A guide to a perfect warehouse design


The warehouse design process starts with massive thinking and a lot of brainstorming. Before being able to draw the actual layout and then racking and the tiniest but crucial details, one needs to find a perfect location. Knowing where your customers are is one of the main factors of successful warehousing, as delivery costs, such as postage&packing, are determining factors of your success. If possible, it is worth visiting the current warehouse of a customer or another company that has similar business specification. Every warehouse needs to be carefully designed no matter if you are building a new one or adjusting an existing one. For either, do your best while researching health and safety requirements.

Planning your space and how to utilise it best

It is important to remember that warehouse should be subdivided into several zones: for transport of forklifts and other machines, pedestrian traffic, zones for incoming and out-coming goods (both require separated area for verification of quantity and quality, as well as packing areas). Last but not least, storage requires the biggest space, unless you have a cross-dock warehouse where you use floor space only. Any major process in the above areas can be subject to partial or full automation. Proper systems for bar code scanners are necessary for efficient and accurate inbound registration and assessing locations. Just imagine the chaos caused by lack of clear location labels and bar codes! Manufacturing finished goods and storing them requires different specification than warehouse used just for storage. To combine the two, conveyor systems with inbound scanners are most commonly applied.

During the process of creating a warehouse design, it is crucial to utilise horizontal space as well as available capacity. The floor design depends on the business requirements. This way it definitely has correct specification and parameters: it is dustless and sustains specified point loads. Moreover, you can paint on the floor to mark the locations. It also has to be able to handle anchors of racking and shelving as well as fixings of racking protectors.

Racking and safe storage of goods

In order to get the right racking, it is best to consult with a team of experienced engineers and an external expert in the field, who will accurately take into account width of roads, heights of bays and shelves and make use of existing trucks. This way the warehouse will have the most optimal system of racking and shelving. There are many types of racking available on the market that you can consider during warehouse design. They vary in parameters, such as accepted loads, capacity, durability of decks, height, damage resistance. One particularly popular type is a double-deep rack ideal for use with long fork pallet trucks. And of course, a very important factor is price. Experienced specialist can advise on the best type and solution.

Racking has to sustain heavy using over the years. Other than its capacity, it needs to be safe for the employees to work around it. Health and safety is always a crucial requirement. There are no exceptions. If racking design states that it takes up to 500kgs loads, it means that it can take up to 500kgs and not a single gram more. In case of a damage, a designated person must clearly label the racking and report damage. Employees can’t use it and store goods on it until the repair team assigns damage and fixes it. In a case when shelves, anchors, pallet racking frames or beams are heavily damaged, they must be blocked from usage, marked, replaced or repaired.

Savings in a warehouse design and when they are not the best idea

Find savings where possible but bear in mind that some cost cuts aren’t beneficial in a long run. Proper racking design doesn’t only ensure a safe storage of products, but also employees’ safety. CCTV cameras not only allow rapid reaction in case something goes wrong, but also help solve issues, such as claims, damage of products and theft. Just because someone offers the best price, doesn’t mean that they are the best. This is the rule for any business. Make sure you do your research and talk to experts. This way you’ll choose the best possible service company after taking into account multiple factors.


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