Different Types of Pallet Racks: Which One to Choose?

Different Types of Pallet Racks: Which One to Choose?

Pallet racks can do wonders for the organization of the storage space in your warehouse.

With the right racking system, you can turn the most chaotic and unorganized space into optimized storage with zero clutter and maximum worker productivity. 

Most businesses know the importance of a pallet rack, but where they struggle is choosing the right one for their facility.

With so many options out there, and not to mention all the different types, it can get overwhelming — even for those with some experience. 

In this article, we’ll talk about the most common types of pallet racks so you can pick the right one for your business, all without losing your mind. 

The 3 Most Common Types of Pallet Racks

There are so many options out there, with even more bells and whistles in each. To make the right choice, you should stick with one of the most common types listed below. 

1. Drive-In Racks

Designed to offer the maximum storage density, drive-in racks can be lifted with forklifts and placed into the bay using a first-in/last-out rotation.

To put it simply, each pallet goes in a row one after the other. So to take out the first one, you’ll have to take out all the others before it. 

If you want to avoid or eliminate aisles from your facility, this is a great option for storing products or pallets in high density. For maximum efficiency, you can try a double-entry system so a forklift can reach either side of the structure. 

2. Push Back Racks

This type of rack is designed to maximize storage by utilizing depth rather than the width of your facility.

With a system like this, you can stack different groups of products on each aisle to access them quickly. As soon as you remove one pallet, others behind it are automatically pushed forward and ready to be picked.

On top of all that, push back racks have limited exposure to damage as the forklifts never enter the structure.  

If you want to optimize your storage for depth and keep a dedicated aisle for each product type, this is a great option for you. 

Just keep in mind that all the extra wheels, carts and bearings make this option high maintenance, and therefore, expensive. 

3. Pallet Flow Racks

Like push back racks, pallet flow systems are optimized for depth rather than width.

Often referred to as “gravity flow” racks, these dynamic systems use slightly inclined rail with rollers to automatically move the pallets from the loading position to the picking. As the name implies, this is made possible thanks to gravity. 

If you want to reduce labor costs while maximizing the storage density, this is a great option because it offers up to 4 times more storage efficiency than some options and a robust automation system on top of that. 

However, these systems require a high initial investment and are expensive to maintain — like push back racks but even more so. 

We hope this article has helped you understand the three most common pallet rack types out there, and the unique pros and cons of each. 

Picking the right warehouse racking system for your business should be much easier now.