Dealer Portal Blog

April 2, 2015

When Should You Sell Drive-in Rack?


Like you, most of what I sell is selective rack. This makes sense because it is–by far–the single most popular rack system in use.

Because of this, sometimes it can be hard to see beyond what you or your customer works with most often. Today, I’ll explain how to spot an opportunity to sell drive-in or drive-through systems.

Going Beyond Selective Rack

Drive-in IllustrationFor both drive-in and drive-through systems, loads are densely stored in lanes several positions deep, and lift equipment actually enters the rack structure in order to store and retrieve them. The difference between them is that drive-in has a single entry and exit for each bay while drive-through permits access from either side of the bay. Double-entry drive-in is simply two drive-in systems back-to-back.


  • Extremely dense storage. Up to an 87% improvement over selective rack.
  • Does not require special pallet sizes or forklifts.
  • Available in heights and depths to match most needs.
  • Is less expensive than other high density storage (push-back or pallet flow)


  • Reduced pallet selection
    • Drive-in is limited to Last-in, First-out (LIFO)
    • Drive-through allows First-in, First-out(FIFO) only
  • Subject to increased damage because the lift truck enters the structure.
  • Requires consistent pallet/load sizes
  • Not ideal for a large variety of SKUs
Finding the Opportunity

Based on the above advantages and limitations, Drive-in or Drive-through systems are ideal for situations where:

  • Loaded Drive-InSpace is at a premium. Look for facilities where freezers or coolers are in use or the customer is looking to store more in the same area.
  • There’s a large volume of limited SKUs. Because of the reduced selectivity, drive-in and through are ideally used where one SKU can fill a bay.
  • Stock rotation is not a priority. While this applies to drive-in (LIFO) more than drive-through (FIFO), in both cases rotation is reduced so these systems are best suited for situations where rotation isn’t important or the stock tends to move quickly.

I hope this brief guide is useful to you for future projects but if you need additional help, feel free to reach out. I’ll be happy to assist in designing a drive-in or drive-through system and can even provide an AutoCAD drawing for your use. Of course, I can also provide the materials you need for the system itself. Remember that you can also get started by using the Prelimary Design Sheet available in the website Toolkit.



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