Which is a better option for your operation, a reach stacker or loaded container handler? It is a difficult decision, as both options offer unique benefits. In most situations, the reach stacker will increase the container storage, but increased storage may affect the container accessibility. So, the key for making the right decision is to identify your requirements and to determine which machine will meet them perfectly. The following text compares both options in terms of storage, selectivity, and maneuverability.
Storage. Locations with limited space require efficient handling equipment. To increase the density, you need to stack higher and deeper. For example, a loaded container handler is capable to stack up to 4 containers in height, but only in 1 row, while the reach stacker can increase the amount of containers per square meters. The reach stacker is capable to stack up to 4 containers in the third row and 5 in the first row. The best way to speed up the handling process is to create 2 rows in a pyramid-shape, 4 containers in second row and 3 in the first . However, the selectivity of the containers must be considered before stacking.
Selectivity. Selectivity refers to the number of containers placed on top or in front that need to be moved in order to access the container that needs to be restacked. Although not wanted, these containers provide “dead picks”, which need to be limited. This so-called “selectivity” has a significant impact on the speed of the entire container handling operation. Regardless of the new and innovative logistic systems that coordinate the tasks, restacking of containers cannot be avoided. To make it most efficient, you need to choose a handling equipment that provides a greater selectivity, so loaded container handler is a much better option than a reach stacker.
Maneuverability. Both reach stacker and loaded container handler are capable to move through 15-meter wide aisles and to stack containers from 6 to 12 meter. But sometimes, additional lifting capacity is required for stacking heavier containers or when stacking higher. The standard reach stacker may not provide a sufficient lifting capacity, and a larger machine may be required. While the reach stacker can increase the storage capacity, the loaded container handler can operate much faster.