A forklift to make your freezer warehouse facility profitable

Total Warehouse
By : Boyd Kiefus

LOOKING FOR THE FREEZER STORAGE SECRET WEAPON

The cost of storage for a freezer warehouse seems astronomical. There are tons of overhead involved in building and maintaining your own cold storage facility, so the need to start turning a profit from your operation comes at you fast. Many companies choose to pay third party logistics providers to store their freezer inventory. Those companies would argue that renting 3PL space is preferable to the cost of renting/owning your own freezer facility and keeping it running year-round. That’s a fair but shortsighted point.

Yes, there are substantial costs associated with running your own freezer/cold storage facility. But the fact remains that if you design your storage system to achieve maximum storage density, and outfit your staff with a fleet of equipment to move inventory into those dense storage locations, you will more than make up your operation costs in almost no time. Companies that rent 3PL freezer storage space limit their storage density and overall profit potential.

THE SAD MATH OF TRADITIONAL FORKLIFTS

With traditional forklifts, it is tough to make your storage facility profitable. This is because traditional forklifts require 12 to 15-foot aisles to turn and place pallets, which means there is a huge percentage of your facility dedicated to non-inventory space. Think about it: Every aisle you have in your facility is a huge swath of space that could hold inventory but does not. If your pallet racks are 4-feet deep (back to back totaling 8-feet deep) inventory comprises only 35-40% of your storage space! Why even call it storage space if most of it is dedicated to allowing huge, clunky forklifts to fit through it?

Maybe some industries can survive with this type of ineffective storage operation, but cold storage is not one of them.

DON’T WORRY, THERE IS A FIX!

With a VNA (Very Narrow Aisle) Forklift the whole equation is flipped to give your inventory a massive majority of the potential storage space. Bendi VNA forklifts operate in 7-foot aisles and can accommodate virtually any picking height. So, your inventory (which only got a 35-40% share of storage space with traditional lifts) now gets closer to a 65% share of the storage space. That percentage grows even more if you’re are able to use a double-deep pallet rack system.

WATCH: The Bendi in action at a freezer warehouse facility:

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