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What type of Pallet Racking should I choose?

Article added Thursday October 25th, 2012

When you are organising your warehouse storage space you will have some fundamental decisions to make about your pallet racking system, and possibly the most important of these is which type of pallet racking to use.

There are a number of different types of warehouse racking that are available to you, each of them designed to offer a configuration that makes optimum use of a particular type of storage situation. It is very important that you consider all the available options and choose the type of pallet racking that best suits your warehouse.

In this article we shall briefly outline the characteristics of some of the pallet racking options that are available to you.

If you are very short of floor space you may like to consider installing Narrow Aisle Pallet Racking.

This type of pallet racking requires you to use special fork trucks, which operate by means of a guide rail, and this is an extra cost that you will need to take into account.

A well-planned Narrow Aisle Pallet Racking installation provides great flexibility in the positioning of shelves. It can save you very significant amounts of warehouse storage space, and thus reduce your storage costs considerably, whilst allowing excellent access to your pallets.

Cantilever Racking is very versatile in the way it can be used – sometimes in an adjustable installation and at other times in a fixed installation, in large or small warehouses. As its upright supports are positioned at the back of the installation, it can provide a sizeable storage area, with no obstructions – the type of space that is ideal for the safe storage of long lengths of metal. Typically, you might use this type of facility to store steel tubes, or long lengths of timber.

Cantilever Racking can accommodate heavy loads, and its unobstructed storage area means that access by fork truck is relatively easy. That said, it can also be used in cases where hand picking is the norm.

Wide Aisle Pallet Racking is the type of racking that is used most often in UK warehouses. It is excellent for dealing with all types of load – large or small, as well as being very accessible and adaptable, and suitable for hand picking or fork trucks. Another advantage of this system is that you can use a standard fork truck with it. Of course, the safe height of the top shelves is defined by the height that can be reached safely by your fork truck.

The cost of installing Wide Aisle Pallet Racking is relatively low when compared to, say, Narrow Aisle Pallet Racking, but you need to weigh against this the fact that it is less economical in its usage of space.

If the main factor involved in choosing your warehouse storage equipment is the need to accommodate as much storage capacity as possible, Drive-In Racking may be the answer.

Whereas the systems described above involve racking structures divided by aisles, in Drive-In Racking your pallets are stored on a cantilevered structure in a block and the fork trucks stack or remove pallets by driving into the block.

This is a highly efficient method of warehouse storage, which maximises storage space and therefore reduces the costs of storage, and the fact that it employs standard fork trucks is also a plus. If your installation is accessed by fork trucks driving in from one side this means that the your pallets are unloaded on a “last in first out” basis, which will require some careful planning to execute satisfactorily. If your circumstances allow fork trucks to access the block from two sides, this may allow more flexibility.

The types of pallet racking that are described in this article are just some of the options that are available to you as you plan your warehouse. Do take time to consider all the options, and take the advice of experts into account.

For further information and data on the popularity of different warehouse storage systems, please see our spreadsheet: https://goo.gl/Ch6V7u

At Pallet Racking Systems are always happy to advise on these matters, so please don’t hesitate to contact us at an early stage in your planning process to avail yourself of our expertise.

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