Pietermarizburg Mother Warehouse - Facility Re-Engineering

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LPC International has a long standing history of working with Unilever and were the validation and supporting designs undertaken for the two Mother Warehouses at Pietermaritzburg and Johannesburg.

One of the key design considerations was to determine a structural warehouse grid that was flexible to allow a change of storage from Wide Aisle Racking to Very Narrow Aisle Racking or Shuttle Racking in the future.


Unilever’s success and growth has been greater than expected which has resulted in their requirement to increase stock holding capacity in this instance at the Pietermaritzburg Mother Warehouse.

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LPC were retained by Unilever to review their requirement to increase the capacity at the facility by ten thousand net locations in two phases. After undertaking stock data analysis pertaining to SKU range and volume throughput, several racking layout options were investigated in regards to capacity and capital cost.


The master plan was developed to provide a phased implementation of the fifteen thousand four hundred pallet capacity installation utilising shuttle racking in order to both minimise the disruption to the ongoing operation and for the implementation to be undertaken outside of peak season.

The phased implementation would require the removal of 13,300 pallet locations of the existing Wide Aisle Racking, with the existing lighting being removed or re-aligned and floor remedial works undertaken as necessary. In order to maintain efficient use of space and fork truck utilisation we determined that the new blocks of shuttle racking, totalling 23,777 locations, be in depths suitable for the vehicle loads and product receipt and stock profiles.

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Additionally LPC provided the specifications and numbers of locations for the racking and the numbers of shuttles and forklift trucks required to service the new racking and supported Unilever with the technical evaluations received from the storage system suppliers.

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Topics: Facility Re-Engineering

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