If you’re a supplier considering options for warehouse structure design and construction, both external and internal, there are some sobering statistics you may want to consider.  Each year, warehouses cost companies billions of dollars in lost products, either from theft or from damage.  While some damage is unavoidable, a large portion is caused by improper construction that allows elemental damage or by faulty interior storage that results in costly system failures.

Another sad fact is that OSHA reports nearly 50,000 warehouse injuries every year from falling objects.  Interior storage structures that can’t withstand the bumping and movement of forklifts or that are too flimsy to hold up to the required loads can lead to tumbling objects and resultant injuries.

There is, however, an easy solution to warehouse worries.  Steel construction provides greater strength, corrosion resistance, design versatility, and space optimization that many other construction materials simply can’t offer.  In fact, steel design currently makes up 71% of the commercial market and a whopping 95% of an industrial building.

Build with Steel

Steel warehouses are not only often quicker to build, saving labor costs, but they also are much longer-lasting than other construction materials.  Steel is a weather and pest resistant material that can last for 50 years or more.  This means less chance of product damage for suppliers.  Because of steel’s strength and temperature resistance, you can virtually eliminate fire damage and structural failure from your list of worries.

Steel construction offers a “clear span” design, which means that spaces larger than 100 feet don’t require load-bearing poles.  This optimizes available storage space and creates clearer sightlines for ease of finding the products you need.  Greater visibility also makes it easier to use cameras to protect against theft.

But did you also know that steel construction saves you money over the long run?  Steel not only requires less maintenance and repair, but it also is an eco-friendly choice that can save you money on bills.  Cool roof construction allows the steel to reduce cooling costs by as much as 50%.  And even if you don’t cool your space, the reduced temperatures make workers more comfortable and lessen the environmental impact on the products you store.

Fill It with Steel

Once you’ve built your steel structure, it’s worth considering creating your storage space with steel shelving on the interior.  Steel tube shelving offers you a number of advantages that save you money and increase efficiency.

Steel shelves are durable and stand up to being struck by forklifts.  Furthermore, the high strength to weight ratio means steel can stand up to the heavy loads of warehouse storage.  Larger items can be stacked on shelves without the worries of system failures.  And because the tubing is coated with scratch-proof paint, it resists corrosion thus extending the life of your storage units.

Furthermore, the strength and stability of steel allow you to build units that reach the highest levels of your warehouse space.  And stability means that you can store your most delicate objects with the assurance that bumps won’t send them tumbling.

Finally, steel shelving is affordable and versatile.  Compression clips allow shelves to be adjusted in small increments that allow for adjustments from the smallest loads to the largest.  For the really big loads, you can add center supports that add greater support for those heavy objects.  Ultimately, steel is easy to assemble, can be configured in a number of design strategies, and provides the greatest strength and durability for the cost of long-term storage on the market.

So as you begin to design your next warehouse project, ask yourself what can offer you building security, product protection, and efficient operations.  It won’t take you long to discover that the answer is steel.


Ivan Young is a writer for HappyWriters.co. Ivan has been a professional writer and author for nearly 20 years.  He holds a Ph.D. in English from the University of Nebraska, an M.F.A in Creative Writing from the University of South Carolina, and a B.S. in Zoology from Clemson University.  He has published web content, blog posts, personal essays, fiction, poetry, and academic essays.