All businesses need a warehouse to store their goods safely. Most companies produce goods in surplus quantities because they anticipate demand. Therefore a storage facility is needed, and a warehouse becomes an essential part of the business. Sometimes, the space in the warehouse is limited, and businesses have no idea about moving to another place or increasing the size of their warehouse. Maximising the warehouse space is done through a pallet racking system. It enables businesses to save floor space and increase storage capacity. Pallet racks help businesses save money by not renting or buying an extra or larger warehouse. Racking helps to create maximum storage for manufacturing and distribution companies and large retail stores.
Pallet racks store goods on pallets. Pallets are kept at vertical levels in horizontal rows. The racks help organisations efficiently use the available vertical space and improve how goods are stored in the warehouse. Forklift trucks access, load, and unload the goods on and off the racks. They increase warehouse efficiency and save stock picking time.
Pallet racks come in various styles and sizes to meet the requirements of a warehouse. The two main parts of a pallet racking are pallet rack uprights and pallet rack beams.
Pallet rack uprights are also known as upright frames or pallet rack columns. They are the side supports that determine the racks’ height and depth, are available in various heights and widths and support a range of weight and capacity requirements.
The pallet rack beams connect the pallet rack columns. These heavy-duty rails form the rack shelves and decide the structure’s width. Removable beams are available in various lengths and heights to meet the requirements of the goods that are stored. Their height from the ground is adjusted as required to accommodate the changing needs of the business.
Popular types of pallet racks
Selective pallet rack
Selective pallet racks are the most popular racks that provide immediate access to the goods and enable efficient use of warehouse space. They are debris-resistant and made of easy-to-clean structural steel. Users can take any pallet from the rack without moving the other pallets. It is used in warehouses that store goods of standard or custom sizes.
Double deep pallet rack
Double deep pallet racks provide a cost-effective way of high-density storage. The racks increase the storage capacity by 40%. They are suitable for warehouses that need fixed and variable storage. It allows accessing two pallets, one placed behind the other, from the same side of the aisle.
Pallet flow rack
A pallet flow rack is also called a gravity flow rack. The racks are sloping and have FIFO (first in/first out) loading system. Pallets are loaded at the higher end and unloaded at the lower end. The capacity of the pallet flow rack is much higher than that of the conventional pallet racks. It is suitable for food distribution centres and freezer warehouses.
Cantilever racks don’t have pallet rack columns. So there is no obstruction in the use of horizontal space. It is suitable for storing long and bulky goods like lumber, piping, tubing, and carpet rolls. The adjustable lock-joint pins in these racks allow easy height adjustments. They are strong, safe, and made of structural steel.
The drive-in racks allow the forklift to load and unload pallets on one side of the racks. The forklift truck drives into the pallet racks on one side only. It is best suited for LIFO (last in, first out) systems, where goods are not required to move quickly.
In the drive-through racks, the forklift loads pallets on one side and unloads pallets on the opposite side. The truck drives into the racks and uses rails to load and unload pallets. This pallet system is best suited for FILO(first in, last out) systems, where the goods move quickly.
Warehouses make maximum use of storage space through pallet racking. Safe storing of goods is essential for all businesses, and the racks minimise the time needed to move pallets and reach what is required. Businesses can make a profit when they store their products and be ready to handle a surge in demand.