What is the Narrow Aisle Racking System? Advantages and Disadvantages

Narrow Aisle Racking
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Due to extensive growth and expansion, companies are looking for strategies to enhance the spaces in order to store the products and other belongings. Warehouses use the forklift to move the inventory. Even some industry spaces were forced to keep their aisles wider for providing space to trucks. Hence, it becomes quite difficult to handle the warehouse operation and storage.

But the advent of a narrow aisle racking system makes it possible, allowing warehouse teams to freely operate in aisles as narrow as 6 to 7 feet. Generally, a very narrow aisle (VNA) racking system is defined as less than 6 feet between the heavy-duty racks and is usually used with a selective pallet rack.

The benefit of this system is that it requires less floor space for the aisles, freeing up more space for storage. As compared to a standard racking system, pallets can be stacked to a greater height, which further increases the storage space.

In this, guidance systems like guide rail or wire are used to keep the trucks on the track. If your warehouse is featured with a VNA racking system, you might need a special forklift to handle the aisles. It is a great solution for those looking to add storage space without physically moving their operations in their warehouses.

The standard pallet racking system requires at least 12 feet of space. However, the VNA requires 6 to 10 feet of space, which allows you to store up to 50% of products in the same footprint. Even though converting to a VNA configuration leads to cost savings when compared to purchasing or moving to a new facility.

In the following guide, we define – what is narrow aisle racking system, including its advantages and disadvantages.

So, let’s have a look!

Table of Content

What is a Narrow Aisle Racking System?

A Very Narrow Aisle (VNA) racking system is an alternative to Selective Pallet Racking. It is usually used to enhance the maximum space within a warehouse facility. These systems in conjunction with wire-guided or rail-guided reach-truck systems make the inventory process easy.

If your warehouse has a very small area and you’re looking for different strategies to create a high-density storage system, then very narrow aisle systems are a perfect choice for increasing the capacity of the warehouse without expanding the space.These systems can effectively save up to 40 % of space and reduce by up to 1-5 meters in width. As mentioned above, special handling equipment is used for executing the warehouse operations.

Despite providing large storage space, this VNA pallet racking remains a flexible system because the height and depth of the racking depend on the customers’ storage needs.

Narrow Aisle Pallet Racking | Colby Storage Solutions

Advantage of Narrow Aisle Racking System

Depending on the size of the shelves, you can’t only place out warehouse supplies, but also more voluminous and heavy ones, such as various tools, items and much more.

To save useful space, racks are usually placed either along the walls or in the middle to delimit or divide the area into several segments. And vice versa, in order to maximize the use of the usable area in warehouses or archives, they’re specially installed in several rows. Over time, the structure can be increased both in height and width as additional sections and reinforcing elements are purchased.

  • Low Price: It has a low price compared to closed-type structures with a similar capacity. These products are available to representatives of large, medium and small businesses.
  • Convenience: The convenience of placing various things on the shelves, the position of which can be easily adjusted depending on the size of the items stored on them.
  • Strength and Reliability: Strength and reliability of shelves capable of withstanding weight loads of up to 100 kg, and if it’s necessary to build up the structure upwards, the possibility of equipping it with additional structural elements.
  • Aesthetic Storage Capacity: The aesthetic way to store various items. Instead of a bunch of different boxes and things stacked in a corner or located in different places, install a rack, while everything will always be in sight and in one equipped place.
  • Versatility: The design of metal shelving is suitable for storing a wide range of items, from office multivolume archives folders to large, heavier household items.

Disadvantages of Narrow Aisle Racking System

The one drawback of narrow aisle pallet racking is that it requires appropriate forklift equipment to handle the warehouse operations. Hence, it further will increase the overall budget, plus extra expenses for maintenance by the much-improved space utilisation.

  • It requires a certain lift truck which is more expensive.
  • You may need to compromise additional space to allow free movement for the forklift to operate correctly and efficiently.
  • It has lower flexibility.
  • The system also requires a “hand-off” of inventory from the VNA forklift to a dock working forklift on outbound and the opposite for inbound.

How to Choose a Narrow Aisle Racking System?

If your warehouse contains a limited space and you haven’t thought about moving your industry space into the large one, a very narrow aisle racking system is a reliable choice for your storage facility. In order to find out more about VNA storage systems and other warehouse solutions, you can contact professionals for choosing a flexible racking system that contains advanced inventory systems.

Make sure the system has order management functionalities, including all core warehouse handling and value-added services for proper chain management, such as unloading, receiving storage, stock control, inventory location tracking, order fulfilment, order picking, pick and pack processing, and shipping.

Bottom Line

Hiring professional services can resolve your maximum of problems regarding storage space. But before jumping to the final conclusion, consider every single factor, so you’re not lacking behind in any scenario. Whether it’s about enhancing the storage capacity or requiring a fully flexible storage system, a very narrow aisle of heavy-duty racks is a solution for you.

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