Warehouse Relocation & Rack Removal Checklist: The Step-by-Step Guide

Relocating a warehouse is a multifaceted task that requires planning and precise execution. This guide is designed to aid operations managers in navigating the complexities of warehouse rack removal and relocation, ensuring a smooth transition to a new facility.

The process of warehouse relocation involves several critical steps, each requiring careful attention to detail to ensure the move is efficient and minimizes disruption to operations.

warehouse removal & relocation

Preliminary Planning and Preparation

☑ Inventory Assessment: Conducting a thorough inventory audit is fundamental. This involves categorizing items based on size, fragility, and importance, which is crucial for avoiding losses and ensuring smooth operations post-move.

☑ Budget Planning: Develop a comprehensive budget that covers all aspects of the move, including movers, transportation, insurance, and potential downtime costs.

☑ Timeline Establishment: Creating a detailed timeline for the move is critical. This timeline should consider the preparation, actual move, and settling-in period at the new location.

Selecting the Right Moving Company

☑ Criteria for Selection: Choose a company with specific experience in warehouse relocation and rack removal. Look for a proven track record and positive customer reviews.

☑ Coordination: Maintain regular communication with the moving company for ongoing coordination and updates.

Employee Engagement and Communication

☑ Staff Briefings: Keep staff regularly informed about the moving process, timelines, and any expected disruptions.

☑ Roles Assignment: Delegate specific responsibilities to staff members for various stages of the move.

☑ Feedback Mechanisms: Implement a system for employees to provide feedback and report issues during the move.

Packing and Organizing Inventory

Systematic Packing: Organize and pack items methodically, using an inventory management system to track items during the move.

☑ Labeling: Clearly label each box and item, including contents and the destination in the new warehouse.

☑ Fragile Items Handling: Use specialized packing materials and methods for delicate items to prevent damage during the move.

Managing the Logistics

☑ Transportation Planning: Select logistics partners with experience in large-scale moves and ensure they have the necessary equipment and vehicles.

☑ Route Optimization: Plan the most efficient transportation routes to save time and reduce costs.

☑ Contingency Plans: Prepare for unexpected challenges such as transportation delays, weather disruptions, or logistical issues.

Setting Up at the New Location

☑ Space Organization: Plan the layout of the new warehouse, focusing on operational efficiency and safety.

☑ Equipment Setup: Ensure essential equipment, such as racking, is installed before moving inventory.

☑ Safety Checks: Conduct a comprehensive warehouse safety inspection of the new facility before operations commence.

Post-Move Evaluation and Adjustment

☑ Process Review: Analyze the effectiveness of the relocation process to identify areas for improvement.

☑ Productivity Assessment: Evaluate operational efficiency at the new location and look for optimization opportunities.

☑ Continuous Improvement: Implement changes based on the insights gained from the process review and productivity assessment.

Important Considerations for Moving a Warehouse

Assessing Space Utilization in the New WarehouseRack Removal and Relocation

Effective space utilization in the new warehouse is crucial. A common issue with many warehouses is limited storage due to ineffective space utilization, leading to inefficiencies and operational disruptions. Therefore, the first step in optimizing space is assessing the use of vertical space, arranging a layout that allows for comfortable inventory placement while leaving floor space for safe employee navigation and efficient equipment placement. 

Additionally, assessing if current racks and shelving still effectively support inventory storage, control, and distribution in the new space is vital. Changes in the size, shape, and quantity of inventory necessitate a strategic alignment of stock and equipment for fast and efficient fulfillment​​.

Budgeting for Warehouse Relocation: Hidden Costs and Savings

Budgeting for warehouse relocation involves identifying both obvious and hidden costs. Before the move, eliminating dead, obsolete, or canceled items can reduce the time, effort, and cost of the transfer. Additionally, understanding the variables in the physical transfer of goods, including transport requirements, documentation, and legal requirements, is essential for effective cost management. A detailed budget should include all expenses associated with the move, such as transportation, labor, equipment, and supplies, and identify areas for cost reduction​​​​.

Challenges in Warehouse Relocation

By addressing the following important considerations, operations managers can ensure a more efficient, safe, and cost-effective warehouse relocation process.

  • Planning: Lack of planning is a significant challenge in warehouse relocation, leading to delays, disruptions, and damage to goods. Effective planning should involve identifying key stakeholders, assigning responsibilities, creating a detailed timeline and task checklist, and engaging with professional relocation service providers for planning and execution​​.
  • Operations Disruption: Relocation can disrupt operations, affecting productivity and profitability. Relocating during a slow business period and coordinating with customers and suppliers can help mitigate disruptions. A detailed move plan, including a contingency plan for unexpected disruptions, is essential​​.
  • Cost Management: Managing costs effectively is critical to prevent overspending. Identifying all expenses and creating a detailed budget can help control costs. Contracting with professional relocation service providers who offer project management on many of the services can offer cost-effective solutions and monitor costs​​.
  • Safety: Safety of employees and stored materials should not be overlooked. Creating a safety plan that outlines procedures and guidelines for the move, ensuring all employees are trained in safety procedures, and having the necessary protective gear are important steps. Professional relocation service providers with expertise in handling hazardous materials can be a valuable asset​​.
  • Communication: Effective communication throughout the relocation process is vital to avoid delays, disruptions, and errors. A communication plan detailing who needs to be informed and how, using multiple communication channels, and regular updates to all stakeholders are key elements in managing communication effectively​​. A professional project management company can take on much of this communication so that you only have one point of contact for the relocation process.


Case Studies: Successful Warehouse Relocations Managed by REB

When a warehouse has reached storage capacity, relocating operations to accommodate growth is often the most viable option. With our warehouse rack removal and relocation services, REB Storage Systems International can help you determine the best option for your company, develop a relocation or removal plan, and execute it with full project management services.

Read the case studies below to better understand how we may help your operation.

Office Furniture Company Warehouse Relocation

In the realm of warehouse relocations, learning from real-world examples can provide invaluable insights into effective strategies and best practices. One such example is the relocation of an office furniture company, as outlined in a warehouse relocation case study. This case study highlights the complexities and strategic approaches essential for a successful warehouse relocation.Selective Rack System Reinstallation

Read our Office Furniture Company Warehouse Relocation Case Study In Detail

Scope of the Relocation:

The company faced the challenge of moving operations to a larger facility. This move required not only the relocation of their existing racking system but also the addition of a new system to accommodate their expansion.

Strategic Approach and Solution:

Phase 1: Removal and Reinstallation – The first phase of the project focused on the removal of the current racking system, its safe transportation, and reinstallation at the new facility. This process involved careful dismantling and packaging, ensuring that all components were securely transferred. The reinstallation at the new location included a modified layout to integrate with the new selective rack system.

Phase 2: Design and Installation of New System – The second phase addressed the company’s expansion needs. REB Storage Systems designed a new selective rack system, consisting of 440 bays of pallet racking with wire decking. This design was aimed at enhancing inventory accessibility and accommodating the increased capacity requirements.

Outcomes and Achievements:

Maximized Storage and Efficiency – The relocation and expansion were executed with a focus on maximizing product storage and material handling efficiency. The new layout, assessed and designed by REB project designers, was specifically tailored to optimize the available space and the company’s SKU profile.

Cost-Effective Project Management – The project was managed to achieve significant cost savings. By sourcing materials, arranging freight, and managing reinstallation, REB provided a cost-effective solution while maintaining high quality and efficiency.

Single Point of Contact – Throughout the relocation process, REB acted as the sole point of contact, ensuring streamlined communication and effective project management. This approach reduced complexities and facilitated a smooth transition.

Enhanced Selectivity and Accessibility – The new selective rack system significantly improved selectivity and accessibility of inventory, a crucial factor for the company’s operational efficiency post-relocation.

Key Lessons and Takeaways:

Phased and Organized Approach – The success of this relocation was largely due to its phased approach, allowing for organized dismantling, transportation, and installation.

Tailored Solutions – Customized solutions, from the rack system design to layout optimization, were key to meeting specific operational needs.

Effective Communication – Having a single point of contact simplified decision-making and coordination, demonstrating the importance of effective communication in complex projects.


Chicagoland Packaging Supplier Warehouse Relocation

This case study from REB Storage Systems International showcases the relocation process of a packaging supplier in Chicagoland, providing key insights into effective strategies, challenges, and solutions in warehouse relocation.

Read our Packaging Supplier Warehouse Relocation Case Study In Detail

Concern: Expansion Needs on a Limited Budget

The packaging supplier faced the challenge of expanding their storage and distribution operation, necessitating a move to a larger facility. A critical requirement was the need for a larger material handling system, but the company was constrained by budget limitations and could not afford to purchase an entirely new racking system​​.

Strategic Solution: Relocation and Integration of Existing Rack System

  • Phase 1: Installation of New Selective Rack – REB initiated the project by installing a new selective rack system in the new facility, providing 12,228 pallet positions, including 1,473 standard rack bays and 74 tunnel bays. This phase focused on establishing the foundation for the expanded storage capability.Phase 1 - Selective Rack
  • Phase 2: Dismantling and Reinstallation of Existing Rack – The second phase involved dismantling and transporting the existing selective rack system to the new location. This reinstalled material offered an additional 7,260 pallet positions. REB’s evaluation ensured that most of the company’s existing beams, frames, row spacers, and wire decking were integrated into the new, larger selective rack system, leading to significant cost savings​​.

Phase 2 - Selective Rack

Outcome: Efficient Expansion Within Budget Constraints

  • The relocation and expansion enabled the company to store larger quantities and improve their picking and shipping processes. By incorporating the existing materials into the new system, the company achieved their expansion goals while adhering to their budget constraints. This approach not only facilitated a larger selective rack system but also ensured cost-effective expansion​​.

Key Lessons and Takeaways:

  • Cost-Efficient Expansion Strategies – The integration of existing materials into the new system highlights the importance of resourceful and cost-efficient strategies in warehouse relocation.
  • Phased Approach for Smooth Transition – A phased approach, beginning with the installation of new racks followed by the integration of existing ones, ensured a seamless transition without compromising operational capacity.
  • Adapting to Budgetary Constraints – The case study demonstrates how strategic planning and innovative solutions can overcome budget limitations, allowing for expansion without the need for significant new investment.


This case study exemplifies the strategic planning and innovative approaches necessary for successful warehouse relocations, particularly when faced with budgetary constraints and the need for operational expansion. It underscores the importance of a phased approach, efficient resource utilization, and the ability to adapt to financial limitations while achieving expansion objectives.

Rack Removal and Relocation Services by REB Storage Systems

Whether your next step is to gather more information or request a quote, consider REB Storage Systems. REB is a highly experienced systems integrator, in business since 1962. REB has 17 in-house project managers and project designers, all highly experienced in the material handling industry. 

If you’ve outgrown your current warehouse and need to relocate your operations or need to reconfigure your rack system in your warehouse, REB Storage Systems can develop a rack removal and relocation plan custom to your operational requirements. Our design experience allows us to modify and add on to your racking system to optimize your storage within your new facility. 

For more information on our services, fill in the contact form on this page or call us at (800) 252-5955. We’d love to get a better idea of your needs regarding the rack removal and relocation process.

When a warehouse or distribution center has reached its storage capacity within their current facility, they must consider expanding or relocating their operations to help accommodate that growth. Moving operations is no easy feat – large material handling equipment, storage systems and inventory all pose different dismantling and/or packing procedures.


Connect With Us!

REB Storage Systems can develop a rack removal and relocation plan custom to your operational requirements if you’ve outgrown your current warehouse or need to relocate your operations. Our design experience also allows us to modify and add on to your racking system to optimize your storage within your new facility. For more information on our services, fill in the ‘Submit Your Inquiry’ form or call us at (800) 252-5955. to give us a better idea of your needs or questions you have regarding the rack removal and relocation process. We’d love to get a better idea of your needs regarding the rack removal and relocation process.

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All Products Automotive, Inc.

“We have been a customer for over 15 years. REB offers a good selection of products at great prices. They are an excellent source of materials along with suggestions and information on a variety of storage issues."

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Harrington Industrial Plastics

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Epko Industries

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Cabernet Corporation

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Pacific Storage Company

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Felling Trailers Inc.

“REB Storage Systems provides a high quality product with the best customer service in the industry, no matter the volume of products we buy.”

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