Unit Load Storage

Storage of material may be done in a variety of ways. However, some materials are more of a con­cern than others. The ultimate goal of any material storage system is to have ease in material place­ment and retrieval, ensuring space efficiency and minimum time in tracking, tracing and pickup.

With advances in technology, the inventory manager can build storage space with higher storage density so as to have higher warehouse occupancy. Proper selection of storage system can result in effective use of warehouse space and efficiency. A well-designed storage system will reduce the requirement of warehousing space. In an automated storage and retrieval system, often smaller and frequently inventoried and retrieved parts are used. This type of system is self-contained and uses travelling shelves and bins, usually carried in vertical configuration. Normally, the storage system should occupy 70 per cent of space in the warehouse, leaving 30 per cent as open space for move­ment of people and material handling equipments. However, in a fully automated warehouse this ratio varies from 95 to 5 per cent. For toxic and hazardous materials, special care is must to prevent spillovers or physical contact with other materials. With stringent pollution control regulations, the build up of material storage system needs utmost attention right from the designing stage. Plan­ning the inventory system and proper flow is necessary to ensure the best storage solution. Invest­ments in proper development of facilities and equipment using modern techniques will pay back handsomely in terms of labour, time and money.

Source: Sople V.V (2013), Logistics Management, Pearson Education India; Third edition.

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