Your cold storage facility may look like any other warehouse from the outside—but you know that it is far different on the inside.
Operating a freezer or cold storage warehouse means keeping your building at the right temperature to prevent any spoilage of your perishable inventory. Since maintaining those conditions is expensive, you need to make use of space as efficiently as possible.
This article will explore ways your storage system can help you load, store, rotate your stock in a refrigerated warehouse space.
Special Considerations for Cold Storage
As the nation’s appetite for fresh-frozen and refrigerated foods has expanded, so has the need for cold storage facilities. However, operating a refrigerated warehouse takes extra steps to keep those perishable items in top condition.
Here are some primary considerations for cold storage facilities:
- Temperature and humidity levels in the warehouse must be monitored carefully. Many cold storage faculties store goods that require different temperatures—from chilled to frozen.
- Employees working in a cold storage warehouse must have suitable equipment and gear to handle the cold.
- Perishable stock must be carefully exchanged and rotated using First In, First Out (FIFO) racking practices.
Benefits of Optimal Cold Storage Organization
Organization is vital for any warehouse, but it is even more essential for a cold storage facility. The better organized your warehouse, the more you save on energy costs or lost goods. Here are some benefits of using storage methods designed especially for cold storage:
Fewer lost goods due to expiration. Each refrigerated or frozen item must be stored according to the appropriate standards for health compliance and safety. When storage conditions are not optimal, the product can lose taste, color, and texture—potentially becoming unsafe to consume. Therefore, optimal storage saves you money in damaged inventory.
More storage in smaller spaces. With energy costs skyrocketing, another benefit of optimal storage is that you can store more goods in less space. Cold storage racking systems that make use of your vertical space can cut down on wasted space, allowing you to store more product without increasing your energy bills.
Organization saves time. The right organizational system allows your warehouse team to move efficiently and productively throughout the facility. With labor shortages affecting the entire food and beverage industry, proper organization is more crucial than ever before.
What Are Cold Storage Solutions?
Now that you understand the challenges and benefits of cold storage rack organization, let’s examine the best options for your facility.
Galvanized Steel Pallet Racking
Although galvanized steel is not the standard material for freezer pallet racks, it can be the right choice for long-lasting racks. First, galvanized steel holds up better to cold temperatures. Galvanized steel is also corrosion resistant for use in harsh environments.
Additionally, the denser the storage, the easier it is to keep cool, so narrow aisles are common in cold storage. However, tight spacing can lead to forklift damage. Please speak with your Speedrack West consultant about whether the galvanized steel option is right for your warehouse.
Pallet Flow Rack
A pallet flow rack can be ideal for perishable refrigerated goods. This type of racking uses gravity to put older products in front of the rack automatically. When a product is removed, the one behind it takes its place.
Ideally, these FIFO systems are open on both sides so that you can remove the product at one end and load in new products in at the other end.
Push Back Rack
Another proven cold storage racking system uses push back racks. With this system, pallets automatically roll to the front of the bay when the older pallets are removed.
Push back rack systems typically support two to five pallets per lane.
Pallet Rack Shuttle
This type of racking allows you to use the latest technology to keep your product seamlessly moving. Pallet rack shuttles are a semi-automated storage and retrieval system that provides maximum warehouse space use.
Operated by battery-powered remote control, a low-profile shuttle car loads or unloads pallets into the lane.
Speak With A Cold Storage Expert
Just as every warehouse is different, every warehouse’s storage needs can vary. That’s why we will work with you to design a system that is right for your space, inventory, and budget.
At Speedrack West, we will work with you to build your freezer pallet rack system step by step. You can select from the following options:
- Teardrop style upright frames in 8′, 10′, 12′, and 16′ heights.
- Standard step beams in 96″, 108″, 120″, and 144″ lengths.
- Wire mesh decking that fits your racking system.
- Optional safety products.
Between supply chain interruptions, labor shortages, and energy costs—you have enough to worry about these days as a cold storage warehouse manager. Our design team has the knowledge and experience to help you select the right organizational system for your facility.
Then you can get back to what you do best—focusing on the successful operation of your warehouse. Please contact Speedrack West today to set up a free consultation.