Warehouse Racking Labels: How to Use Them, Where to Buy Them

warehouse racking labels

Good organization is integral to productive and efficient warehouse operations. An excellent way to improve organization is the use of shelf and racking labels. Below is a guide to racking labels and how they can be used effectively in the warehouse. 

WHAT ARE RACKING LABELS? 

Racking labels are organizational tools that provide information about an item and its location on a racking system. These are typically plastic or adhesive labels found on or nearby a rack. Rack labels let workers know where to put and find items in a warehouse, allowing for easier sorting and organization of inventory.  

TYPES OF RACK LABELS

There are many types of racking labels. Color-coded labels are common but can also be organized by symbols, barcodes, locations, etc. Examples of racking labels include: 

  • Pallet labels/license plate numbers. These are labels used to track items moving within a warehouse, commonly found with pallets, cartons, or bins. Pallet labels are made of paper and come on pre-printed rolls with adhesive backing to accommodate various applications and temperatures.  
  • Rack beam labels. These labels are found most commonly on rack beams at bay locations. Rack beam labels typically have a one or two-dimensional barcode for scanning and letters or numbers for identification. Beam labels are often made of polyester or polypropylene because these materials are more resistant to tearing and fading. 
  • Rack upright/totem labels. These are vertical labels found stacked on top of one another. They contain information for each level of racking within a system. Upright labels are often color-coded and accompanied by location labels (used on the different racking levels to organize inventory).  
  • Tote and bin labels. Warehouses often have plastic bins or totes to hold or move items within the warehouse. These must also be properly labeled to allow for easy sorting and retrieval. Tote and bin labels are often made from paper and are easily removable and replaceable. 
  • Bulk storage labels. These labels help identify bulk storage locations within the warehouse. They are often similar to tote and bin labels but are larger and commonly accompanied by other signage (e.g., overhead signs). 
  • Floor labels. These labels are found on the floor, generally used to identify storage or bulk locations. Durability is integral to these labels as they are frequently subject to foot traffic, machine handling equipment, pallets, and more. 

WHY USE RACKING LABELS? 

Racking labels are excellent tools for improving warehouse management. Benefits of using rack labels include: 

  • More efficient sorting, identification, and retrieval. Racking labels eliminate the guesswork associated with inventory organization. In addition, labels allow workers to quickly identify and locate product information and locations, making sorting simpler. 
  • Reduced mistakes caused by human error. Rack labels provide all relevant data about inventory. Information is also often encoded with a barcode that workers can scan to retrieve information and ensure items are in the correct locations. This minimizes the chances of inventory being misplaced. 
  • Optimization of warehouse space. Proper organization ensures warehouse space is used effectively, minimizing wasted space and time. 
  • Cost-effective solution. Rack labels are typically inexpensive but provide excellent value to the organization of warehouse practices and workers. 
  • Improved inventory management. It is essential to keep products moving in the warehouse. Implementing tools or practices, like rack labels, make moving items quicker and easier, improving overall efficiency and productivity. 

WHAT TO CONSIDER WHEN CHOOSING RACK LABELS 

Rack labels can be easily tailored to the unique needs of a warehouse. Therefore, there are no universal standards or practices for racking labeling. However, there are essential factors to consider to optimize labeling practices. These include: 

Warehouse organizational needs

Organizational needs must be identified and examined before selecting labeling. A good place to start would be to look at how things are organized currently and identify the racking systems and sections that need to be labeled. 

Warehouse environment

Different labeling materials and adhesives are better suited for specific warehouse environments. For example, if the warehouse is outside, labels must withstand various weather conditions and temperature fluctuations. Therefore, paper labels would not be the best option, but they would work fine for most indoor storage environments. 

Label materials

Label materials must be catered to the warehouse environment and needs. Examples of labeling materials include: 

  • Paper. Not very durable, but easily removable. 
  • Polyester/polypropylene. Durable and highly readable, which is excellent for short-range tracking. 
  • Magnetic. These labels can be easily moved around, which may be preferred for temporary storage areas. 
  • Self-adhesive. These labels can be placed directly on rack. They are often durable and resistant to different environments. A drawback of self-adhesive labels is that they can be challenging to remove. Block-out labels can help by covering old or torn labels.
  • Reflective. Durable and highly visible, making it a great choice for long-range scanning.

Picking methods

The two most popular picking methods are: 

  • Standard. Workers go from location to location for picking and may need to double back for inventory retrieval. Labeling is often sorted numerically or alphabetically. 
  • Serpentine. This method involves workers picking products along a path. Essentially, new shelves of products are close to where the last shelf left off, so pickers can weave up and down aisles instead of doubling back.

Labeling direction 

Labels are used to identify different areas but are also vital to labeling the different levels or shelves within a racking system. It is optimal to label from the bottom-up, using double digits (in case more racking levels are added down the line). For example, the level closest to the ground could be labeled “01”, the second row “02”, etc. 

Barcode

Barcodes are one-dimensional (1D) or two-dimensional (2D). 1D barcodes have vertical lines and spaces, and 2D barcodes (e.g., QR codes) are square-shaped and look like television static. 1D barcodes are more common in warehouses. Barcodes are easily customizable to individual needs, but warehouses must consider compatibility with warehouse management software. 

Standardization

Keeping labeling somewhat consistent throughout the warehouse is vital to minimize confusion and improve efficiency. This also makes it easier to train new workers on the labeling system. 

WHERE TO BUY RACKING LABELS

You can purchase a variety of warehouse racking labels from Lean Inc., which operates this warehouse supply store.

We sell Beaverswood racking labels in the U.S., Canada and Mexico. Contact Ted Gallardo at 1-888-310-0008 x2 to request a catalog, get help with product, or email [email protected]

How to Repair Warehouse Racking 

Damaged racking prior to pallet rack repair service
Damaged racking prior to pallet rack repair service

Damaged racking is a hazard in a warehouse. It poses a variety of safety risks and can impact efficiency and workflow. So repairing damaged rack as soon as possible is crucial. This article will provide a guideline for spotting and fixing damaged racking.

How do you know if racking is damaged?

The best way to determine the condition of racking is to perform a safety inspection. These should occur at least once a year and preferably every six months. It is uncommon for racking to become damaged quickly, but interactions with material handling equipment may cause increased wear and tear over time. 

For example, reach trucks can cause damage to unprotected racking during storage and retrieval events. The base legs of the truck will sometimes maneuver too close to the upright column of the vertical frame. This applies pressure to the column, changing its shape and damaging the anchors attaching racking to the concrete floor.

Minor damage can result in dimpling and slight denting of the column. However, severe damage may cause changes in the shape of upright columns skewing the shape of the rack. When this happens, the column loses its load-bearing strength, which poses safety concerns and may inhibit the use of the racking.

Racking should be reviewed during inspections. Damage to look for includes:

  • Torn metal
  • Anchors are bent or damaged
  • One of the four corners of the column is no longer straight

Repairing vs. replacing

Damaged racking can be fixed in two ways: repairing or replacing. Repairing is typically the popular choice, but the decision depends on the warehouse’s needs.

Repairing rack is the more straightforward and cheaper option. For example, replacing an upright frame involves disassembling the racking on either side. If there are three or four beam levels in the racking, then 12 or 16 beams must be removed before tackling the upright frame. This is a lengthy process and can incur substantial labor costs on top of other expenses, such as the replacement upright frame, equipment rentals, etc.

Replacing rack also requires the shutdown of a large area in the warehouse for an extended period, disrupting other warehouse activities. The racking area will need to be shut down and racking technicians will need to move components in and out of the building. This can challenging in a busy facility, so shutting down the whole operation may be necessary.

Repairing rack is a less disruptive operation. Only a small area needs to be shut down (e.g., an aisle), and repairing rack does not require dismantling the whole column. This makes the process quicker and more efficient, which reduces labor costs and financial loss due to a shutdown. However, rack replacement has its advantages.

Replacement may be beneficial if the warehouse has a surplus of pallet racks and frames. It is also useful when a warehouse is reconfigured rack is moved. Since disassembly is required for this task it is a good time to schedule repairs as well. 

Rack Repair with Lean Inc.

Lean Inc., WarehouseIQ.com’s parent company, offers services and products to assist with rack repair and protection. Below is a step-by-step guide to the repair process.

Step 1: Inspection

Before being able to repair racking, businesses must first be aware of what needs replacing. Workers should be inspecting equipment regularly, but a qualified rack repair specialist should perform annual or semi-annual inspections. Therefore, the first step in repairing damaged racking is to invite Lean Inc. to the warehouse to assess the damage.

The inspection involves filling out a survey, taking detailed measurements and photos, and checking for paint matching. Appointments can be booked using our online calendar.

Step 2: Creating Repair Kits

After the inspection, engineers will analyze data, including:

  • Rack Style
  • Size of column
  • Baseplate size
  • Height and length of rack struts
  • Height of the first beam
  • Height of the rack damage
  • Color of the racking

The data will be used to engineer specialized rack kits that will also be color-matched to blend into the existing beams and uprights.

Step 3: Installation

Installation begins with removing pallets stored on either side of the damaged upright. Next, the upright is secured using Lean Inc.’s hydraulic jack by attaching it above the damaged area for support. The area can then be measured, marked, and cut. Original anchors are also removed from the floor.

Step 4: Replacing the damaged area with the rack repair kit

After the damaged components have been cut and removed, the repair kit is ready to be bolted into place. The original rack is moved to the side, and the upright frame and base are fitted into the existing racking section.

Step 5: Secure the rack repair kit

Next, the rack repair kit is secured to the origin upright using bolts. No welding is necessary. A different anchor pattern is used, making it possible for the repair kit base plate to be anchored to the floor.

Step 6: Protection and Prevention

One of the best ways to avoid damaged racking is to protect it from damage before it occurs. Below are examples of rack protection sold by Lean Inc.

PALLET RACK PROTECTORS FROM RACK ARMOUR

Rack Armour Protectors are guards for racking uprights. Rack Armour is designed to deflect and absorb impact to racking uprights.

You can purchase Pallet Rack Protectors on our website:
Pallet rack protectors from Rack Armour – Upright Protection for Racking

COLUMN AND RACK GUARDS

Column and rack guards protect against forklifts, outriggers, and product impacts. Below is a list of guards available on our website:

What Rack Protection Products Can I Use to Protect My Pallet Rack in My Warehouse? 

damaged racking

Pallet racking in a warehouse is particularly vulnerable to damage from forklifts, so it needs protection so as to minimize damage if it is hit by a truck. 

To that end, learn about rack protection products that can reduce damage by up to 80 per cent.

WHY DO PALLET RACKS NEED PROTECTION?

Pallet racks are used to store large amounts of materials on pallets. Therefore, mishandling or a substantial impact on a pallet rack can cause dents and weaken the integrity of pallet rack uprights and beams. Left unprotected and unrepaired this damage can eventually lead to weakened racking and may result in a catastrophic failure.

Forklifts are typically used or required to move loaded pallets onto the racks. However, forklifts pose several risks in the workplace due to factors such as their large size or decreased visibility when carrying loads in the front. These concerns are prevalent when working with pallet racks, so adding an extra layer of protection can minimize damage to forklifts, workers, and merchandise.   

PALLET RACK PROTECTION PRODUCTS:  

Here is a series of various pallet protection products that can help make your pallet rack collision-resistant.

Pallet protection guards

Rack Armour is a guard for racking uprights. Racking uprights are vertical components at the bottom of racking systems or frames. They are equipped with holes or slots to attach equipment and allow load-supporting beams to be fixed or mounted. Rack Armour is designed to deflect and absorb impact to racking uprights (see image below).

rack armour rack protecion

Rack Armour is made from low maintenance High-Density Polyethylene (HDPE), which is fully recyclable and non-toxic. It also comes in various colours and sizes and is suitable for use in temperatures as low as -40 degrees F (-40 C).  

Contact us for a P.O. or to request more information: [email protected].

Color options include:

  • Hi-Vis yellow (original)
  • Colourfast yellow
  • Safety yellow
  • Glow in the dark
  • Green
  • Orange
  • Red
  • Grey

Learn more about racking upright guards from Rack Armour from the product’s datasheet.

End of Aisle Single Rail Barrier

The End of Aisle Single Rail Barrier is designed to protect racking against multiple impacts while minimizing floor damage and saving maintenance costs. It is beneficial for pallet rack areas to reduce impacts from forklifts and other machinery.

End of Aisle Single Rail Barrier is made from durable HDPE plastic that flexes on impact and reforms shape. As a result, barriers are long-lasting and only need to be replaced after frequent, major impact indents.

End of Aisle Single Rail Barriers come in three colours, including:

  • Colourfast yellow and grey
  • Hi-Vis Yellow and blue
  • Safety yellow and grey

Learn more about End of Aisle Single Rail Barriers at the links below:

End of Aisle Double Rail Barriers

End of Aisle Double Rail Barriers provide the same features and benefits as the single rail barriers but help improve visibility for machine handling equipment operators with the addition of a second rail.

To learn more about this product, below:

What is Protection Bollard?

Bollards are protective posts designed to get the attention of drivers in designated areas. This helps prevent accidents and protect workers and property. Rack Group’s Protection Bollards add strength and presence to corners, structures, and entryways in warehouses and other storage and distribution workplaces.

The Protection Bollard is made from HDPE plastic, with a steel core for long-lasting protection. It helps absorb impact while minimizing floor damage. The bollards come in three colours:

  • Colourfast yellow and grey
  • Hi-Vis Yellow and blue
  • Safety yellow and grey

Check out the links below to learn more about Protection Bollards:

OTHER INDUSTRIAL IMPACT PROTECTION PRODUCTS:

What is a Bumper Barrier?

Bumper barriers provide a layer of protection between warehouse machinery (e.g., forklifts) and equipment (e.g., shelving and racking). Bumper barriers come in two varieties:

Both types are low-level barriers designed to minimize impact from the bumpers of machinery. The Double Bumper Barrier also improves visibility with the second bumper.

The bumper barriers are made from strong and durable plastic (HDPE) that flexes on impact and reforms its shape. Each variety has three colour options:

  • Colourfast yellow and grey
  • Hi-Vis Yellow and blue
  • Safety yellow and grey

What is a Pedestrian Barrier?

Pedestrian barriers separate and protect workers on the floor from machine handling equipment and operators. These barriers are designed to alert operators of pedestrian areas and negate or minimize accidents or impacts before they happen. The Rack Group has three pedestrian barrier varieties. These include:

All barriers are made from durable plastic (HDPE) and come in three colour options:

  • Colourfast yellow and grey
  • Hi-Vis Yellow and blue
  • Safety yellow and grey

What is a safety gate?

Safety gates provide easy access to floor workers and pedestrian areas and are a protective addition to pedestrian barrier systems.

The gates are made from durable plastic (HDPE) and come in three colour varieties:

  • Colourfast yellow and grey
  • Hi-Vis Yellow and blue
  • Safety yellow and grey

Learn more about this product at the links below:

What is a Floor Rail Bumper?

Floor Rail Bumpers provide a subtle layer of protection to the bottoms of shelving and racking. These bumpers are strong, durable, and designed to minimize impact from the bumpers of machine handling equipment.

The Floor Rail Bumpers are made from HDPE plastic and come in three colour options:

  • Colourfast yellow and grey
  • Hi-Vis Yellow and blue
  • Safety yellow and grey

Learn more about Floor Rail Bumpers below:

Pareto’s Law Pallet Racking Calculator

LEAN WAREHOUSE MANAGMENT USING PARETO'S LAW

Designing a warehouse racking layout for your new warehouse? Before you decide on the storage media, use our Pareto’s Law Pallet Racking Calculator to help determine the best approach to pallet storage depth.

A Multi-Media Warehouse is an Efficient Warehouse

Using our Pareto’s Law pallet racking calculator, you can analyze the number of pallets and the number of SKUs to determine the best storage method to optimize warehouse space and racking design.