Quick Guide To The Types Of Warehouse Racking

quick guide to types of warehouse racking

A good warehouse racking layout has a balance between maximising storage capacity and improving warehouse efficiency. Every business operates differently, so a warehouse design that works well for one business might not work well for another. A poor racking selection and layout can impact productivity, stock accessibility and waste warehouse space.

We don’t just sell racking, at Macrack we provide free warehouse racking layout designs and quotes to help our clients improve warehouse efficiency and maximise the storage capacity of their warehouse. This approach to warehouse storage means that our clients get expert advice and leading industry insight into what will work best for their unique requirements.

This guide to the types of warehouse racking will give you some quick insight into the racking combinations that will suit your storage needs.

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Pallet Racking

Guide To Types Of Warehouse Racking

Pallet racking covers a wide range of warehouse racking solutions. In its most straightforward form, pallet racking systems are designed for the storage of stock on pallets. One of its key benefits is that it can increase storage capacity by using a location’s vertical space rather than needing additional warehouse floor space.

Pallet racking is made of uprights, bracing, beams and can include shelving materials. It is the most common and cheapest form of storing pallets. For most pallet racking systems, a standard forklift with tynes is all that is required for handling stock on pallets. Some variations of racking systems such as cable, carpet and drum racking use different material handling vehicles or forklift attachments to move items on and off their racking system.

Selective Pallet Racking

Selective Pallet Racking Example

Selective pallet racking is designed to go one pallet deep and is great for warehouses with high product differentiation. It is often installed back to back to maximise storage space and reduce the footprint taken up by aisles in the warehouse. Selective racking gives immediate access to any pallet, making it great for applications where you store a low volume of an individual product or perishable items.

Material Handling Equipment: Forklift with standard tynes
Hand-picking: No
Ideal for: Most applications but is great for warehouses with a high differentiation of products

Double Deep Pallet Racking

double deep racking example

Double deep pallet racking allows you to store pallets two rows deep. Because of this design, you can minimise the footprint taken up by aisles with four racking rows able to be placed back to back. Using the double deep racking system back to back effectively eliminates the need for 3 additional aisles. With this configuration, your forklift will need longer tynes to access the second pallet.

Material Handling Equipment: Forklift with longer tynes
Hand-picking: No
Ideal for: Bulk storage of the same palletised product

Push Back Pallet Racking

Push Back Racking Example

Push back racking is a high-density solution which is ideal for storing multiple pallets of the same product. Push back pallet racking uses a track and cart system and is designed to go 2 to 10 pallets deep. Pallets are loaded and removed from the front when removing pallets gravity pushes the pallets behind forward. This storage method is last in first out (LIFO), which is excellent for storing pallets of the same product and reduces the footprint taken up by aisles in between racking frames. Because of this, it is highly space-efficient and great for Cold Storage Rooms.

This system has increased stock availability on all levels compared to simpler high-density systems like drive-in racking, improving your warehouse storage options and functionality.

Material Handling Equipment: Forklift with standard tynes
Hand-picking: No
Ideal for: Great for bulk storage of the same product on pallets

Drive-In Pallet Racking

RSA 3

Drive-in racking is high-density pallet racking system that’s designed to go many pallets deep. Instead of cross beams, this configuration uses side arms so that forklifts can drive into the system and pick or place pallets on any level.

This system is excellent for warehouses that store high volumes of the same product and reduces the footprint taken up by aisles in between racking frames. Because of this, it is highly space-efficient and great for Cold Storage Rooms.

This system is similar to push back racking as the forklift drives into the system to pick pallets rather than using a track and carriage system to push pallets forward. However, this system can restrict stock availability compared to the advantages of the track cart system in push back racking.

Material Handling Equipment: Forklift with standard tynes
Hand-picking: No
Ideal for: Great for bulk storage of the same product on pallets

Pallet Flow Racking

Pallet Flow Racking Example

Pallet Flow Racking is the ultimate high-density storage system. It is designed to work in a long flow system with rolling tracks where you load stock from the rear and remove stock from the front giving you First In First Out access which is great for perishable/seasonal items.

A standard forklift is used to load and remove pallets off the system with no additional attachments required.

Material Handling Equipment: Forklift with standard tynes
Hand-picking: No
Ideal for: Bulk storage of the same product with the need for first in first out pallet flow

Cantilever Racking

Cantilever racking is designed for the horizontal storage of long items such as timber, pipes and aluminium extrusions. Cantilever racking uses the pallet racking uprights with the addition of steel arms braces and a bolted base. The steel arms for this system can be custom made to fit any load. This system allows for stock to be hand-picked on lower levels or removed by forklift operators.

Material Handling Equipment: Forklift with standard tynes
Hand-picking: Yes, on lower shelves
Ideal for: Sheets of material like gyprock or long items like timber and pipes

Sheet Racking

Sheet Racking Example

Sheet racking is a storage solution that uses pallet racking uprights and beams and is designed for the storage of sheet materials like gyprock, sheet metal, wood and plastics.

This system allows for stock to be hand-picked on lower levels or removed by forklift operators.

Material Handling Equipment: Forklift with standard tynes
Hand-picking: Yes, on lower shelves
Ideal for: Bulk storage of the same product on pallets

Industrial Shelving

Industrial Shelving Example

Industrial shelving is a customisable storage solution that allows you to incorporate industrial shelves for hand-picking into a pallet racking configuration. Industrial shelves have lighter gauge beams but can be increased to withstand weight loads in the tonnes.

Material Handling Equipment: Stock Picker or Ladder
Hand-picking: Yes
Ideal for: Hand-picked items

Longspan Shelving

Longspan Shelving Example

Longspan shelving is a racking solution for non-palletised products. This system is great for storing small to medium-sized items that are hand-picked to order. The system creates long span shelving rows by connecting each bay to the last frame optimising the use of floor space.

Material Handling Equipment: N/A
Hand-picking: Yes
Ideal for: Stock items picked to order

Tyre Racking

Tyre Rack QLD

Tyre racking uses a configuration of narrow pallet racking uprights and beams to store tyres vertically. Because of the configuration tyres can be hand-picked by rolling them out when needed. Tyre racking can be custom made to your needs and for a variety of tyres from bicycle tyres to truck tyres.

Material Handling Equipment: Stock Picker or Ladder
Hand-picking: Yes
Ideal for: Bike tyres to truck tyres

Narrow Aisle Racking

Industrial Shelving Brendale

Narrow aisle racking is a large pallet racking system that is made up of shelves capable of storing large items that are manually handled like furniture. This system requires a stock picker rather than a forklift. A stock picker is a material handling platform that moves up and down and can be driven around the warehouse.

Material Handling Equipment: Stock Picker
Hand-picking: Yes, on lower shelves
Ideal for: Manually handled large items like furniture

Coil / Drum Racking

drum racking brisbane

Coil racking is a storage solution for products like steel coils or drums. This system uses pallet racking uprights and beams with the addition of steel cradles to stop stored coils and drums from rolling. A forklift mounted with a drum racker is used to move items on and off the system.

Material Handling Equipment: Forklift with Drum Racker attachment
Hand-picking: No
Ideal for: Steel coils and drums

Cable Racking

Cable racking is a vertical storage system for cable drums or spindles. A steel rod is positioned through the centre of the drum to place on brackets attached to the racking uprights. An individual racking frame can cater to a variety of cable drum or spindle sizes.

This storage method makes each drum or spindle accessible to staff while stored by simply pulling on the cable. A forklift and specialised attachment are used to place cable drums or spindles on and off the system.

Material Handling Equipment: Forklift with a cable reel attachment
Hand Picking: Yes, by pulling on the cable
Ideal for: Cable drums or spindles

Carpet Racking

Carpet Racking Example

Carpet racking is a deep racking system that allows for the storage of carpet rolls in a pigeon-hole style method. This system allows for stock to be hand-picked on lower levels or forklift operators can select and remove individual roles with attachments called roll prongs.

Material Handling Equipment: Forklift with a roll prong attachment
Hand-picking: Yes, on lower shelves
Ideal for: Carpet and vinyl rolls

A-Frame Racking

A Frame Racking Toowoomba

A-Frame racking gets its name from the sloped capital A design of the frame allowing for long materials to be stored diagonally against the system. This design is great for long hand-picked items as it improves item accessibility whilst maximises warehouse storage by using vertical space.

Material Handling Equipment: N/A
Hand-picking: Yes
Ideal for: Long hand-picked items, like timber lengths and pipes

Raised Storage Areas

RSA 2

(Also Referred To As Multi-tier Racking or Warehouse Mezzanine Floors)

Warehouse Mezzanine floors include a couple of categories that could either be a single raised storage area (a platform supported by racking) or a multi-tier racking configuration with platforms spanning multiple levels of racking with built-in walkways. Both systems are designed to increase the storage capacity of a warehouse for stock pickers by using the vertical space of a warehouse.

Material Handling Equipment: pallet jack, conveyor belts and other warehouse automation equipment
Hand-picking: Yes
Ideal for: Increasing the storage capacity or working space of a warehouse.

Stillages

Stillages Example

Stillages are often referred to as steel tubs or stackable crates and are ideal for the storage of bulk loose items. The sides are available in many materials, including solid steel sides and mesh. Stillages work as large milk crates where you can securely stack them on top of each other. This improves your use of vertical space when storing otherwise awkward items.

A forklift is required for stacking and unstacking stillages, but the items are available to be hand-picked at ground level with easy access gates.

Material Handling Equipment: Forklift with standard tynes
Hand-picking: Yes, items can be picked from stillages when stored individually
Ideal for: Bulk storage of loose/awkwardly shaped products