Peeking into the warehouse: Types of pallet racking systems

Pallet racking systems make the warehouse material handling process of storage and retrieval convenient. It stores palletized goods on horizontal racks and maximizes the storage space by utilizing the vertical space. Forklift trucks are used for loading, unloading and transmitting these goods.

There are certain factors to be considered while choosing a pallet racking system. The different types of goods to be stored, quantity of those palletized goods, available storage space, forklift availability and accessibility, the storage and retrieval process of goods, the turnover time and the budget need to be kept in mind during the selection process.

For choosing the most appropriate warehouse or other storage facilities, take a look for more racking systems to help you give a better idea.

  1. Selective racking

Selective pallet racking is the most commonly used system due to its economic design and versatility. It allows for the use of forklifts to access all products at all time. It is the standard system that allows reconfiguration to accommodate different products but has a low storage density compared to others.

Storage & Retrieval method: First In First Out (FIFO)

  1. Drive-in racking

Drive-in racking permits the use of forklifts to deposit products from one end of the lane. It is most suitable for similar products with high storage density requirement. The storage capacity is optimized as there are no aisles. As it implements the LIFO retrieval system, the products can be accessed only from one end. If the need is for accessing the products from both ends, then a drive-through racking system can be implemented. It would allow for a FIFO retrieval and easy access to the firstly deposited products which wouldn’t be possible in drive-in racking.

Pallet racking system

Storage & Retrieval method: Last In First Out (LIFO)

  1. Live pallet racking

Live pallet racking or pallet flow racking has rollers or conveyors designed using gravity to their advantage. Loading here takes place from the rear end and the pallet is moved to the front end (or the picking end). While unloading from the front end, as a pallet is picked up the one behind it is moved forward, thus easing the whole process. This system requires high maintenance but is useful with time-crucial products.

Storage & Retrieval method: First In First Out (FIFO)

  1. Push back pallet racking

In push back pallet racking, the pallets have wheels attached to them and are placed on rails. During loading, when a new pallet is added to the bay, the previous pallets are pushed back towards the other end. While unloading, as the front pallet is picked, the pallets following it are pushed forward. This system gives high-density storage as it reduces the aisles needed. Due to less use of forklift, there is a reduced chance of pallet damage during inventory management.

Storage & Retrieval method: Last In First Out (LIFO)

After taking a look at the different pallet racking systems, we hope you are left with a better understanding of the warehouse storage system and that it helps to choose the right one for you.