Storage & Retrieval

Automated Storage and Retrieval

Shuttles are a part of an ASRS (automated storage and retrieval system). A shuttle delivers stored inventory to users for either manufacturing or order fulfillment. All storage shuttles work in combination with a racking system that enables high-density storage. Warehouse management software directs the shuttle to which storage location and the shuttle retrieves the inventory stored either in a container, tote, carton, tray, or pallet and delivers it to a goods to person (G2P) system for packing or assembly.

What is an automated storage and retrieval system (ASRS)?

In an automated storage and retrieval system (ASRS), there are various ways to provide the storage and retrieval of goods. These applications are typically used in businesses that need to move product quickly either for just-in-time manufacturing or order fulfillment. Most automated systems utilize various options for depending on the item(s) that are being stored. The benefits of implementing an ASRS solution allows for much faster throughput, but also accurate order fulfillment, which is crucial for e-commerce or critical healthcare applications. Furthermore, ASRS system allows organizations to optimize storage space and reduce warehouse labor, which is difficult to find in certain areas. And since there is less handling of products, ASRS solutions are much more secure and have less product damage due to fewer touches.

Various Shuttles for Specific Applications

Since there are various equipment options for an ASRS solution, an SSI SCHAEFER expert can help you navigate which solution may be right for your application. For example, a large volume of smaller units that are being shipped individually have a completely different need than a smaller volume of cases being stored separately or combined and shipped on a pallet.  Depending on one’s need, SSI SCHAEFER has an array of both storage and retrieval options for individual units, cases, or pallet storage. There may be other criteria to take into consideration as well depending on the specific application such as:

  • Omnichannel fulfillment

  • High value goods

  • Prescription medicine or narcotics

  • Freezer or Cold storage

  • Kitting

  • JIT Manufacturing

  • Food retail


Most ASRS warehouse solutions utilize storage shuttles. These robotic retrieval systems work by retrieving items within the storage unit itself. Storage shuttles can be single level, multi-level, or roaming. There are also other options such as vertical lift modules, carousels, and heavy unit load solutions that utilize pallet solutions. 

Heavy Loads 


Small Load Units

What type of software runs an ASRS solution?

As you research automated storage and retrieval systems, please remember that each solution is driven by software that automates the functionality. Software is what really drives the throughput and accuracy of the system. The software solution must be just as effective as the system itself. SSI SCHAEFER provide WAMAS®, a complete warehouse management software suite that provides order fulfillment, preventative maintenance, labor resource management, and easy returns processing.

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