Many people may not realize that pallet racking is not a one-size-fits-all solution for warehouses. Determining the best pallet racking solution for your warehouse depends on the end user’s unique storage needs.
Warehouses must be equipped to handle the immense storage demands of all different types of industry. Choosing the right pallet rack design can help reduce warehouse clutter, maximize efficiency, and help mitigate the dreaded “honeycombing.” Honeycombing occurs when only one item can be stored in one area. The empty space around the item can make it difficult to organize new deliveries and maximize the available space. By choosing the best pallet rack design for your warehouse, you can maximize efficiency, organization, and productivity.
The different types of pallet racks include:
Selective Pallet Rack
The selective pallet rack is a common and low-cost solution to warehouse storage. Selective pallet rack storage allows you to have access to every palette. However, when you choose selective pallet racks, you lose as much as 50% of your storage space to aisles. Selective pallet racks generally require between 9 to 12-feet of aisle space between racks which can reduce the density of your available storage space.
If you’re concerned about the density of your storage space, you can opt for more storage space by requesting narrower aisles. In a narrow aisle system, you can reduce the space between racks to 60-inches, but the trade-off is that it is harder to access the racks via vehicles, and operational efficiency can be reduced.
Narrow aisles can increase warehouse storage by as much as 69%, but it can limit the number of vehicles that can be used on the property at a given time.
Double Deep Reach
The double deep reach rack design is a variation of the selective rack system. In this design, two racks are placed back to back, with the rear rack needing to be accessed by a specialized lift truck. The same product should be stored in both the front and back positions. Organizing the warehouse in this way can increase usable space by as much as 72%. Like narrow aisles, double deep reach has many benefits, including its cost-effectiveness, but it requires special equipment and can slow down operational efficiency.
Pushback racks are an ideal storage solution for warehouses that regularly handle the same SKUs in large quantities. The pushback rack system is designed by placing storage carts of pallets on a sloped rail system and then pushing them onto the racks with a forklift. In this system, storage capacity can be increased by as much as 75%.
However, due to the way this system functions, the downside is that the most effective storage is organizing products that hold the same SKU. If you receive a new order, carry a new product, or rearrange your warehouse, the lane must fully be emptied to maintain adequate storage, organization, and proper product rotation.
Drive In and Two Wide Drive In
The drive in rack storage method tends to be used for products that need to be kept in cold storage, such as food, beverage, and groceries. Drive in rack storage systems can be as narrow as two pallets deep, but they can maximize storage capacity up to 20 pallets deep. These systems are also inexpensive, but they can also leave your products prone to damage.
Drive in rack storage allows lift truck drivers to drive up to the storage rack and place the products on load rails for easy storage. If your warehouse handles a high capacity of products and a low volume of SKUs, a two wide drive in system can provide even more storage enhancing benefits.
In warehouses with a centrifugal braking system, the pallet flow system can be space-saving without reducing the accessibility of your products. The pallet flow system uses a series of rollers and gravity to conveniently store products without a lot of manpower or time-consuming organization. Generally, pallet flow systems are considered the most expensive of the available options, but the benefits of storing from 2 to 30 pallets are unmatched. Compared to other types of racks, the pallet flow system requires good quality pallets and more frequent maintenance.
Are you looking to redesign your warehouse’s storage with the ideal pallet racking system for your needs? Believe it or not, many warehouses will require several different types of racking systems to meet their storage needs. For more information about our rack installation services and our used commercial shelving for sale, contact us today!