Link 51 has completed one of the largest pallet racking installations it has ever undertaken at Tesco’s new distribution centre in Middlesbrough. The non-food storage area, which occupies approximately half of the one million sq ft of space available at the site, more than 56,000 pallet positions – sufficient to accommodate 10,000 individual electrical, home ware and cook shop lines.
The £128 million investment has been undertaken to provide efficient distribution for the Tesco organisation, the dockside facility being able to deliver 1.5 million cases per week throughout the UK. The site is divided into two distinct areas with the Link 51 installation in the non-food section providing seven levels of storage across 69 aisles.
The layout has also been configured with a top beam height of 12.5 metres, reflecting the non-standard sized pallets which are often associated with storage of products of this type.
“The new site operates 24 hours per day, seven days per week and receives some 60 per cent of its incoming loads on container from the adjacent docks, with the remainder via road delivery,” said project manager, Simon Harris.
“A highly sophisticated warehouse management system channels goods received for location into both bulk storage areas and others at ground level for individual case picking. The layout allows the former to be located either immediately above or near to the relevant picking positions.”
Link 51’s involvement at the site also encompassed liaison with the installer of the in-rack sprinkler system, as well as creation of a dedicated storage area around which the company designed and fitted a mesh partition.
The layout has also been configured to ensure that movement of the 32 forklift trucks and 128 order pickers is as efficient as possible around the site. Aisle widths of 3.2 metres have thus been specified to allow two trucks to pass while a central access aisle running the full width of the building – with additional storage to three levels retained overhead – helps to minimise truck movement requirements. The overall layout and handling system has also been configured to offer the necessary degree of storage variation resulting from seasonal or activity related factors.