Cooler Freezer Storage Racks
Warehouse cooler & freezer space is the most expensive space in your warehouse, so you want to make sure you pick the right cooler racks that maximize it to their fullest. Four different racks are commonly used in coolers and freezers including standard selective pallet rack, drive in rack, pushback rack and pallet flow rack.
The two most popular racks used in coolers and freezers are selective pallet rack and pushback rack. Selective rack is the most affordable and pushback rack offers great efficiency for the price. Drive in rack is just too slow, having to drive in and back out of it. Also drive in rack is not a great choice when storing food or products with an expiration date because of the slow rate of turnover.
Cooler and freezer storage racks typically have a hot dipped galvanized finish that prevents rust and corrosion. Don’t get me wrong, many customers use racks with a powder coat paint finish, but they may last only 10 years before rust and corrosion require you to replace them. Lastly, you may want to increase capacity of freezer and cooler storage racks over what is necessary, because freezing temperatures can make steel more brittle and more likely to sheer upon impact.
Pallet storage racks for a freezer come in varying degree’s of storage density and handling efficiency. That handling efficiency can mean time saved on every pick. But density and efficiency comes at a price!
It’s important to maximize your freezer storage operation for a number of reasons. Your employees do not want to spend a minute longer than they have to in the freezer. For the sake of their comfort and productivity, you have to make accessibility a top priority. On top of maximizing accessibility, you have to make the most of your space. A cooler/freezer is the most expensive part of your warehouse in a cost per foot analysis! You can’t afford to waste any space or time.
When choosing the right freezer storage system for you, consider a few factors.
Budget – How much can you spend on a freezer storage system? It’s important to research all your of options and all extra components. Some will require special equipment to help them function in the freezing temperatures. Those extras can start to add up. Sometimes it’s worth making the investment, and other times there might be a more affordable solution.
Density – How much do you need to store and what are you storing? If you store a lot of the same SKU, some systems will be better than others for your purposes.
Efficiency – How quickly and frequently do you need to move inventory? Some systems are more equipped for quick access while others prioritize space.
Each business has unique storage needs. Check out the four types of freezer storage to find out which is right for you.
1. Selective Pallet Rack – The Selective Pallet Rack is a top choice for warehouse managers across numerous industries – even those not working in freezers – because this rack allows access to every pallet from the aisle. This selectivity is key when your employees are working in freezing temperatures. They want to grab and go, and the selective pallet rack makes that easy.
Selective pallet racks are typically configured two deep for freezer storage. They can also be stacked to maximize space. You can choose from a number of sizes. Some of the most popular upright heights are 8’, 12’, 16’, 20’ and 24’ heights. Popular beam lengths include: 96”, 108”, 120” and 144” length. They’re made of high quality materials, so no matter what configuration you choose, you’ll have made a solid choice.
Selective pallet racks don’t offer as much storage density as some of the other options, but they’re a very popular choice because they’re versatile, durable and affordable.
2. Pushback Rack – The pushback rack is the most popular choices among our customers. The pushback rack is made up of a cart and rail system. The first pallet sets on the top cart. When the next pallet is loaded into the system it pushes the top pallet load back into the system exposing the cart below it.
This system makes retrieving inventory quick and easy. Your employees will be thrilled at how quickly they can move inventory. The pushback rack will take your efficiency to the next level. Our customers see a return on their investment and on their time!
This system is typically only accessed from one side since it’s usually against another rack and a wall. Not only will you maximize space, but your rack will take less abuse all around, which means your system will last longer! This storage system is ideal for last in, first out operations.
Many of our customers use a combination of selective pallet rack and pushback rack. This affordable combination gives our customers maximum selectivity with improved efficiency.
3. Drive-In Pallet Rack – Inventory is accessed with a forklift from the rack with the Drive-In Pallet Racking system. The process is slow, so this storage system is ideal for someone who needs storage density over efficiency. The Drive-In Pallet Rack is used in last in, first out operations.
This system is typically used by seasonal suppliers who store a lot of the same SKU and don’t need to access it regularly. Because you don’t need to regularly access inventory, you can get away with fewer aisles. Fewer aisles mean you can really maximize your space and increase your storage density – up to 75 percent!
It’s ok to choose density over efficiency. This is an affordable and effective storage option for the right operation!
4. Pallet Flow Rack – Pallet Flow Rack is ideal for FIFO operations. The skate wheels make it easy to quickly move time sensitive materials, like food. The wheels keep inventory flowing to the front of the rack, which helps maximize efficiency and storage density. It also makes it easy to quickly take inventory. This is an ideal system if you have a large amount of multiple SKUs.
While Pallet Flow Rack boosts efficiency, this is a tricky system in a freezer. The extremely low temperatures (20 below!) will wreak havoc on standard brakes. The Pallet Flow Rack system requires special brakes when used for freezer storage, otherwise they will crack and not function. The brakes of this system are what keep this system streamlined and secure, so you have to be very, very careful.
If you’re willing to make the investment in the system itself and the proper brakes, you will be rewarded with more storage and more efficiency.
Freezer storage racks will help you improve your operation. Whether you’re looking for increased storage density or efficiency, we have something for you. We have been in the warehouse industry for more than 30 years. We’d love to help you choose the right freezer storage rack for you. Give us a call at 1-800-763-9020 to talk to expert or get a quote.