flow of the items you need to store. Use a slotting software solution to determine the velocity of each SKU and where these SKUs should be stored to optimize speed. UNEX SKUBE slotting software evaluates your specific operation and provides you with a custom, 3D AutoCAD model of your warehouse. SKUBE can help you prioritize and optimize your operation’s throughput and allow you to strategically slot your SKUs to the proper storage medium.
Store items vertically by adding shelving that stacks. One UNEX implementation has UNEX racks going up 30 feet to store over one million items. A narrow aisle order-picking truck reaches all items stored on the UNEX Span-Track wheel beds, creating an accurate and efficient pick environment.
Span-Track wheel beds maximize flow and increase throughput by 150% compared to picking from a pallet. Multiple-sized products can be stored on the same shelf to maximize space. Products flow forward to the pick face to decrease walking and searching time. Wheel beds are available in light, medium and heavy-duty options so a variety of loads can be stored.