As you know, a racking system is a storage solution that allows you to organize your inventory by stacking materials in horizontal rows with multiple levels. Since these systems come in a wide range of variations, it can be difficult to figure out which type of racking system would be best for your distribution center. If you want to know which system you should choose, we’re going to outline some of the best options available.
Before we go any further, let’s first go over what to consider when choosing a racking system. Keep in mind that every warehouse is unique and has its own operational requirements. There are many different types of warehouse racking systems out there and knowing what to look for can ensure you pick the right one for your needs.
The right storage system should be able to increase space without hampering your operations. Additionally, you are going to want to keep an eye on:
- Budget: What’s the estimated cost per pallet?
- Floor Utilization: Does the system maximize floor space?
- Storage Capabilities: Can the system handle the quantity, size, and weight of your inventory?
- Forklift Accessibility: Is there enough room for your material handling fleet to perform their functions?
- Versatility: How capable is the system at handling a variety of goods?
- Inventory Management: What is the best inventory retrieval method for your operations?
Here are the best structural racking solutions you should consider setting up in your facility.
Selective pallet racking systems are the most popular storage system on the market and for good reason. They are inexpensive and offer the largest selection of sizes and accessories. As a result, this solution is highly customizable, which is beneficial for any material handling operation. Selective racking even allows you to reconfigure the entire system for new or different-sized pallets, providing a decent level of flexibility.
Inventory Management Style: First in, first-out (FIFO)
- Immediate access to any pallet at any given time.
- Easy to adjust shelves as needed.
- A cost-effective option per square foot.
- Available in different capacities, sizes, and configurations.
Drive-in racks excel at high-density storage situations for similar products and pallets. These systems eliminate aisles in order to maximize storage capabilities. In terms of accessibility, drive-in racks use the same entry and exit point for each bay or rack. This means a forklift enters the racking from one side to load a pallet on to the back of the rack. Loading continues in a front-to-back fashion, providing much more depth than a selective system.
Inventory Management Style: Last-in, first-out (LIFO)
- The most cost-effective type of high-density storage system.
- Can be built with roll-formed or structural rack material.
- Takes up less space than a selective system.
Like drive-in racks, these systems are designed for high-density storage of items. Push back racks are stationary structures that are great for storage of multiple product lines or SKUs. This is also a type of system where there’s no requirement for retrieval order. Since pallets are able to slide down to where they can be accessed from the aisle, this solution is faster than drive-in racks.
Inventory Management: Last-in, first out
- Multiple pick up options while using fewer aisles.
- Provides more flexibility with multiple SKUs.
- Allows for easy product accessibility.
- Low maintenance compared to other systems.
When you have inventory that’s on the long and bulky side, cantilever racks are the best storage option to choose. These racks are designed with bases, arms, and towers that are specifically made to hold elongated items. Additionally, the arms are adjustable and can maintain a high load capacity. Some of the items this system works best with are pipes, lumber, sheet steel, and other oblong objects.
Inventory Management: Last-in, first out
At Southwest Warehouse Solutions, we specialize in providing high-quality warehouse products and services. If you need a new storage system for your facility, come to us. We offer a wide range of options from drive-in racks to structural racks and everything in-between. We’re your one-stop shop for your warehouse solutions.
To learn more about our products and services, contact us today.