Reducing Steel Sector Warehouse Costs: Efficiency is No Longer Optional

Operators of steel fabrication or distribution companies will have seen, more than ever, how world events can have an impact on trade.

That’s why more and more businesses are responding to factors like the ‘domino effect’ of erratic housing construction levels by looking to steel plant and warehousing efficiency as a way to lower their storage costs regardless of outside environmental factors.  This quick read blog explains how our materials handling experts have been increasing  storage capacity as well as reducing handling costs for steel industry clients through warehouse planning and purpose-made vehicles.

Lower Steel Industry Storage Costs: Why Now?

Every steel industry manager, leader or business owner will have welcomed the more positive tone of recent steel sector headlines from across the globe. For example, reports from the US of a commitment from Federal officials (the “largest direct purchaser in the world and a major infrastructure funder”) to steel purchasing in return for ‘buy clean’ policies.

Plus, slowly improving sector confidence in China due to government stimulus action in response to multiple concerns there has been in the media. Meanwhile, with EU construction still settling post-Covid and supply chains still not back to normal health, a situation far from unique to the EU, the overall mood is one of improved medium-term prospects with some challenges still ahead. The impact of this global environment on steel storage?

Few steel sector businesses can afford waste within their own operations and many have therefore been working with our team to achieve some ‘bottom line’ benefits, including:

Higher storage capacity on-site: To reduce dependence on the unpredictable cost of facilities elsewhere.

Less reliance on storage at ports: Thanks to demand going beyond capacity.

Better warehouse performance: Through quicker, safer and simpler handling.

Clearly, 2022 marks an ideal time to respond to the impact of outside factors by examining, and removing, the costs of inefficiency in a steel sector operation. The good news? This process often starts with a warehouse optimisation assessment provided without charge by Combilift warehouse planning experts.

Lower Steel Industry Storage Costs:

The Role of Warehouse Planning

Because storage is a finite (and increasingly costly resource), making the available space work harder is simply an essential.

A customised, extensive analysis will seek to find up to 50% more capacity without expanding a warehouse footprint and help to visualise the benefits of an optimised warehouse space.

Each capacity optimisation session includes: 

Analysis of improvements sought (eg quicker truck to rack times)

Proposal document with CAD visuals and detailed plans

Recommended forklifts for additional productivity gains

The documentation also explores how technology like counterbalance, sideloader and narrow aisle forklifts (the right combination being especially vital for the varied and challenging loads seen in the steel sector) can be combined to reduce racking, lower costs and address environmental impact. To receive bespoke illustrations showing how a more efficient warehouse would deliver for any steel sector facility simply request a storage optimisation session.

To receive bespoke illustrations showing how a more efficient warehouse would deliver for any steel sector facility simply request a storage optimisation session.

Lower Steel Industry Storage Costs:

3, Vehicles Designed for Efficiency

Because time spent handling materials equals cost, because things like handover between vehicles will increase the risk of damage (or worse) and because the variety of bulky loads handled cannot be efficiently achieved by everyday forklifts, shaping a fleet around the exact demands of a steel facility will mean improved performance results. Combilift vehicles are purpose-designed for long loads, such as steel, with superior safety and ease of operation as standard.


Innovations like Combilift 4-way movement remove the need for multiple machines, indoors or outdoors

Exceptional ease of control means safer handling in narrow aisles, through narrow doorways and around obstacles with peerless safety and confidence

Custom forklifts can be developed by Combilift’s in-house R&D for any on-site challenge

Tried, tested and proven Combilift vehicles already relied on by steel sector professionals worldwide include:

C Series: The Original Multidirectional Forklift

Benefits: Improves workflow by effectively becoming a sideloader, counterbalance and narrow aisle forklift in one vehicle. Eliminates costly double handling thanks to an ability to move in any direction.

C-Series -Snow/Steel -Combilift

Combi-SC: The Ultimate Handling Solution for Transporting Steel

Benefits: The Combi-SC, Straddle Carrier range is the most economical handling solution for steel fabrication or distribution facilities with heavy and oversized loads. Its manoeuvrability, light footprint and high customisation offer complete independence when transporting steel and oversized loads.

Combi-CB: The Compact Multi-Directional Forklift

Benefits: The original multidirectional counterbalance forklift truck, the CB is compact than a conventional forklift and perfect for transporting goods such as palletised loads with the added advantage of having the ability to carry long loads in sideways mode.

Combi-GT & Combi-ST: The Obvious Choices (Combi-GT, Combi-ST)  for Handling Steel in Enclosed Spaces

Benefits: Excellent visibility meets speedy picking through guided aisle operation and a cab designed for efficiency. The Combi-ST and Combi-GT stand-on ranges are proven performers when space is at an absolute premium.

In short, instead of trying to create efficiency from a materials handling fleet, shaping a steel facility fleet around vehicles created specifically for efficiency delivers multiple benefits at a time when efficiency gains are needed more than ever. The result? Exceptional warehouse vehicle RoI.

Reducing Costs Through Better Vehicle ROI: How We Can Help

Combilift is a trusted partner for materials handling efficiency in steel facilities worldwide. After all, Combilift is the largest global manufacturer of multi-directional forklifts and an acknowledged leader in long load handling solutions.

Exporting to more than 85 countries and with more than 60,000 trucks in use, no other manufacturer in the world can deliver the same level of customization and adaptability or cater so effectively to the diverse needs of every individual customer.

To find out how Combilift can deliver a quicker, safer materials handling capability, with enhanced storage capacity and superb RoI, simply contact a Combilift specialist for expert advice or to request your free layout consultation.  

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