Thanks to the ongoing craft brewing boom beer drinkers have more options than ever when it comes to finding an option to suit their palate. According to the Brewers Association of Boulder, CO, craft beer production increased by nearly 18% in 2014, and for the first time ever, over 21,000,000 barrels of craft beer were produced. The demand for increased variety and options as even spilled over into the wine and hard cider markets as these beverages become more popular with Millennials. Kegs are being increasingly used for both wine and cider since they allow producers to cut down on transportation costs as well as limit wasted glass and other packaging materials.
This increase in variety and selection is not only great for consumers looking to try new and exciting beverages, but it also presents opportunities for distributors to increase their product offerings and hopefully their profits. Having an expansive beverage line means that distributors are better equipped to keep up with the latest tastes and trends, but it also means that they have many more SKU’s to store and manage. Overwhelmed warehouse supervisors are forced to keep kegs on pallets in aisles, and inventory is constantly being handled and shifted to make distribution space. Expansion is a costly alternative because refrigerated warehouse space averages around $200 per square foot to build, not to mention the fact that it greatly increases the maintenance requirements of the facility. So while distributors may want to expand into larger warehouses, they must first ask themselves if this is a wise investment. Luckily there are more innovative solutions.
A more dynamic way for distributors to increase their SKU’s, allowing them to keep up with ever-expanding craft beer, wine, and hard cider offerings, is to use their existing space more efficiently. High density mobile storage systems eliminate static aisles which waste up to 50% of floor space. By installing pallet racking systems on industrial-grade wheeled carriages, which ride on rails anchored to the floor, warehouse managers can not only store more kegs, but they also have greater access to and mobility of their inventory. Some systems can also be designed to withstand temperatures as low as -4 Fahrenheit, meaning that freshness is never an issue, even for slower moving inventory.
ActivRAC, by Spacesaver, is a powered mobile racking system that uses heavy-duty wheeled carriages, which ride on rails anchored to the floor that can roll to eliminate static shelves. This system doubles warehouse capacity without the need for expansion because idle aisles no longer waste valuable floor space. Shelves can be rolled to create aisles wide enough for a forklift when needed, and they can be collapsed when unoccupied. The logistics of the distribution center are also improved since inventory can be accessed with the push of a button.
For more information about Spacesaver Interior and their mobile racking solutions, please call Tom Metzfield at 301.933.9390 or email us at [email protected].
For more than 40 years, Spacesaver Interiors has been the most trusted source of high-density shelving in the Washington, DC, metro area. Amy Hamilton, president of Spacesaver Interiors, and her expert team custom-design and install high-density storage for every conceivable type of market. Because of their long history in the business, they have experience developing storage solutions for many types of organizations including law firms, museums and police precincts.