Very Narrow Aisle

Very Narrow Aisle Pallet Racking

Increased storage capacity on the same footprint

Very Narrow Aisle Pallet Racking

Increased storage capacity on the same footprint

What is Very Narrow Aisle Racking?

A very narrow aisle (VNA) racking system is often a potential solution for warehouses where space is at a premium.

VNA racking utilises Adjustable Pallet Racking (APR). It provides storage for a higher concentration of pallets, by reducing the aisle width to between 2.7 and 1.6 meters. This type of racking configuration requires the use of reach trucks, articulated forklift trucks, very narrow aisle or turret trucks to deposit and access pallets. As they do not turn in the aisles they require a guide rail or wire guidance system. This has the advantage of minimising the risk of damage, resulting in lower maintenance.

Very narrow aisle racking systems have the advantages of adjustable pallet racking and allow for direct access to all of the products stored, ensuring good stock rotation. Additionally, pallets within very narrow aisles can be stored to a greater height than in many other storage systems, ensuring maximum use of cubic space.






Operating Speed


Space Utilisation

System Benefits

  • Increased space utilisation compared with other pallet storage systems as higher installations are possible
  • 100% Product Selectivity
  • The system operations on a First-In-First-Out stock rotation
  • Up to 50% Reduction of Aisle Widths compared with Wide Aisle racking
  • Damage is reduced as narrow aisle forklifts are typically guided by wire or rail

Common Uses

VNA solutions are very versatile and can cater for a wide range of operations. However, they are particularly suitable for warehouses that need the following:

  • Dense storage on a smaller footprint
  • Direct and immediate access to each unit load, but also need to optimise the available space
  • Storage for products that have different unit loads and sizes
Warehouse storage with narrow aisles

Increase Storage Space with Very Narrow Aisle Racking

  • Very Narrow Aisle pallet racking offers direct access to all the unit loads, providing 100% selectivity due to being fully accessible
  • The available space is optimised through the reduction of work aisles width, which can result in a total space saving of up to 40%
  •  VNA offers increased warehouse storage capacity by compacting the adjustable pallet racking system which then enables the installation of additional pallet racking bays
  • VNA racking allows much better use of space at height, thereby optimising the cube of the building
  • Very Narrow Aisle offers a flexible solution with simple assembly, disassembly as well as adaptation of load levels, so it allows operations to adapt to changes in storage needs
  • Very Narrow Aisle pallet racking is adaptable to any type of goods, by weight or volume
  • VNA allows pallets to be stored at floor level on the lowest level of the racking
  • VNA also allows for the possibility of converting a Very Narrow Aisle pallet racking system into an automated storage system.

Case Study on Daler-Rowney

SEC Storage were invited by Daler-Rowney to propose an intelligent solution that would solve their existing storage issues – optimising their operation and allowing for an estimated 10% growth in product volumes year-on-year.

SEC’s stock placement analysis identified that Daler-Rowney uses four specific carton types, segmented into quarter size, half size, full size and an undefined size for miscellaneous products. Once this had been established and the warehouse simulations were run, SEC was able to devise an optimal aperture that would allow for the storage of all of Daler-Rowney’s SKUs. The next phase was to design the storage solution that would house of all these SKUs.

In order to achieve Daler-Rowney’s key goals: maximising storage efficiency, increasing the volume of stock and the number of picking locations, SEC looked to design and install a dedicated picking zone in the form of a rack supported, multi-tier system. The combined footprint of all three floors of the multi-tier totals over 64,000 sq/ft, allowing for the storage of around 14,000 apertures.

A VNA (very narrow aisle) racking installation was also constructed, comprising of over 300 racking bays in a 20,000 sq/ft area. This separate VNA installation was built to hold large paper and canvas-based products, along with non-paper items that have an undefined aperture.

The resulting works across the multi-tier and VNA racking installations have provided Daler-Rowney with five dedicated zones for the storage of the four carton types, including the three floors of the multi-tier system, the VNA zone and an additional bulk stacking zone. This new storage setup now fully utilises the facilities footprint, whilst ensuring maximum capacity for all product types. Read the full case study.

Product review

“The whole project has gone extremely well and has been delivered on cost and on time. SEC Storage worked closely with Essentra plc, ensuring the design of the VNA system maximised the available storage cube; continuing operations were maintained throughout the installation period.”

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