How to Calculate Your Warehouse Storage Capacity

How to Calculate Your Warehouse Storage Capacity

There are a few hiccups as deadly to a business as warehouse problems. After all, if a problem occurs in your warehouse, the running of your business can quickly grind to a halt. So, it is always imperative to manage warehouses as well as possible. And part of that is knowing exactly how much stock they can handle. In order to come up with that number, you need to know how to calculate your warehouse storage capacity.

Measure the exact available square footage of your warehouse

Now, the first step of trying to calculate your warehouse storage capacity may sound simple. All you need to do is figure out the exact square footage of your warehouse. Except, this “simple” task quickly turns quite complicated due to one simple fact. If you want to really do the job right and get the right storage capacity out of your calculations, then you need to account for areas that you can’t use within the warehouse. After all, there’s the staging area where you load and unload goods. Then some areas are used for other purposes and projects. And you even have the passages between shelving. They all bite into your available storage capacity. So, if you want to avoid overestimating your capacity, which can even cause a myriad of order fulfillment mistakes, you must first discount this “wasted” space.

Determine the height you have available

The next step required to calculate your warehouse storage capacity is determining the height of your warehouse. Again, though, if all that’s needed is a hard number, you could refer to the specifications of your warehouse building and call it a day. What you really need to come up with is the maximum stack height of your warehouse. In simple terms, this is the height to which your shelving, warehouse conditions, and other pertinent elements allow you to stack your goods. Or, at the very, stack your goods safely. If you have to fear a collapse or other potential accidents happening right in the middle of your warehouse just because you’d stacked your goods too high, then definitely tone down those numbers.

Additional concerns

Unfortunately, problems with getting a concrete number for your storage capacity are just starting. Let’s discuss shelving first. While just hitting it up with a certain height statistic and calling it a day is tempting, that’s not enough. Each individual shelf has a certain load-bearing capacity. And there’s the fact that the shelves themselves take up space! Then, there are the pallets you use to transport and store goods; they also take up additional space. As the experts from Ample Moving New Jersey like to point out, you should not just focus on the dimensions of items that are immediately obvious but consider the equipment and everything else you need to transport them safely, too! Even a suboptimal building shape and layout can cut into your storage capacity.

Taking into account the type of items you stock

There are several considerations to remember when calculating your warehouse storage capacity directly related to your stock, too. First, of course, consider the item characteristics. In other words, size, weight, temperature sensitivity, fragility, and similar. These will all affect how you approach putting the items away and can seriously limit your space. For example, you can often not stack fragile items on top of each other. Then, there are the season shifts in inventory to keep in mind. If you deal with stock that changes throughout the year, then there are a lot more shifts in item characteristics to keep track of. Finally, there’s the packaging. The correct packaging can strongly impact whether you can squeeze in more stock or not. Bulky packaging is not just potentially unsafe and harmful for the items but also takes up unnecessary space.

Starting in on the calculations

After conquering all the previous challenges, you are finally ready to calculate your warehouse storage capacity. In the end, the final step is comparatively simple. All you need to do is to multiply your square footage by your warehouse’s maximum stack height. Once you’ve finally got your hands on that number, you’ll know exactly what your warehouse can handle and will be able to properly plan your operations. Of course, all the challenges and complexities mean that you might want to simply look into the services of professional logistics providers instead!

Final comment

Once you know how to calculate your warehouse storage capacity and have done it once or twice, the process will get a lot easier. All you need to do is tough it out at the beginning, and we are sure you can succeed!

If you need any help with the transport of your products in southern British Columbia including warehousing, give us a call in Vancouver at (604) 439-8938. Warehousing is tight in Vancouver right now, but we can help you.

For over 30 years, 18 Wheels Logistics has strived to be the most customer-centric trucking, warehousing, and logistics company around. Based in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, 18 Wheels relies on experience and integrity to make customers happy and remain on the cutting edge of shipping and logistics management. 

If you have any questions about this article or you would like to talk to us about your shipping needs, please call us at (604) 439-8938.