Long a familiar sight in the warehouse and distribution center, pallets – and the pallet racks that hold them – are getting wider use, even serving as retail shelves in big-box stores like Costco.
But not all pallet racks are created equal. They come in a range of styles meant to accommodate different environments and needs. So when you’re looking for new or used pallet racking for storage or transport, having the right information at hand helps you make a more informed decision.
Pallet Rack Basics
Selective pallet racking is essentially the industry standard for pallet racks. “Selective” refers to the fact that you can configure these racks to accommodate various material sizes and warehouse needs.
Selective pallet racking comes in two basic designs:
Roll-formed Pallet Racks
Roll-formed Pallet Racks, made from heavy-duty sheet metal, are often found with common teardrop-shaped clip holes. These holes are designed to make configuration easier, allowing for easy adjustment of beam level height. You’ll also see roll-formed pallet rack with a slotted style opening. If your warehouse or retail outlet holds items of widely varying sizes, versatile roll-formed pallet racks are a good choice.
Structural Pallet Racks
Structural Pallet Racks are heavier warehouse racks with crossbeams that are bolted, making them highly durable and better able to accommodate heavier weights. If your warehouse uses forklifts and other large moving equipment, structural pallet rack can be the answer. Some warehouses even use structural racks to support the facility’s roof.
When you’re looking for new or used pallet racking for storage or transport, having the right information at hand helps you make a more informed decision.”
Other Pallet Rack Options
Whether you’re stocking a warehouse, a transport business or a retail outlet, you’ll find pallet racking options geared toward specific kinds of items.
Drive-In & Drive-Through Pallet Racks
Drive-In & Drive-Through Pallet Racks allow forklifts to maneuver directly among stacked pallets. The only difference between the two is that drive-in systems have only one entry point, so pallets load and exit from the same side, which is called the “last in, first out” (LIFO) method — which essentially means the last pallet in will be the first to come out. Drive-through systems have two openings and use the “first in, first out” (FIFO) method — the first pallet in one side, will be the first to come out the other side.
Pallet Flow Racks
Pallet Flow Racks move full pallets with slightly inclined heavy-duty skate wheels and gravity. This type of rack is great for items that require “first in, first out” priority, such as materials with an expiration date. Pallet flow racks are loaded from one side and picked from the other, can be as deep as needed, and often incorporate braking systems to control speed.
Pushback Pallet Racks
Pushback Racks use inclined carts on rails and can be 2 to 6 pallets deep. When one pallet is removed, the others move forward using gravity — making placement and removal easier. Pushback rack utilizes the “last in, first out” (LIFO) storage method (per lane).
Carton Flow Racks
Carton Flow Racks use a gentle tilt to push a lineup of cartons forward when the front carton is removed. They can be used with conveyors to create a fast, efficient retrieval system (easy and fast picking). Carton flow racks are very efficient for hand-picking small orders.
The Right Pallet Racks for You?
The choice of materials, construction, size and function can make choosing a pallet rack challenging. East Coast Storage Equipment is a professional, proven supplier and can act as your consultant, pointing you toward a new or used pallet rack system that will deliver the most efficiency and cost-effectiveness for your warehouse.