Columbus Vegetable Oils

New Staging Area Cuts Loading Time in Half

8-10X More Staging Room

Efficient Storage

The company did not have to purchase another warehouse.

Extended Lifespan

Now, about 70 percent of the time that the product is in a staging area, it is no more than 20 feet from the shipping truck – translating into less wear and tear on the forklifts, which helps maintain superior performance levels and extend lifespan.

Quick Loading Time

Flow racks are only 30 feet from the staging area resulting in operators being able to load an entire truck in ½ the time it took before.

“I look forward to working with Crown again to design racking and pallet flow for future new buildings. The Crown team did a great job. They were very flexible and knew exactly how to handle the project.”


Paul Cochrane

Inventory Manager - Columbus Vegetable Oils



Columbus Vegetable Oils processes and packages more than 100 different shortening and oils within its 330,000-square-foot warehouse in Des Plaines, Illinois.



Business accelerated shortly after the company moves to its current location, which strained the warehouse's capacity and threatened to negatively impact warehouse flow. Product rotation is critical, and the company found it difficult to find space to rotate and store over 5,000 different SKU’s. The company has 18 docks and ships 30-40 truckloads of product a day. Product was stacked on pallets and placed directly on the floor. Operators were already struggling to maneuver around pallets. Space around the loading docks was limited, which inhibited the company from properly staging products for easy transition onto waiting trucks.


Crown worked closely with Rack Builders, Inc. and Mallard Manufacturing to create a warehouse design that increased staging areas closer to the docks, translating into less forklift movement. With a new racking system and staging area, Columbus Oils is now able to meet its growing capacity needs.