Case Study | Submitted by: Larry Gonzalez
Designed by: Larry Gonzalez
Installers: Jarrod Faul, Senobio Saldivar, and Jose Belman

Drive-In Pallet Racking System for Produce Shipping Company

West Pak Avocado | Murrieta, CA


Project Overview:

C&SS upgraded a family owned & operated company that proudly grows, packs, and distributes premium produce. A Drive-In Pallet Racking system was designed providing a perfect solution for a thriving business.


Major Force in The Produce Industry

Today, West Pak is a major force in the avocado industry, with ripening and distribution centers strategically located throughout the domestic United States. Our extensive relationships with national and international growers in California, Mexico, Chile, and Peru– combined with our mastery of transportation logistics, ripening technology, and marketing expertise – translate into year-round availability of high-quality avocados. Our company has since grown to five distribution facilities totaling 226,042-square-feet across the United States and Mexico. Today, West Pak avocados are sourced from over 1000 growers owning over 65,000 acres across California, Mexico, Chile, and Peru. Current distribution includes 350+ customers throughout the United States, Canada, Mexico, Japan, China, South Korea, Hong Kong, and the Middle East.


Solution to Helping Increase Processing

Like any expanding company, West Pak was experiencing growing pains in their Murrieta facility. Part of the solution to helping them increase processing and throughput was to increase the rooms used for ripening avocados. The additional new room construction encroached into the facility floor area that was used to store raw materials, and pallets. The pallet storage area was destined to shrink by more than 1/3 but the reduced square footage could not come at the expense of pallet storage capacity. Enter C&SS: They gave us a call and we explored several options and price points, as well as different factory – rack suppliers – to present the customer with the standard as well as custom options that were available to them.


C&SS Designed 5 Deep Drive-In Pallet Rack System

The design and solution selected by West Pak was a 5 deep drive-in pallet rack system from Mecalux. The racking is a roll formed design with a 5 deep pallet capacity and 3 levels high vertical storage. There is front impact protection at the entry point to minimize damage and ensure long-term structural integrity, additionally the sides of the lanes have guide rails which minimize or eliminate forklift driver steering required so the focus remains entry/exit & forward/reverse. The resulting was a net increase in overall pallet storage despite a 1/3 reduction of square footage and surface area. The drive-in design takes advantage of vertical space and density by keeping access centralized by a single main aisle that serves dual-purpose entry for both the ripe rooms and pallet storage area.


C&SS Supplied a Custom Designed Solution

C&SS delivered a custom designed solution for the client, exceeding their goals with the following:

• Increased facility throughput for avocado processing

• Increased net pallet capacity despite a reduction in square footage or area

• Better organization and access to materials. i.e., more uniformity

• Safety of higher storage items, elimination of fall-risk

• Easier facility management and product tracking


Planned and Designed with Respect to Employee Safety

Throughout the initial research on through to the conclusion, C&SS contributed to efficiency options with:

• Preliminary site meetings and job walks prior to work start to ensure proper planning

• Multiple design and price scenarios

• Detailed explanation of pros and cons to guide decision making by customer

• A commitment to great quality and excellent service at competitive rates

• Removal, packaging, and transport of existing old racking no longer used/needed


Drive-In Pallet Rack System Pictures