Warehouse Pallet Racking Systems – The Complete Guide

Warehouse pallet racking systems are utilised throughout all warehouse environments and can be customised to accommodate all manner of warehouse demands and item types. Selecting the best pallet racking solution for your business requirements is essential, but with such a large variety to choose from, it’s important to know which system is best suited for a particular operation. Below is a useful guide to help making the decision of choosing the right pallet racking system, that much easier.

Narrow Aisle Racking
A storage solution that enables fast and efficient access to all warehouse inventory, Narrow Aisle Racking is an excellent choice for companies that require high-density storage and rapid pallet picking. The widths of each aisle are roughly half as wide as typical wide-aisle racking system, ensuring far greater storage potential. Unlike some other commercial storage solutions, narrow aisle racking does, however, require the use of purpose-built equipment, in order to operate in reduced spaces.

This typically involves the implementation of a guide rail system or similar setup in order to retrieve and deposit items. Special narrow aisle forklifts can be expensive to buy or lease and due to confined nature of the system, two such vehicles cannot operate in unison along the same aisle. These extra costs can often be justified, however, through the savings made in utilising less floor space.

Narrow Aisle Racking systems can be constructed to a height of 17m (just over 50ft) and must be erected upon a completely level surface. This space-saving storage method is an excellent choice for those seeking a high-density storage solution.

Double Deep Pallet Racking
Offering a superior storage density to selective pallet racking, double deep pallet racking is the perfect solution for warehouses that store large volumes of the same SKU (stock-keeping unit). This system is commonly used to store food, beverages, appliances and more, making it an attractive solution for companies working across a diverse range of industries.

Items are picked and placed using special double reach forklifts equipped with pantograph devices that enable the forklift to reach into the back pallet. Whilst pallet accessibility is hindered somewhat, due to the nature of the system’s LIFO (last-in-first-out) design, it provides efficient and economical product storage for warehouses of all sizes. Rack guards and guide rails can be mounted to the racks, to assist product pickers and reduce the likelihood of structural damage.

Drive-In Pallet Racking
The least expensive and most widely used method of high-density pallet storage in warehouses, drive-in pallet racking systems deliver remarkable storage capacity while providing effective access to stored items. Similar to double deep, however, drive-in pallet racking operates on a last-in-first-out principle, which means that items stored at the back of the racking system, cannot be retrieved unless a special drive-through mechanism is integrated which enables inventory to be picked or placed at the front and rear.

Drive-in pallet racking systems do not require designated aisles, helping to minimise wasted warehouse space, making it an ideal choice for warehouses of all sizes. This is a particularly popular system for businesses that need to store larger quantities of fewer SKU’s

Push Back Pallet Racking
The pushback pallet racking system is a great solution for high-density storage which operates on the familiar LIFO principle. With this system, forklifts load the pallets onto inclined rails that are connected to the racking and push them back. Pallets can be stored up to four rows deep. When a pallet is removed from the front row, the pallets located directly behind it immediately move to replace it, owing to the way that they’re stored on inclined rails.

Push back pallet racking is a sensible choice for companies that have a moderate SKU count and where the LIFO mode of extraction method is sufficient. It’s a popular system for storing hardware, non-perishable foods, beverages and a whole host of other items.

Pallet Live Racking
Ideal for warehouse environments that work with perishable goods, pallet live racking systems provide high-density storage and auto stock rotation, resulting in precise and fast-paced pallet selection. Pallets are loaded and stored on inclined tracks with gravity rollers, which hold the pallet in place and enable it to roll to the front of the racks. When the front pallet is removed, the pallet directly behind it rolls in to take its place, creating a simple and effective auto stock rotation system.

Pallet live racking utilises a first-in-first-out (FIFO) system which makes it perfect for processing items that have a shorter shelf life. The easy access design enables warehouse personnel to retrieve items on one side while allowing others to simultaneously restock the items on the opposite side. Not only does this method provide maximum efficiency, it also means that there is less conflict between warehouse operatives.

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