Pallet Racking 101: What’s Best For You?

Here at DAK Equipment & Engineering in Chicago, we’re proud of how far we’ve came since opening in 1995. Today we’re here to talk about pallet racking. Which one do you need? A pallet flow rack? A carton flow rack? Maybe selective pallet rack? Today we highlight some things to consider.

On answering the question of which pallet racking system is best for you: it depends. This is determined by a number of factors we’ll touch on below.

1. What’s your budget?
2. How much floor space do you have available?
3. How high are your ceilings?
4. What types and sizes of pallets do you use?
5. How many different SKUs do you plan on using?
6. How often do you need to access your pallets?
7. Does your product have a shelf life?
8. How many pallets are you storing?
9. What type of fork lift are you going to be using and what is its lift height?

Now that you understand your requirements, let’s take a look at some of the common types of pallet storage.

Floor Stacking
This is the most basic method of pallet stacking where pallets are stacked on the floor in rows. You get high storage density and you don’t have to invest in any equipment, but you’ll have poor accessibility to your pallets and it takes up a lot of space.

Selective Pallet Rack 
This is the most common type of pallet racking, using uprights and cross beams to create a shelf for storing pallets. This is a low investment option that gives you accessibility to your pallets, but low storage density due to aisles between rows of rack

Pallet Flow Rack 
This is a first in, first out solution that uses uprights and cross beams to support a conveyor-like system within the rack. It gives you a high storage density option with the ability to store 20+ pallets deep, but you don’t have the greatest accessibility to all pallets.

Push Back Pallet Rack
Push back racks are similar to flow rack, except the pallets are loaded and unloaded from the front of the system and rest on either nested carts or gravity rollers. This gives you high storage density and only one aisle is needed for loading and unloading. However, it doesn’t provide the greatest accessibility to you pallets and they can only be stored 4-5 lanes deep.

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