Full Pallet In, Full Pallet Out & Operational Solutions


There are still many facilities in the modern supply chain where the primary mode of operation is receiving full pallets of product (full pallet in) and shipping back out full pallets of product (full pallet out). The design of the storage systems and product work flow in these facilities is very different from what is found in broken case picking e-commerce environments that are very prevalent today.

However, there are still many different levels of facility design solutions available to meet the needs of your specific operation and customers. Storage Solutions will conduct an operational assessment to determine the best overall facility solution to meet your needs.

Challenges Within Full Pallet In/Full Pallet Out Operations:

  • Large volume of product by SKU and high throughput requirements
  • Products have to be handled using a First In/First Out (FIFO) methodology
  • Operations often include seasonal products that are completely sold out and then restocked with different inventory
  • Full Pallet In, Full Pallet Out (FPI/FPO) operations often end up operating out of multiple facilities to accommodate growth in the business over time
  • Heavy requirements for material handling equipment (typically forklifts) carry high capital demands

General Solutions to Optimize Your FPI/FPO Facility:

  • Facilities normally utilize a mixture of storage methods to maximize operational efficiency and space utilization with a decent percentage of the storage going into denser storage methods
  • Can be anywhere from an automated solution all the way to static racking
  • An effective storage and operational design with highly functional support systems (WMS) allow for meeting FIFO or other inventory management requirements
  • High throughput operations with lots of MHE require a well thought out building layout to maximize operational efficiency and safety
  • A facility optimization that frees up space and reduces your footprint within your primary facility, resulting in the less of a need to store material off site can almost always provide a fast ROI
  • Going from a manual setup to even a slightly more automated solution can limit the amount of product damage

What Specific Solutions are Best for Your Operation?

There are many different solutions that work best for various operations.

Drive-In Rack

The most inexpensive dense storage method, but needs to be well designed for storage of very high on hand SKUs that do not have FIFO handling requirements.

Pushback Rack

A very effective storage method for medium density SKUs. It also provides good operational efficiency because pallets gravity flow back to the pick face where they are placed in the rack. FIFO can still often be managed if done by date code or lot code.

Pallet Flow Rack

Pallets are put away on one side of the storage system and gravity flow down to where they are picked on the opposite side of the storage system. The system provides automatic FIFO picking by design. This storage method allows for very good density of storage and operational efficiency.

Semi-Automated Deep Lane Storage Cart

Pallets are stored in a very deep storage system, but are able to be picked and put away efficiently using a semi-automated cart the moves the pallets within the system to either end where they are picked up or dropped off by forklifts. Provides extremely good density of storage and still allows for efficient picking and put away. Can be designed and utilized as a FIFO system.

Cart Based Fully Automated AS/RS

Pallets enter and exit an automated system by a conveyor. Pallets are handled and stored completely by the automated storage system. As a goods to man picking solution, these systems provide tremendous operational efficiency and density of storage. Cart based systems are less costly and much more flexible than crane based AS/RS systems.

Double Deep Selective Rack

Is a low cost storage medium that provides twice the density of typical selective pallet rack. This storage method can be a good solution for FPI/FPO operations that need more density, but don’t have huge quantities on hand by SKU.

Selective Rack

Most FPI/FPO operations will have some selective rack for small quantity on hand SKUs. Density can be increased some by utilizing selective rack with VNA (very narrow aisle) material handling equipment that allows for reduced forklift aisles and increased density of storage.

Why Are We the Best Partner for You?

We specialize in space utilization and labor optimization, looking at trade-offs between labor, space utilization and capital expenditure. In assessing your current solution, we find inefficiencies in your facility and create the most budget-friendly and optimized facility plan.

844.249.2060 | Corporate Office - 910 E. 169th Street, Westfield, IN 46074

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