The bulk of material handling decisions are involved with storage of both raw materials and finished products before final shipment. The most common solution comes down to pallets and pallet racks. These systems are catalog items to facilitate easy storage and the ability to expand warehousing capabilities. Pallets are so common because they are easy to work with, handle many different types of loads, and are made for stacking when combined with rack systems.
Rack systems make for an ideal use of storage space. Long rows and high columns allow every square inch of a warehouse to be utilized from floor to ceiling. Most importantly, these racks allow for safe and secure stacking of pallets. All of the stacked and stored goods can be easily reached with any number of pallet handling devices for quick retrieval.
The list of equipment designed to carry, lift, and load pallets could fill up a book by itself. The most commonly used devices in industry tend to be pallet jacks, forklift trucks, dollies, carts, and hand trucks. In order to move inventory vertically, forklift trucks and powered jacks are often utilized. Once the inventory is on the floor, any number of manual and powered devices are well suited for moving stock throughout a warehouse or facility. Best of all, most of these options only require a single person to move an entire load either by hand or with a truck or powered jack.
Beyond racks and rigging systems, companies have a plethora of choices when it comes to effective inventory management, storage, and utilization. Just a few of the catalog items available include drum handling equipment from specialized jacks and hoists to platforms and movers. A wise array of carts can serve nearly any purpose. Caster and wheels can be added to any stable platform to instantly create a mobile cart. Conveyor belts and systems, whether powered or with rollers, are ideal for moving stock down a line. Forklift trucks come in a diverse array of sizes and configurations with enough accessories to allow them to perform nearly any duty. Dock and outdoor equipment is available for handling the loading and unloading of trucks and covered vans. The list goes on and on.
No matter the item, every device has to be used and maintained properly to ensure safe and efficient storage and transportation of goods and materials.