FIFO in Warehouse Storage

(photo credit: Rob Igo)

Many people today live by the phrase “out with the old, in with the new”.  The stuff that they have, whether it’s a cell phone, a car, or a pair of pants, gets old and worn, so they buy something new to replace it.  For the most part, there’s nothing wrong with this.  It only makes sense that you would keep a newer item over an older one.

And the same is true for warehouse storage.  In many storage situations, the goal is to get rid of the oldest product as you take in new product.  It’s called “FIFO”.

FIFO stands for “first in, first out”, which means the products that have been on the shelf the longest are the first ones you take off.  The reason it is so popular is because in most storage situations, it’s the most practical.  In the food industry, it’s crucial to making sure products don’t go bad and everything is used up.

But even when dealing with material goods, FIFO remains the most common method of storage.  It keeps products up to date and fully accounted for.  Plus food isn’t the only product that expires.  Clothes go out of season and out of style.  Technology becomes outdated.

And that’s why FIFO is the standard by which many warehouses live.

FIFO in the Warehouse

When you’re dealing with food on a grocery store shelf, FIFO is as simple as setting a newer can of corn behind an older can of corn.  When you’re dealing with pallets, industrial shelving, and forklifts, FIFO gets a bit more complex.

That’s why there is pallet racking designed specifically for it.  With flow-through (or “drive-thru”) pallet racking, new product is loaded on one end which pushes all the old product to the other end.  When you need to take something off the self, you simply take your forklift to the other side and remove it.

If you’re in need of FIFO-friendly pallet racking, click here to contact us today.

If you’re wondering why someone would use anything other than the FIFO method of storage, come back for our next post.

One Response to FIFO in Warehouse Storage

  1. Chicago third party warehouse June 27, 2013 at 4:40 am #

    In a FIFO storage rack, loads travel on rails from the loading end to the discharge end.

Leave a Reply