Many companies are finding themselves working in the confines of space and money constraints. Choosing the right pallet racking for your warehouse storage needs will increase space utilization, accessibility to individual loads, handling time and order fulfillment speed. Product is also protected from possible damage by removing it from floor-level.
Understanding the various types of pallet racking will help determine your ideal warehouse storage solution. The most common racking solutions include: selective, pushback, drive-in/drive-thru, pallet flow and cantilever.
Selective Pallet Racking
Selective pallets are made up of vertical frames and beams that are arranged in single or double rows. The system allows storing of different sizes and shapes of packaged materials as well as easy, direct access to every stored load. The height between shelves can be adjusted to fit the size of your loads and wire decking can be added to accommodate non-racking pallets. Labor costs are reduced because there is no need to move pallets in order to reach the one you need. Inventory control is also improved because of the one-pallet position, which makes it easier to see what is available.
Pushback Pallet Racking
For first in/last out (FILO) inventory control, a pushback system is an option. Pushback racks place pallet loads on a series of nesting carts fed forward by gravity on rigid structural steel rails. As a pallet is loaded from the front, it pushes the pallet behind it back one position. When unloading, the front pallet is removed and the rear pallets automatically come forward to the front picking position. Interlocking carts help prevent dangerous jamming and costly product damage while color coded carts offer easy visual inventory. Compared to selective rack systems, pushback systems offer up to 90% more product storage.
Drive-in/Drive-thru Pallet Racking
The highest density storage solution available, drive-in/drive-thru systems are the ideal solution for large volume storage of like product that can use first in/last out (FILO) inventory control. Requiring fewer aisles, it stores up to 75% more pallets than selective racking. The trade-off is the requirement to move any pallets in front of the one desired. Because forklifts drive directly into the rack, drive-in/drive-thru racks are subject to more damage than any other rack structure.
Pallet Flow Pallet Racking
In pallet flow racking, product flows back to a picking position and is easily accessible to the operator. The product is loaded from the back and picked up from the front. This system provides high density storage because every aisle can contain product with the same SKU. Pallet Flow racking is perfect for fast-moving product with first in/first out (FIFO) rotation. Plus, warehouse floor space can be maximized with fewer aisles by storing pallets back to back.
With no front column in the way, cantilever racks are faster to load and unload. They are especially useful for storing long, bulky or oddly-shaped loads. Loads may be placed anywhere along the entire length of a row and handling clearance is more abundant.
Have a current pallet racking need? Contact our storage & handling specialist to schedule a facility survey!