As consumers increasingly shift their purchases to E-commerce, vendors are finding warehouses must be modified or converted to a higher pick-and-pack environment. The need for high SKU counts on the floor (where employees can access them) while storing overstock higher up lends perfectly to a carton flow configuration.
Carton flow is a form of shelving that uses a gravity-fed, rear-load design. Each roller track—or SKU lane—consists of one or more inclined runways. Cartons of merchandise are loaded in the rear of each track. As a carton is removed from the front, the item directly behind it slides forward in place of the previous one. This leaves the overhead areas to be utilized for overstock or pallets while the lower area is used for high-rate picking.
The benefits of carton flow include:
- High pick rates
- Prompt stock replenishment
- Reduced employee walking distance
- Increased SKU counts