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Choosing Material Handling Systems for Warehouses

Logistics Tech Outlook | Monday, January 09, 2023

Maximizing warehouse productivity involves employing the right material handling strategy by considering warehouse type, intended equipment use, and production type.

FREMONT, CA: Profit-maximizing warehouses are productive, safe, and efficient. Ineffective material handling equipment can drain resources and hinder productivity and profitability. The warehouse's operating costs may rise due to maintenance as it may be using incompatible equipment, hindering operations. Owners and managers must consider equipment suitability to its intended application and warehouse type.

When selecting the right material handling equipment, managers can reduce avoidable expenditures by considering the type of warehouse, operations, and current and future functions.

It is important to consider many factors when choosing warehouse material handling equipment.

Warehouse type: The type of warehouse affects the storage, management, and distribution of goods in the supply chain. It is effective to consider the type of products stored, the warehouse environment, the operating conditions, and the frequency with which goods are moved through the warehouse. In selecting the right material handling equipment, warehouse types such as distribution centers, on-demand warehousing for e-commerce fulfillment, and cold storage warehousing play a major role.

For inside operations, a warehouse may need narrow aisle forklifts, side loaders, pallet trucks, and electric forklifts. It is essential that material handling equipment can withstand cold temperatures while still performing efficiently in different climatic conditions.

Forklift engine performance: Temperatures that are cold due to winter or running a cold-storage warehouse can impact your forklift's efficiency and increase your operating expenses.

Electric forklifts are affected by cold temperatures as the electrolytes thicken, reducing their ability to power the forklift, and lowering efficiency and battery life. In cold storage applications, lithium-ion or lead acid batteries can power electric forklifts doing non-intensive work in temperatures below -30 degrees Celsius. Reducing charge times while enhancing convenience and durability can increase productivity.

Warehouse aisle: The challenge of space constraints has led warehouse managers to implement narrow aisles and vertical utilization to increase warehouse capacity. Some material handling equipment for warehouses with limited space offers compact designs that improve speed and maneuverability. Specialized forklifts for narrow and high-reach aisles include side loaders, reach stackers, and pallet-handling forklifts.

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