Organizations are often limited in both the space and resources they have to work with. The correct pallet racking system can help maximize space, provide easy access to individual items, reduce loading and unloading time, and speed up order fulfillment. Additionally, it can help protect products from harm by keeping them off the ground level.
Becoming familiar with the different types of pallet racking available can help you decide which warehouse storage solution is best for you. The most common racking solutions include selective, pushback, drive-in/drive-thru, pallet flow, and cantilever.
Selective Pallet Racking
A selective pallet rack is composed of vertical frames and beams that can be organized in either single or double rows. This type of system is designed to store various sizes and shapes of packed items and provides direct access to each stored item. The space between shelves can be altered to fit the dimensions of the loads, and wire decking can be added to support non-rackable pallets.
Labor costs are reduced because there is no need to move pallets to reach the specific pallet 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
When it comes to FILO inventory control, a pushback system is an option. This system uses pallet loads on a set of nesting carts that are moved along fixed steel rails. As the front pallet is loaded, it causes the pallet behind it to move back. The front pallet is then removed, and the rear pallets move to the front. Interlocking carts help prevent dangerous jams and product damage, while color-coded carts help with visual inventory. Pushback systems offer up to 90% more storage capacity than selective rack systems.
Drive-in/Drive-thru Pallet Racking
Drive-in/drive-thru systems are the most space-efficient storage solution and can store up to 75% more pallets than selective racking. This type of system is best suited for large-scale storage of similar items and uses FILO inventory control. The trade-off is that any pallets in front of the desired one must be moved before they can be accessed. As forklifts drive directly into the racks, drive-in/drive-thru racks tend to be more susceptible to more damage than other rack structures.
Pallet Flow Pallet Racking
Pallet Flow racking is an ideal storage system for busy warehouses due to its space-saving design and efficient product flow. The product is loaded from the back and can be easily accessed from the front, thus maintaining a first-in/first-out (FIFO) rotation, making it perfect for high-volume products. This system allows for maximum warehouse floor space utilization.
Cantilever racks are ideal for storing large, bulky, or oddly-shaped items, as no front column is blocking the way. This makes loading and unloading much quicker, and items can be placed anywhere along the rack’s length, providing better handling access.
Have a current pallet racking need? Contact our storage & handling specialist to schedule a facility survey!