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What is Pallet Racking? A Beginners’ Guide

Demand for commercial and industrial warehouses is at an all-time high. Therefore, the need for smarter storage is colossal. An effective warehouse is one which is efficient, practical, and safe to use, is your warehouse doing enough?

Over the years, traditional storage solutions have failed to meet these targets. They have become obsolete as demand has increased, and as deadlines have shortened. Therefore, for many companies, pallet racking provides a refreshing new alternative.

But what exactly is pallet racking? How might it benefit you? If you are in the process of upgrading your existing floor, you should always think about storage first. The same applies if you’re setting up a new warehouse, too. Pallet racks offer swift, practical access to the items and products you need. What’s more, they are fundamentally cost-effective, as well as safe to use and operate.

In this beginners’ guide, we’ll explore the basics of pallet racking. We’ll also consider how it might benefit you, and what the different types of racks available can do for you. New to pallet racks and modern storage solutions? Read on for the complete lowdown.

What are Pallet Racks?

A pallet rack is a multi-level storage solution built from vertical frameworks and load-bearing pallets.  Different types of racks benefit various types of business, as well as different sizes and weights of product.  We will take a look at the types of pallet racking available a little further down.

Pallet racking is designed to optimise stacking of materials for safe, easy access.  A pallet rack will ensure that items are securely stored vertically, as opposed to horizontally.  This way, you can expect to save a lot of space.

Racking is an excellent idea for businesses and warehouses which already store palletised items.  They will also help those which need an efficient way of holding and retrieving.  They are perfect for forklift deposit and retrieval.

Pallet racks are designed to carry loads of different weights, and they have become a staple of most modern warehouses across Australia as a result.  However, many firms continue to use storage systems which are slow, inefficient, and potentially dangerous!

warehouse pallet racking

Why Might I Need Pallet Racking?

Do you already store palletised products? Are you struggling to make efficient use of your space? Pallet racking could change the way you run your warehouse.

This type of storage is beneficial for businesses which already use forklifts back-of-house. By stacking products vertically, you are using more wall space than you are floor space.

Any warehouses struggling to operate for lack of space will need to rethink their stacking strategy. Some businesses are still using outdated or potentially unsafe solutions. A pallet system provides an affordable and versatile alternative. Ultimately, to continue competing in the modern world, you’ll need to make a few changes.

Pallet Racking Benefits

Let’s take a quick look at some of the overall benefits of switching to pallet racking for your warehouse.

  • It’s Convenient. All warehouses should store items which are easy to find and retrieve.  Staff need to be able to collect and deposit items quickly.  Horizontal storage can slow down an operation as it can be clumsy and disorganised.  Vertical racking allows you to see everything on display.  What’s more, items are easy to access with necessary powered equipment.
  • It’s Robust and Flexible. Racks can be set up to carry a variety of weight loads. What’s more, they are built to withstand years of persistent use.  Durable, long-lasting pallet racks will need little to no maintenance over long periods.  They offer safe, secure long-term solutions.
  • It’s Affordable and Cost-Effective. Modern racking is an efficient solution to reorganising warehouse goods on a large scale.  An affordable racking system will remove the need for expensive readjustment or even relocation of goods.  Again, as a result of durability, pallet racks will pay for themselves after only minimal use.
  • It Frees up Floor Space.  Vertical racking transfers floor space usage to your walls.  Staff will, therefore, have more room to manoeuvre.  It is another huge safety benefit.
  • It Allows You to Store More Products. In addition to the above, you may find that you can store more in your warehouse than previously assumed.  By moving items against the wall and out of the way, you can potentially introduce further racks to double the amount you can hold.
  • You Can Easily Grow Your Business. Flexible pallet racking will allow you to steadily upgrade how much you can take on.  Therefore, if your business is overseeing a period of growth, you can quickly and conveniently adapt to higher demand. You’re future-proofing your business in anticipation of increasing popularity.

There may be many more reasons why pallet racking could be of benefit to your operation!  If you are struggling to maintain your warehouse due to storage problems, a racking solution could be the answer.

Different Types of Pallet Racks

It is worth bearing in mind that different businesses and warehouses will need different storage systems.  Therefore, pallet racks are designed and built in a variety of different ways to handle certain products and weights, and to provide specific practicality.  In short, there is never one ‘generic’ pallet rack recommended to all warehouses.

At Erect-A-Rack, we make sure to host a wide range of racking solutions because we understand that no two warehouses are the same!  We can also design and build bespoke racking systems for specific and complex needs. Here’s a brief look at the types of racking we provide to customers and clients.

Selective

You will likely come across selective racking more often than any other type.  This simple system can be designed to bespoke requirements and focuses on providing multi-level, horizontal rows.  A selective pallet racking system is perhaps most recommended for lighter storage needs.  However, it remains particularly effective in increasing space and reducing search and handling time.

Narrow Aisle

Narrow aisle racking is perfect if optimising space is important to you.  These pallet racking systems make the most of the minimum space required for forklift access.  Therefore, they are widely popular with warehouses and businesses which may already be struggling for space.  You can purchase and set up wide aisle systems, but from a space efficiency perspective, narrow aisle racking offers greater value.  The focus here, naturally, is on height, not on width.

Double Deep

Double deep racking, as the name suggests, allows you to rack twice as many racks per pallet as you would through traditional systems.  For warehouses and businesses with lots of cargo, this is a popular solution.  Like narrow aisle systems, a double deep rack makes the most of height.  However, it may require more space.

Double deep racks will also often require specialist vehicles to access. But don’t worry,  if you need a double deep system, we will make sure you have all the necessary data before you make a decision.

Drive-In

Drive-in and drive-through racking are, again, somewhat self-explanatory. Their names come from their particular ease of manoeuvring for forklifts and other powered access.  These racks stack up to create blocks, which allow you to save on an incredible amount of space.  There is less need for aisle space with this style of racking, and many people find loading and unloading particularly easy.

Powered

Powered or mobile pallet racking is an ideal solution for unique warehouse spaces.  They also help warehouses which are built into unique locations.  These racks can easily move around, meaning that they can free up space as and when you need it.  These racking systems save you from having to install static storage or shelving.  When you need to be fluid and flexible for your customers, your pallets can do the same for you.

Carpet

Carpet racks are specifically designed to hold large rolls of carpet or flooring.  Where standard palletising may not hold large rolls of material safely enough, carpet racking picks up the slack.  Storing large rolls can constrain your warehouse space, and traditional storage may not support you adequately.  Therefore, opting for a bespoke carpet storage system may provide you with the assistance you’re looking for.  Don’t feel you have to struggle for space.

Upgrading Your Storage For The Better

Now that we’ve introduced you to pallet racks and how they could benefit you, it’s time to start planning.  Are you upgrading your current storage?  You may be setting up a new warehouse floor.  In any case, it makes sense to make way for efficient racking as soon as possible.

Modern warehouses need to be safe, easy to browse, and even easier to pick from.  With the right powered access, you should also feel confident in depositing items for neat, practical storage.  When your demands are increasing, and time is running short, you’re going to need your storage to work overtime.

Are you looking for a specialist?  Erect-A-Rack offers a wide variety of pallet racking options and bespoke services.  Take a look at our further guides and resources for more information, or call our team to find out more.  Changing your storage is easier than you think.

pallet racking system