Warehouse Racking Systems

Shuttle Racking

Maintain accessibility, Increase productivity and achieve high density storage

Shuttle racking is a great option for high density storage if you have a low roof. The remote-controlled shuttles carry goods in and out of deep storage tunnels, allowing you to reduce you number of aisles and save space.

What Is Shuttle Racking?

 

Radio shuttle is a cousin of the other deep storage systems such as pallet live and drive-in racking; in the sense that it stores pallets on rails rather than on beams and gives high floor space utilisation at the expense of selectivity.

What sets radio shuttle apart is its method of operation. Rather than a forklift directly positioning the pallet onto the rails (as is the case in drive in racks); the pallet is placed onto a motorised shuttle at the mouth of the lane, carried along up the rail and placed down in the optimum position on the rack with minimal distance between pallets. See the diagram below.

In the right circumstances, radio shuttle racking is a valuable stock management and storage tool: keeping pallets of fragile or high value goods safe, secure and well catalogued.

Shuttle Racking Diagram Illustrating how it works

High Density, Selective Storage at Height

In addition to offering a similar capacity to push back and drive in systems in terms of cubic storage; radio shuttle is a much more viable solution for deep storage that takes advantage of the high ceilings of modern industrial and warehousing units.

Push back and pallet live encounters problems with pushing at height and drive in systems past a certain numbers of rails in the height very quickly encounter selectivity problems. First in first out pallet live requires a very consistent placement of pallets to avoid ‘crabbing’ which becomes harder to achieve the higher up you go.

The motorised shuttle solves these problems be allowing pallets to be placed at height at the front of the rack without straining the mast or pushing. A pallet can be placed onto the shuttle at the front of the rack and be reliably transported further into the rail without the risk of crabbing or catching.

Whilst drive in becomes slower to operate the higher up the storage rails go (greater care to position properly is required at height); radio shuttle negates these issue with the shuttle itself doing the positional work for you and guaranteeing the optimum position every time. All that is required is that the pallet is placed well enough between the rails at the front of the rack.

Image of shuttle on shuttle racking system

Wow Factor

Automated systems like radio shuttle can be an impressive sight in your warehouse when guiding prospective clients around your premises. Whilst this shouldn’t be the sole reasoning for getting a powered storage system; it is a happy side effect that the loading, unloading and the operation of the shuttle is an interesting showcase.

Shuttle racking system being loaded with pallet using forklift truck

Selectivity

 

Whilst radio shuttle offers a degree of selectivity by allowing operation on a rail by rail basis, it is also much less selective than APR or powered mobile racking. The deeper the lanes are in radio shuttle; the lower the selectivity and the greater the requirement for commonality between stock. A system 6 pallets deep for instance will require that those six positions on each rail are the same product or products that are accessed together in order to be an efficient use of the system.

Want to access every pallet? Consider Standard APR or Powered Mobile

Pallet Quality

Whilst radio shuttle is on the face of things a very similar system to push back and pallet live racking, it offers a greater freedom for use of pallets that contain fragile or unbound products. Pallet live requires contact between stored goods in whatever configuration it is set up: a FIFO systems relies on the pallets to hit each other, at low speed remember, in order to stop and a LIFO (‘push back’) requires the pallets to push each other up when a new pallet is added.

This contact occurs between the pallets rather the goods on the pallets themselves but the guarantee of getting pallet to pallet contact in a push back system at height is harder to achieve the further up the rails go and a FIFO system requires that now pallets have any packaging overhang to achieve this also.

This can be an issue when dealing with pallets of fragile goods that should ideally be kept away from contact or the risk of nudging or perhaps have a pallet overhang (where the goods themselves overhang the base of the pallets slightly). Such products may include large boxes of lightweight but stable materials that will nudge off the pallet when pushed or they may be more stable but inherently fragile (glass work or baubles etc)

MHE Maintenance and Infrastructure Cost

The shuttle of radio shuttle is a relatively expensive piece of MHE, not in the term that it is overly costly in itself but rather because it is a secondary machine that requires a primary MHE such as a forklift or reach truck to be transferred between the rails and work.

Along with the cost of the shuttle itself comes the power requirements for charging and installation of those facilities themselves. That said, if you have the circumstances set out in the ‘Why Choose’ section of this page (a high roof, needing high density and consistency) then any additional expenditure on this system will quickly pay dividends to your operation and soon be forgotten

Want something with a little less fuss? Consider Standard APR or Drive In Racking

Speed

The requirement move the shuttle between rails to access product and the speed of the shuttle itself when transporting along the rails leads to a slower access time for stock than pallet live or standard APR for example. This is particularly true for low level access where greater care of selecting or depositing pallets is not required as access and locating are clearly visible to the driver in a pallet live or APR system.

However, the higher you get; the relative difference between the access of times of pallets from a radio shuttle system to other systems decreases.

Is moving your stock at speed a must? Consider Standard APR or Pallet Live

Ask WSL about radio shuttle racking today.

The benefits

Why Choose Shuttle Racking?

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Increase productivity

While the shuttle transports the load to and from the face of the racking and loads the lane, your truck operator is free to work elsewhere, increasing your handling capacity. You can also send the shuttle into the tunnel to count or reorganise the pallets or move them closer to the unloading point.
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Maintain accessibility

Despite storage being high density, the shuttle gives you individual access to each storage tunnel.
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Achieve high density storage

You can stack pallets far deeper with shuttle racking than any other racking, enabling you to really maximise your warehouse space through compact storage.

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Switch rotation models easily

You can switch from a first in, first out (FIFO) system to a last in, first out (LIFO) system at the push of a button.
Why choose wsl?

What Sets Us Apart

Our dedicated and experienced team will take time to understand your goals and asses your needs. Our extensive market knowledge and practical experience enables us to design and develop a bespoke system that is as unique as your business. Here at WSL we aim to maximise your available space and increase productivity through creating innovative and ‘outside the box’ solutions. Our commitment to excellence, our portfolio and our recommendations provide our customers with confidence in our ability to deliver solutions that are not only superior, but very cost-effective. Our in-house services simplify the process from design to installation by giving you just one port of call. By continuing to remain independent across the whole market we commit to providing our valued customers with the highest quality and – wherever possible – British products, all at competitive prices. We aim to fit our pallet rack systems with as little inconvenience to our clients as possible, using highly experienced fitters overseen by qualified project managers.

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Some Case Studies

Our warehouse Racking experience is extensive. Take a look at a very small selection of some of the pallet racking projects we have completed over the years.

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Our service is completely client-centric. We provide all manufacturer types, as well as fitters, engineers and inspectors; which means that not only can we deliver your entire project from start to finish, but that we can provide a fully bespoke solution for your individual needs. Get in touch to find out more.