Channel stock

What is a channel bearing?

Advantages of the special rack simply explained

When it comes to efficient warehouse management, the classic pallet rack is still the standard today. It can be flexibly adapted to requirements, expanded in a variety of ways and integrated into on-site processes. But standard designs are not always suitable for every application scenario. In this context, a channel storage system represents a special rack, in a sense a variation of the classic pallet high rack.

proLogistik explains the structure of a channel storage system, highlights advantages and disadvantages and provides application examples for a better understanding.

Basically: How is the channel bearing constructed?

When a company stocks a manageable number of items to quickly meet demand, it needs optimal space and floor space utilization. However, not every warehouse can be expanded at will, and this requires a great deal of planning. The channel storage system thus represents an adequate option for expanding the storage density of classic high-bay warehouses.

The highlight: As a special rack, it is designed in such a way that several loading aids can be stored simultaneously in depth on one and the same storage space - one behind the other and thus utilizing the entire space capacity, even in the tightest of spaces. Depending on the design of the channel bearing, companies can choose between a single or double-deep bearing.

In the following, we would like to present the structure and the mode of operation of a channel bearing:

  • Loading aids that act as trolleys are stored in depth.
  • With the help of the storage system, which always stores one after the other, individual loading aids can be moved in and out accordingly.
  • The control of the channel warehouse works via stacker cranes.
  • The structure creates a large storage volume, which at the same time requires only a small number of aisles.

Channel bearings in use: advantages of a bearing arrangement at a glance

Warehouse design is about concepts and economic aspects that have to fit the respective company. Especially in grown structures, it is difficult to ensure efficiency through ever new additions and extensions. This is at least true for those cases that do not require intelligent digital control. Unlike single- or double-deep rack storage systems, channel storage systems convince by an economical utilization of the available space.

The main advantages of a channel bearing:

  • Expansion of storage capacity by utilizing the space available, which increases the storage density
  • Storage of goods with different properties possible, as they can be inserted crosswise and lengthwise
  • Controllable via different stacker cranes, independently of each other
  • Relatively manageable investment costs compared to classic 1- or 2-place duct systems
  • Additional availability through intelligent allocation across the entire channel depth
  • Easy to integrate into existing picking areas
  • Several variants of a channel storage system are conceivable: Crosswise storage with two-point support (pallets), crosswise storage with three-point support (pallets) or longitudinal storage with three-point support (pallets).

In short, a modern channel storage system offers significantly more flexibility in day-to-day operations and, at the same time, scalability of the system to adapt it to changing conditions.

Disadvantages of a sewer storage system to be considered during planning

A channel rack, like a tunnel rack, is mostly suitable for bulk goods with high turnover. As long as palletizable goods are involved, a wide variety of goods can be ideally managed with it. But at the same time, the mode of operation leads to certain limitations that come with a channel rack.

An overview of the typical disadvantages of a channel rack:

  • The picking performance is rather low in relation to the investment costs, the channel storage is therefore only suitable for high-priced goods
  • Variety-free channels ensure that a free allocation of storage space is absent
  • High dependence on the storage resource "pallets
  • No direct access to the pallet possible
  • Higher time required for storage and retrieval, as it depends on the number of aids

Conclusion: channel storage is suitable for large-volume goods with a simultaneous low article variety

Due to the storage of goods in channels as well as one after the other, a high degree of space utilization is achieved, which brings economic advantages. Compared to conventional pallet or high-bay warehouses, it is thus possible to achieve maximum space utilization through channel storage. At the same time, however, the mode of operation restricts handling, among other things by reducing picking times, so that large-volume handling goods are more suitable.


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Image: Baloncici / Shutterstock

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