Extra-Narrow Racking

Extra-Narrow Racking is also known as Very Narrow Aisle (VNA) racking which refers to a type of warehouse storage system where aisles between storage racks are significantly narrower compared to traditional racking systems. The key feature of VNA racking is the use of specialized forklifts or order pickers that are designed to navigate these narrow aisles efficiently. These forklifts are often guided by wire or rail systems embedded in the floor or use advanced technologies like laser guidance or camera systems to navigate accurately.

VNA racking

Key characteristics of Very Narrow Aisle racking include:

  1. Narrow Aisles: Aisles in VNA systems are typically around 1.6 meters to 2.0 meters (5 to 6.5 feet) wide, allowing for maximum space utilization.

  2. High Storage Density: VNA racking allows for high-density storage because it minimizes the space used by aisles, maximizing the vertical storage space within the warehouse.

  3. Specialized Forklifts: Forklifts used in VNA systems are specially designed to operate in narrow aisles, often with features like telescoping forks or articulating mechanisms for efficient maneuverability.

Industries that benefit from Very Narrow Aisle racking include:

  1. Retail: VNA systems are commonly used in retail warehouses where a large variety of products need to be stored and accessed quickly.

  2. E-commerce: With the growing demand for online shopping, e-commerce warehouses benefit from VNA racking to efficiently manage and retrieve a wide range of products.

  3. Manufacturing: VNA systems are used in manufacturing facilities to store raw materials, work-in-progress, and finished goods in a space-efficient manner.

  4. Distribution Centers: Warehouses that act as distribution centers for various products often employ VNA racking to optimize space and streamline order fulfillment processes.

  5. Cold Storage: VNA racking is suitable for cold storage facilities where space optimization is crucial due to the cost and energy-intensive nature of refrigeration.

  6. Automotive: VNA systems are used in automotive parts storage to efficiently manage and retrieve a large number of different components.


While Very Narrow Aisle racking offers significant advantages in terms of space utilization and efficiency, it requires careful planning and investment in specialized equipment. Additionally, the cost of implementing VNA systems can be higher compared to traditional racking systems.

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