Most people see warehouses as large storage facilities for various products, but they’re so much more. They’re incredibly complex systems that require skilled personnel to run efficiently. They also need various tools and equipment to complement those skilled workers. Modern warehouses have come a long way in terms of technology, and many processes have been automated. Below, we’ll cover some of the most essential pieces of equipment you need to start and run a warehouse business.
Warehouses are material handling facilities and, as such, they require material handling machinery such as conveyor systems. While manual transportation is an option, it’s incredibly resource and manpower intensive. Conveyor belts make transporting packages and materials to and from various areas quick and efficient. Not to mention, conveyor systems are a lot safer than manual material and package transport. There’s no risk of injury unless personnel happen to be located near a conveyor belt when something goes wrong.
There are many different kinds of conveyor systems, and they all have their individual parts. A warehouse business may require a belt conveyor or gravity roller conveyor depending on its material handling needs. Spiral and pneumatic conveyors are also options. Vertical conveyors may also be required depending on the warehouse facility’s layout. While conveyor systems can be expensive, their efficiency more than makes up for the initial costs. Because of this, it should come as no surprise that most warehouses utilise some form of the conveyor system.
The docking area is one of a warehouse’s most essential yet dangerous parts. This is where the loading and unloading of packages and materials are handled. Some packages might include heavy and hazardous cargo, which poses potential risks. Since unloading is done manually with the help of personnel and supervisors, there’s always a danger of employee injury.
The right docking equipment can streamline workflow in the area and improve worker safety. Some of the essential pieces of docking equipment include yard ramps, truck restraints, dock boards and plates, and the edge of dock levellers. Wheel chocks are also recommended, as are various types of lifts for different materials. A warehouse dock should have all the right docking equipment to function efficiently. Not only does this boost productivity massively, but it also helps keep workers safe during unloading.
Storage space & equipment
Proper storage allocation and management are key for warehouse management and business growth. Utilising the available space in your facility is critical for efficient material handling and transport. With good storage equipment options, it’s possible to maximise the amount of space you have available in the warehouse.
There are numerous creative ways to increase effective warehouse space, but some basic equipment can help you get off to a good start. These include bins, shelves, racks, carousels, and many others. With these storage options, you can store various tools, gadgets, materials, packages, or anything else that requires storage in your facility.
We’ve mentioned that material transport and handling are essential parts of warehouse day-to-day work. As a lot of materials are heavy, getting them on or off of a truck or conveyor belt isn’t as simple as you might think. It goes without saying that manually lifting heavy loads isn’t a good idea, nor is it practical.
This is where lifting equipment comes in. Whether you need to move materials or personnel vertically, these tools and machines are absolutely essential for the job. Crucial pieces of equipment include forklifts, hand trucks, pallet jacks, service carts, and many others. Depending on what you need to transport and how often you need it, you may want to consider renting some equipment instead of buying it. Some warehouse operations might need expensive lifting equipment for material and personnel on occasion, but not often enough to warrant a purchase. If your company requires a hoist or scissor lift for a specific one-time task, you don’t need to purchase the equipment outright. It’s easier and more practical to find a reliable scissor lift rental instead of buying one.
Of course, you should consider the type of inventory the warehouse will handle before choosing some of the aforementioned examples. Some equipment is more suitable for specific tasks, while other pieces are good for a wide variety of material handling needs.
Before you can start shipping any products, you need to be able to pack them effectively. This means designing a container that will provide protection and easy handling for the product while taking up minimal space. While this may seem like a straightforward process, it can be incredibly complex at large scales. This is why packaging equipment has become so essential for modern warehouses.
The right packing equipment can make an enormous difference when it comes to labour and packing material costs. It can also improve inventory control and management by minimising the risk of product misplacement and separation.
Some of the most important pieces of packaging equipment include packing tables, stretch wrap machines, industrial scales, and banding equipment. These are your most basic essentials for packaging, but there are others that you may want to consider if you will require efficient packaging at your facility.
If you’re looking to start a warehouse business, equipment should be at the top of your list of priorities. Modern warehouses require a large number of efficient gadgets and machines to stay competitive in the growing material handling industry. Whether you’re talking about packaging or transporting materials from one part of the warehouse to another—various pieces of equipment are required.
It may seem overwhelming at the start of your business venture, but don’t let that discourage you. The material handling and storage industry is incredibly lucrative once you gain a foothold. You can start moving packages quickly and efficiently with the right machines in your facilities. Consider the examples we’ve given above, and you shouldn’t have trouble finding success in the industry.