Choosing Pallet Racking – The Ultimate Guide
Selecting the correct pallet racking system is of pivotal importance to warehouse space optimization. It is a decision that will cost you significantly if you select the wrong system, either through lost opportunity or the cost of retrospectively changing the system. The below factors must be carefully considered when making this system;
- Available Floor Space
- Accessibility to Pallets
- Pallet types and size in current use
- of SKU’s
- Fork lift type and capabilities
- Product Shelf Life
- Ceiling Height
- Product selection system – FIFO (first in, first out) or LIFO (last in, first out).
Once the above factors have properly been evaluated, the below list can be reviewed;
- Floor Stacking
Does exactly what it says on the tin, pallets are stored in rows on the floor. Floor storage is the most straightforward, inexpensive, flexible and popular storage models. Pallets are usually stacked on top of each other.
- Warehouse with few SKU’s and LIFO(last in, first out) system employed
- No Equipment Costs
- High Storage Density
- Limited access to specific pallets
- Copious amounts of Floor Space occupied
- Selective Pallet Racking
Selective Pallet Racking deliver maximum accessibility, there can be as many SKU’s as pallet positions. Selective Pallet Racking is the most frequently used method of pallet racking storage. It involves using crossbeams as a shelf and usually has several shelves per bay.
- Warehouses that contain many SKU’s and a fast moving product.
- Total selectivity of all pallets
- Can have as many SKU’s as desired
- Aisles are needed which lowers storage density
- Drive In and Drive Through Pallet Racking
Drive in racks have just one entrance and use LIFO, Drive through racks have an entrance at both sides and are typically FIFO. Pallets rest on side rails rather than cross beams. There is restricted selectivity but greater storage density.
Large quantities of the same product with a long shelf life and limited access required.
- High storage density
- Cost effective solution
- Limited Pallet accessibility
- High risk of rack damage from fork lifts due to close proximity with racks
- Pallet Flow Rack System
Pallet Flow Rack System provides unrivalled storage density. A gravity roller conveyor is held up by cross beams and uprights, the rollers are slanted so pallets slide to the front, after the one in front of it is unloaded.
FIFO, large quantities of the same product, usually perishable products.
- Very high storage density
- Pallets slide to the front themselves e.g. no need to drive through
- Very limited accessibility to pallets
- Highest investment costs
- Push Back Pallet Rack
Push back racks work in the same way as flow racks except they are both loaded and unloaded from the front. Pallets that are needed the least are added first and then “pushed back” by the next pallet being added.
- LIFO and more selectively than pallet flow rack system
- High storage density
- Requires only one aisle for loading/unloading
- Very limited pallet accessibility
- Lanes are only 4-5 layers deep