Understanding the Various Warehouse Racking Systems

Whether in a manufacturing plant or a distribution centre, if a storage facility is to operate effectively, the stored items need to be housed safely while also being easily accessible. In most cases, the system of choice for a warehouse will be some form of pallet racking. These systems serve to maximise the available storage space, as they provide the means for goods to be stored both horizontally and on multiple levels. Choosing the most appropriate system in any given situation is important to ensure a storage facility that is as efficient as possible. The following guidelines should prove helpful.

There are five main factors to be considered when determining which of the several varieties will best meet your needs. These are your budget, the volume of available storage space, the weight and size of the items to be stored, the type of forklifts you have, and whether or not an automated system is required. As for the various systems, the simplest and least expensive is standard pallet racking. This type of system provides easy access to stored items by means of wide aisles, so floor space will also be a deciding factor.

Where floor space may be restricted, there are two possible options. The first would be to install a narrow aisle system. Doing so will allow you to make the maximum use of the building’s vertical space as a means to create a high-density warehouse racking solution. As an alternative, a drive-in system only allows forklifts to load and unload pallets on one side of the aisle and is thus suitable for use in storage facilities that operate on a first in, last out basis (FILO). By contrast, in a drive-through system, the forklift truck runs on rails to provide a first in, first out (FIFO) operation in which pallets are loaded on one side of an aisle and unloaded from the opposite side of a second aisle. Both systems are highly efficient and ideal where rapid turnover is the norm.

Sometimes, the items to be stored can be very heavy or exceptionally long, such as timber, tubing, and rolls of carpet or textiles. For such items, the best form of warehouse racking will be a cantilever system. It is easy to assemble and offers a fully adjustable system that can easily be expanded if extra capacity should be needed in the future.

Finally, double deep racking allows pallets to be stored deep, reducing the number of aisles by half, while if you may be considering an automated storage solution for your warehouse, shuttle racking could be the answer. Still unsure? Ask the experts at Krost Shelving and Racking.