Is your warehouse space enough for your company to operate efficiently, or is it constraining operations?

Before you pay more for additional space, we suggest you review how your existing space is currently being used. Sometimes the problem isn’t too little space. Rather, it’s that the space isn’t being used efficiently.  
Knowing how to calculate the storage capacity of a warehouse is an important skill.

In this guide, learn how to measure warehouse storage efficiency, so you can get the most out of your warehouse capacity.

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How To Calculate the Storage Capacity of a Warehouse

Before you can calculate your warehouse space efficiency, you need to know the total square feet of your facility. From this number, subtract the square feet dedicated to areas like offices, restrooms and other non-storage areas.

To determine your total storage capacity in cubic feet, multiply the remaining square feet by the warehouse’s clear height. (This is the distance from the finished floor of the warehouse to the lowest overhead object.)

This measurement is sometimes referred to as the warehouse’s “cube size.”

Measuring Your Warehouse Capacity


The next metric you need to determine your warehouse capacity is the cube size of your inventory. This number includes all the racking areas where inventory is stored.

  • Calculate the inventory cube size by multiplying the length and width of your racks by the height of the tallest load in each area.
  • Add the cubic volume for each area together in order to determine the inventory cube size.
  • Next, measure the footprints of each pallet rack and calculate their total vertical storage capacity.
  • Multiply the total capacity of each rack by the total number of racks in the warehouse.

This is the true size of your storage cube.

Ideal cube size use should be between 22 and 27 percent of your storage capacity. If your storage cube use is higher than 27 percent, you run the risk of high labor costs because workers have less room for tasks, such as picking and restocking.

If your storage cube use is lower than 22 percent, however, there’s a risk that your rack locations aren’t efficient, thus causing wasted space.

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Are You Maximizing Warehouse Storage Capacity?

If you discover you are not using your warehouse space to the fullest level of efficiency, there are several ways to improve the situation. First, change the number or width of the warehouse aisles. You can also change the aisle orientation and/or the size and orientation of racks and shelving. Lastly, you can change the size and orientation of the clear height in certain areas as well.

Maximizing your warehouse storage capacity is the foundation for building an efficient and fully functioning warehouse. Remember that it’s not about simply comparing your inventory to warehouse size. While this will give you a basic look at use, it will not give you the full picture. By following the methods cited above, you’ll learn how efficient your warehouse layout really is.

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