Are you looking for the best layout to use for your warehouse?
There are three warehouse layouts that stand out among the rest. These designs are used in almost every industry and are perfect for small to large warehouses along with every size in between.
Industry standards do impact the design that you should choose depending on how much inventory you’re regularly moving through your warehouse layout.
As you get started on your warehouse layout planning and design process, it’s important to think big. If you limit yourself to one size, then you’ll be limiting yourself to how large your warehouse operations can grow.
Whether you are using warehouse layout design software or you are doing it the old-fashioned way, your internal and external layout design should utilize things like access doors, shipping areas, pallet racks, and a separated dock to ensure efficient traffic flow.
Obviously, you can’t build a warehouse layout design so large that you can’t afford it, but if your warehouse operation has too little space it can negatively affect your supply chain, workflow, and shipping times.
The U-shaped design is easily one of the most efficient warehouse layout and easy designs to visualize. The bottom of the U is where all of the inventory is stored, and either part of the extended legs is where the loading and unloading areas are located.
One of the things that makes the U-shaped design so great is that it can be easily expanded to work within almost any size warehouse space. All you have to do to make this design work for larger warehouses is extend the size of the U. You can also use the space between the legs of the U for different purposes depending on your operation.
The internal warehouse environment should be as follows – reception or staging area behind the receiving dock and picking and packing behind the shipping dock. This makes things easy to navigate for employees and shipping lines.
The I-shape is a bit more subjective but not at all complicated. You may have seen this design already without knowing it. The I-shape takes advantage of the two ends of the warehouse layout and uses them as the loading and unloading areas. The longer center section of the I is used as the picking, packing, and receiving areas as well as general storage areas providing ample space for the warehouse.
When working with this warehouse design, you must keep all of the high-volume products in an easy-to-reach area. That way as your team of employees doesn’t have to waste time searching for the right inventory on each order. Pallet racking is a great way to maximize storage capacity and aisle space. Keeping things organized will help an I-shaped warehouse layout work more efficiently.
L-shaped designs are the last on our list, but still a good warehouse layout. When designing this warehouse, it’s best if each leg of the L is roughly the same length. This makes it much easier to create a good flow throughout the warehouse and for forklifts and employees not to get trapped funneling through the 90-degree angles in the warehouse.
The areas of the warehouse are laid out with the main storage area sitting in the base of the L and the shipping and receiving docks at either end of the two legs. This design works great for small to medium-sized warehouses, although there are ways to make it fit for large warehouses as well.
If you’re looking for more commercial warehouse layout tips and design ideas, be sure to check out this blog post.
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