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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;

 

  • Budget
  • 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;

 

  1. 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.

Used For

  • Warehouse with few SKU’s and LIFO(last in, first out) system employed

Advantages:

  • No Equipment Costs
  • High Storage Density

Disadvantages:

  • Limited access to specific pallets
  • Copious amounts of Floor Space occupied

 

 

  1. Selective Pallet Racking

Selective

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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.

Used for

  • Warehouses that contain many SKU’s and a fast moving product.

Advantages

  • Total selectivity of all pallets
  • Can have as many SKU’s as desired

Disadvantages

  • Aisles are needed which lowers storage density

 

  1. Drive In and Drive Through Pallet Racking

Drive in

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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.

Used for:

Large quantities of the same product with a long shelf life and limited access required.

Advantages

  • High storage density
  • Cost effective solution

Disadvantages

  • Limited Pallet accessibility
  • High risk of rack damage from fork lifts due to close proximity with racks

 

  1. Pallet Flow Rack System

Flow

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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.

 

Used for:

FIFO, large quantities of the same product, usually perishable products.

 

Advantages

  • Very high storage density
  • Pallets slide to the front themselves e.g. no need to drive through

 

Disadvantages

  • Very limited accessibility to pallets
  • Highest investment costs

 

  1. Push Back Pallet Rack

Push Back

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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.

Used for:

  • LIFO and more selectively than pallet flow rack system

Advantages

  • High storage density
  • Requires only one aisle for loading/unloading

Disadvantages

  • Very limited pallet accessibility
  • Lanes are only 4-5 layers deep