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What Are Live Storage Systems?

Live storage systems are commonplace in warehouses, distribution centres, and retail outlets worldwide, storing small retail items in cartons and pallets. In an intelligent yet compact design, the system uses the force of gravity to replenish the racking lane, be that First-In-First-Out (FIFO), Last-In-First-Out (LIFO) or First-In-Last-Out (FILO).

We are looking at large warehouse live storage systems in this case. In traditional Live Storage racking, operatives load the rack at the top of a slight incline carrying the goods down the lane to queue ready for picking. A combination of rollers, speed connectors and brakes ensure that the stock can be safely controlled and manoeuvred through the racking. Items rest behind stock next in line or at the front face, ready for pickers to take without danger of collision or stock falling.

When is live storage racking most appropriate?

Live Storage racking is ideal for high-density storage, hence its versatility for high-volume small items and large palleted goods. Thanks to the intelligent yet straightforward safety mechanisms built into the racking, forklift picking or manual handling can be done safely with the stock moving on rollers or carton-flow systems carrying the item on an independent base through the racking ready for picking.

Crucially, FIFO and LIFO Live Storage solutions provide excellent stock rotation and date management, making the racking ideal for palletised food and drink, medicines, and other perishable or date sensitive items.

Nene live storage racking in an empty warehouse

Types of Live Storage systems

There are three main types of Live Storage systems available:

Live Pallet Racking (FIFO and LIFO)

Using the FIFO loading method, Live Pallet Racking replenishes new stock through either the front and pushed back or at the back and pushed to the front. This method is an excellent space optimiser, requiring significantly fewer people and less equipment, thus increasing storage allowance and maximising space.

As mentioned, this kind of racking is ideal for high-density storage, particularly palleted items that would otherwise require a significant amount of manual manoeuvring were it not for the rollers and mechanisms moving the stock without interference.

FMCG, food and drink distributors, and the pharmaceutical sector often combines Live Pallet Racking with Mobile Racking and Wire Mesh Cages for security and vulnerable product holding.

FIFO and LIFO live pallet racking
Nene Push Back Pallet Racking

Push-back Pallet Racking (FILO)

Where products are less or non-perishable with long dates, Push-back Pallet Racking is ideal – think of long-life bottled drinks, dry goods and non-food FMCG items. It is also an excellent choice for cold storage. Like Live Pallet Racking, it requires less space and staffing to operate and so significantly reduces energy and running costs thanks to its optimisation features and reduced pick time.

Push-back does exactly what it says on the tin, with stock items loaded from the front and pushed back on racking rollers or shutters on each pallet base to make them mobile. As this type of racking requires only one aisle for stock management and picking, warehouses can take advantage of the remaining high-value storage space to house more products.

Carton Flow Shelving

The clue is in the name here, with flow being the operative word. Gravity creates an immediate fulfilment of space, bringing the stock to the front pick face, ready for pickers to select items.

A truly versatile solution, warehouses can create multiple levels of carton flow racks and product lanes within them, creating more pick faces in more areas and delivering a highly efficient, speedy and productive pick process. In addition, operators can easily adjust the rollers to stock needs, and adding dividers gives maximum flexibility to segregate lanes to suit the stock too.

Nene Live Storage Racking Rollers

Advantages of live storage systems

Whichever type of Live Racking you choose, the benefits are many, giving flexibility and versatility in what can otherwise be a relatively static process of storing, picking and packing:
  • Space optimisation
  • Higher load capacity
  • Quicker loading and unloading time
  • Faster stock-flow
  • Increased productivity
  • LIFO, FIFO or FILO stock management options
  • Direct access and more rapid pick-times
  • Requires a standard forklift only
  • Requires fewer people to operate, reducing energy and staff costs
  • Ideal for dry and cold storage
  • Versatile and adaptable
  • Safe and secure

Nene can supply, fit and maintain your Live Storage racking…

With so many advantages to Live Storage racking, it really is a perfect solution for so many different businesses and storage needs. With online shopping, supermarket needs and warehouses feeling the pressure of ever-increasing demands, the need for smart and efficient storage solutions will be ever-present.

At Nene, we look into every possible scenario and resolution to best suit our client’s needs, working with you to find out what you need, why, and how to seamlessly implement it into your business.

warehouse live storage racking

For more information on Live Storage racking or any of our other solutions and services, please contact our customer service team, who will provide everything you need to get started.