How to Choose Pallet Racking Structures for Your Warehouse
Good warehouse storage is not determined by the sheer size of the space it offers, but rather by its functionality and logical use of that space. Choosing the right pallet racking structures for your warehouse is not as easy as it sounds. There are many different types of pallet storage, and a number of factors will eventually determine which ones are right for you. Let us go through the requirements you need to understand, and through various pallet racking types and their advantages and disadvantages.
Questions You Should Ask Before Deciding
The usual factor that will impact your decision is the amount of money you are willing to spend on the storage solution, but it is not the only one. You should also consider the size of the floor space, the ceilings height, the things which will be stored in the racks, how often you will be accessing the racks, the shelf life of the stored products and the number of pallets you will need to use. Also, don’t forget to compare the height of the pallets with the lift height of the fork truck you will use in the warehouse.
Floor Stacking Method
This is the most basic and the easiest method of pallet storage. It requires almost no investment and additional equipment, which makes it affordable and quick to make. The pallets are placed on the floor in rows. Since the rows can be as deep as the available floor space (depending on the accessibility needs), this method allows high storage density. Some of its flaws might be that it occupies a lot of space and that it provides with poor accessibility for individual pallets.
Selective Pallet Racking
Another common type of pallet storage, selective racking is a bit more expensive than floor stacking, but still very affordable. Unlike the previous mention, it offers accessibility to individual pallets, but fails when it comes to storage density. This method uses uprights and cross beams to create a shelf for storing pallet. Selective racking usually has multiple levels per bay.
Drive-In and Drive-Through Racking
Drive-in racking is perfect if you need a system which allows trucks to drive directly into the bay. The pallets are put on the side rails, which leaves the face of the bay open. The uprights are tied together to add rigidity to the system. Drive-through system offers entrance at both ends. Both systems provide with high storage density, but poor accessibility to all pallets. If you’re using trucks for transporting heavy loads, you should consider heavy-duty pallet racking which has a load capacity up to three tons.
Pallet Flow Racking
This method uses cross beams and uprights to support a gravity roller conveyor in the rack. The roller is slightly pitched to enable the natural flow of the pallets toward the front of the system. When one pallet is unloaded from the front, the next in line will move towards the exit position. This is a perfect solution if you need high storage density and if you don’t want to drive inside the racking system when you need something. Still, it’s a big investment which doesn’t provide good accessibility to all pallets.
Similar to flow racking, push back has one same flaw: poor accessibility to pallets. Still, with the perk of only one aisle needed for loading and unloading, this method compensates for it. The pallets are loading and unloading from the front of the system, and they rest on gravity rollers or nested carts. They’re loaded into the system by positioning the inbound pallet in the exit position, and pushing it into the lane.
Now that you have the most common methods of pallet racking and the most important factors you should consider when choosing one of them, in front of you, it should be much easier to make the right decision.