What are the different types of pallet racking?

Question: What are the different types of pallet racking?

Short Answer: The different types of pallet racking include selective racking, drive-in and drive-through racking, push-back racking, pallet flow racking, and cantilever racking, each designed to meet specific storage needs and operational efficiencies.

Detailed Answer: Pallet racking systems are essential for optimising storage and managing inventory in warehouses. Each type of racking system offers unique advantages and is suitable for different types of products and warehouse operations. Here’s an overview of the major types:

  1. Selective Racking: The most common and versatile type of pallet racking, selective racking allows direct access to every pallet stored. This system is ideal for warehouses that store a wide variety of goods in small quantities. It can be configured with single or double rows spaced back-to-back.
  2. Drive-In and Drive-Through Racking: These systems are designed for high-density storage. Drive-in racking is accessed from one end, making it suitable for last-in, first-out (LIFO) inventory management. Drive-through racking is accessible from both ends, allowing for first-in, first-out (FIFO) storage, ideal for perishable goods.
  3. Push-Back Racking: This type of racking uses a rail and roller system. Each new pallet is loaded by pushing the previous one deeper into the racking tunnel, storing pallets 2 to 5 deep and allowing for LIFO retrieval. It’s efficient for space utilization and good for storing bulk quantities of the same items.
  4. Pallet Flow Racking: Also known as gravity flow racking, this system uses a slight decline plane to store pallets. Pallets are loaded at the higher end and removed at the lower end, facilitating FIFO inventory management. It’s highly efficient for high-turnover products and can store up to 20 pallets deep.
  5. Cantilever Racking: Ideal for storing long, bulky, or oddly-shaped items such as lumber, piping, or furniture. This system consists of a vertical column, arms extending out (which can be adjusted for different heights), and no front column to obstruct the placement of the goods.
  6. Mobile Racking (Movirack): Mobile racking systems are mounted on motor-driven bases that move along tracks embedded in the floor. This system allows for high-density storage and better use of warehouse space since only one aisle needs to be open at a time.
  7. Mezzanine Flooring Systems: These are not traditional racks but involve creating a secondary or intermediate floor above the main warehouse floor. This increases space by utilising vertical space for additional storage or production activities.

Each type of pallet racking system has its own set of advantages, and the choice depends on the specific needs of the warehouse, including the type of goods stored, available space, and accessibility requirements. Proper planning and consideration are essential to choose the right system that maximises efficiency and safety.

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