Mobile racking increases capacity by 30% for Oxford Cold Storage

Oxford Cold Storage’s Paul Fleiszig: “While we operate the largest single cold storage site in Australia, that doesn’t mean we can afford to waste space.”

Dematic, a materials handling and logistics automation company, has helped Oxford Cold Storage in Australia implement a mobile pallet racking system that increases by 30% the capacity of its new freezer housing at Laverton North in Melbourne.

Oxford Cold Storage, Australia’s largest privately owned, temperature-controlled storage specialist, recently added a new freezer facility housing more than 23,000 pallets at its Laverton North complex. While the majority of the pallets in the 11,000sqm freezer are stored in double-deep ColbyRACK pallet racking, a key feature is Oxford’s first application of mobile pallet racking. This raised storage capacity within a section of the new warehouse from 5,748 pallets with double-deep racking to 7,672 – an increase of 30%.

The mobile pallet racking system comprises 25 double rows of selective ColbyRACK split across three zones. This configuration allows up to three aisles to be opened simultaneously, enabling multiple RF-directed forklifts to put away and retrieve stock concurrently.

An interface to Oxford’s warehouse management system automatically opens the required aisle as forklift drivers approach the system, while control panels mounted to the front of the racks can also be used to manually operate them.

Instead of being secured to the warehouse floor, the racks are mounted to electrically-powered mobile bases – called bogies – which run on special hot-rolled cast steel rails.

The technically-demanding project was implemented by a multinational team comprising Oxford’s long-term logistics partner Dematic, mobile racking equipment supplier Storax and mobile racking installer Barpro.

Commenting on the project, Oxford Cold Storage director Paul Fleiszig said: “While we operate the largest single cold storage site in Australia, that doesn’t mean we can afford to waste space. That is why we re-evaluated the viability of mobile racking for the recent extension.

While the mobile racking system is more expensive than static pallet racking, the additional storage capacity the system provides will enable an acceptable ROI.