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Types of Pallet Racking

Many types of pallet racking systems are available with different designs to fulfill your specific need. To create the ideal pallet racking system, the following needs to be taken into account:

Desired storage density

Floor space and building height

Placement of building doors and columns

Accessibility of inventory

Inventory rotation

Item/load size and weight

Optimal storage design

Cost of materials and installation

Some of the more common types of pallet rack systems used include:

Drive-in and drive-through racking – These are storage rack configurations that allow the forklift to drive directly into the bay. The difference between a drive-in and a drive-thru pallet rack system is simply whether the bays have an entry at only one end, or at both ends. Drive-in rack systems use a common entry and exit, while drive-thru systems have entry points at either end of the bay. Because a drive-in racking system has only one entrance, it uses what is called a LIFO (last in, first out) storage method. With only one entrance, the last pallet put into a row is necessarily the first one to be taken out. A drive-thru storage system, with two different entry points, can also use a FIFO (first in, first out) storage method. With a FIFO system, pallets are loaded in one end and are pushed back to the other end, where they are then at the front of the row on the opposite side. The first pallet put into such a row is the first one taken out at the other end. This system is advantageous for material with an expiration date or wherever shelf life is a major concern.

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Push-back pallet rack systems – These types of systems are designed around the principle of organizing space by depth rather than width. This depth arrangement greatly reduces aisle space and increases storage density. In this configuration, each bay can be up to six pallets deep; each pallet stored on wheeled carts that fit onto rails. The rails are slightly angled toward the load/unload side of the rack in order to take advantage of gravity, saving enormous amounts of energy for moving heavy pallets. When a forklift sets the pallet onto the cart, it drives forward and causes the pallet to bump the next pallet, causing the entire row of pallets to roll backwards. When removing a pallet from the front position the remaining pallets immediately stage themselves forward so that the next available pallet can be accessed. Push back rack is a LIFO (last in, first out) storage system.

Pallet flow systems – These are high density pallet storage systems that utilize depth to increase capacity. This system uses a slightly inclined rail with rollers that allow pallets to move easily along the sloped plane. The pallet flow system often has complex motion and braking systems to control the speed of the moving pallet. Pallet flow racking systems are either a FIFO or a LIFO storage system. If the system is loaded from the back and unloaded from the front, it is FIFO; if the system is loaded and unloaded from the front it is a LIFO system.

There really are so many different types of pallet racking systems! If I was writing about them all it would take all day! If you want to find out more about the different types of pallet racking systems and how they can benefit you, please don’t hesitate to give our team of experts a call on 01388 779111. Alternatively please drop us an email to [email protected]

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