An efficiently organised warehouse will improve warehouse filling capacity, speed handling operations while also reducing the number of accidents. Totebox explores how reusable plastic storage containers can help Warehouse Managers to reduce the cost of picking, packing and handling operations, and improve health & safety.
1 Speed Picking Operations
Identification and accessibility are key to fast and effective order picking.
Labelling on the pallet or container needs to be clear and visible. Many operations use adhesive labels to identify contents and destination, these can leave a sticky residue when removed which can become unsightly and make further labels hard to spot amongst the mess. Some Euro containers feature textured areas for the easy removal of temporary labels without leaving adhesive residue. Totebox also supply a card clip, which simply clips onto the container rim, making it easy to see and replace non-adhesive labels.
Open-front storage bins allow easy access to smaller items needed to complete an order, for example accessories and fixings. They can be hung off louvred panels situated at the ends of pallet racking, so that items stored in the bins are relevant to the goods held in the adjacent racking bay.
Wheeled dollies are nimbler and often faster than using a pallet and pump truck. Totebox supply both single and double size-dollies, which carry one or two columns of stacked Euro size containers. A dolly handle will allow users to pull (instead of push) loaded dollies, allowing them to load the dolly higher as there is no need to see over the top when pulling a load.
2 Reduce Time Spent Packing and Eliminate Double-Handling
Many warehouses spend a great deal of operational time taking items to a central marshalling area for packing. Items are picked, loaded onto a pallet, transported to the packing area where they are packed into cardboard boxes, loaded onto another pallet which is then stretch-wrapped on a turntable ready for dispatch.
Cardboard boxes are time consuming to assemble while pallet turntables take up several square meters of warehouse space.
An alternative solution is to load items for dispatch directly into reusable plastic stacking boxes during the picking operation, eliminating the need to repack. Containers securely interlock when stacked (the base is recessed by about 1cm to locate snugly into the top rim of the container below) which means that only a single band or a couple of turns of stretch-wrap is required to secure the pallet load.
Most plastic pallets incorporate a raised rim to secure the bottom layer of containers. This can be combined with a pallet cover to secure the top layer, eliminating the need for banding or stretch wrap altogether. Pallet covers or container lids also protect the contents from dust and rain.
Most operations who use reusable plastic containers reduce costs by speeding up the packing operation, eliminating the need to use consumables (such as adhesive tape, banding and stretch-wrap) and reducing the size of the packing area which can be repurposed for additional warehouse storage space.
Totebox supply stacking containers, attached-lid containers and stacking & nesting containers in standard Euro sizes. Euro containers have base dimensions of 600 x 400mm, allowing them to stack in five columns on a standard 1200 x 1000mm UK pallet and in four columns on a standard 1200 x 800mm Euro pallet.
Totebox Euro stacking containers include half size crates (with a 400 x 300mm footprint), quarter size models (measuring 300 x 200mm), and double-size (800 x 600mm) containers. This allows users to create modular handling and distribution units with containers of different base dimensions inter-stacking to form compact loads; 400 x 300mm models stack 2-up (side-by-side) on 600 x 400mm containers, which in turn stack 2-up on 800 x 600mm containers.
Distribution picking containers (DPCs) combine the protection and security of an attached-lid container with the ease of access required for order picking. The crates incorporate both an attached lid and a drop-door, allowing it to perform both distribution and picking operations. This eliminates double-handling where contents are decanted from transit packaging into picking bins or onto shelving.
3 Optimise Storage Space
Stacking plastic boxes for storage have vertical sides, so they have a larger internal volume than stack-nest crates, which have tapering sides to facilitate nesting. Their modular nature allows users to create compact storage and distribution loads.
Unlike most cardboard carriers, the strength and uniformity of plastic boxes provide a level platform for multiple pallet loads to be block stacked on top of each other. This can free up a significant area for additional storage.
Plastic pallet boxes are strong, durable and can provide an efficient storage solution. Totebox rigid bulk Containers stack 10 high, carrying unit loads of up to 500 Kg for a combined load of 5 tonnes.
4 Ensure Compatibility With Handling Equipment
Totebox supply a number of products developed to meet the growing trend for more sophisticated and efficient supply chains. Totebox KLT containers and plastic heavy-duty pallets work seamlessly with the latest automated filling, weighing, scanning and handling equipment.
When selecting containers, it is worth considering any handling equipment you may purchase in the future to ensure continued compatibility.
5 Improve Health & Safety
According to the HSE (Health & Safety Executive) more than a third of all over-three-day injuries reported each year to HSE and local authorities are caused by manual handling. Totebox trays and containers are designed for easy, safe lifting, carrying and lowering with ergonomically shaped and positioned hand-holds. However, basic manual handling guidelines must still be followed to avoid stress, fatigue and injury.
Wheeled dollies take the back-ache out of manually carrying loaded containers. A dolly fitted with a handle allows users to pull (instead of push) loaded dollies, enabling them to inspect an aisle before moving into it and thus avoid accidents.
Cardboard can generate large amounts of dust which adheres to machinery, leading to additional maintenance costs, and presents respiratory issues for employees. Plastic containers provide a clean and safe working environment.
Unlike timber pallets and pallet boxes, plastic pallets and plastic pallet boxes have rounded corners to deflect a forklift blow. This means that they are less likely to be pushed off racking if they are accidentally knocked.
Thank you for reading Totebox’s blog post. If you would like to find out further information, then contact us on 01327 340 177, alternatively, visit out contact page.