Understanding the FIFO (first in first out) Rack System

Oct 06, 2017

First in First out (FIFO) rack management system allows the first placed inventory to be moved first. These flow racks are ideal for moving fresh and frozen food items, drugs, and medicines in sequential manner. Is that all? Read this post to know about beneficial features and types of FIFO systems.

Beneficial Features of FIFO Rack Systems

FIFO rack management system is an ideal inventory management system for any distribution or warehouse due to the following reasons:

  • FIFO rack systems are ideal for warehouses that require frequent stock rotation or stock easily perishable goods, or possess a high turnover rate.
  • FIFO storage applications are designed such that they safeguard any inventory from getting spoiled, and help reduce write-offs due to expirations or damages.
  • The FIFO rack system helps optimize storage space due to the fast inventory movement. This helps in minimizing the total footprint.

Types of FIFO Rack Systems

The following are the major types of FIFO racking systems:

  • Selective pallet racks: Selective pallet racks offer easy access to stored pallets, boxes or cartons without the need to displace another rack. These pallet racks require a large number of aisles, which helps in lowering storage density. The inventory racking systems are ideal for storing food, medicines, and other frequent ready-to-go items.
  • Gravity flow systems: Gravity flow systems feature incline rollers or wheels on racks. This allows the product to slide from the back loading aisle to the front picking aisle. Here the pallets are loaded from the back of the system, which is slipped to the other end for picking. The next pallet slides into the picking position after the first pallet is unloaded. This inventory system features carton flow and pallet flow, which provides ample volume utilization. Gravity flow systems are ideal for storing materials having expiry dates including drugs, foods, and beverage. These systems can be configured as stand-alone systems or multi-rack modules. These flow systems are ideal for high volume piece-pick or case pick applications, too.
  • Drive-through racks: Drive through rack features support rails, which are engineered to store boxes or pallets. These support rails are attached to uprights and can be easily accessed by forklifts. Typically, forklifts are raised to the level of support rails, and positioned on a selected storage locations. There are no picking aisles, which means these racks offer a high storage density. No wonder, drive-through racks are used to store bulk quantities of the same product having a longer lifespan, and items requiring an only one-time move.

Thus, various FIFO racking system help warehouse industries to organize their product effectively. If you are confused about the selection of the right FIFO system, you can always contact an industry expert, or a reliable manufacturer in your area.


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