warehouse with forklift

 

“Ah, just order whatever pallet rack is cheaper, they’re all the same, right?”

Famous last words.

Pallet racks are a staple of warehouses of any size or industry, but their usage and design goes far beyond simply setting them up and throwing boxes on them. Different industries, warehouses, and even regions of the world require different designs and sizes of pallet racks, and each of these can vary depending on your specific needs.

Don’t worry, it isn’t as overwhelming as it sounds. While there’s no one-size-fits-all pallet rack that will magically solve your warehouse storage issues, there’s a few things you can keep in mind that will help you pick the perfect pallet rack for your warehouse, and in a far more time- and cost-effective way:

 

Understand your region’s size designations:

Different parts of the world have different governing bodies that set industrial standards for things like pallet racks, gravity flow racks, and the like, and knowing what sizes are available (or required) in your part of the world can help take away some of the confusion. For example, some of the most commonly encountered pallet rack sizes in America are 40” x 48”, 42” x 42”, and 48” x 48” (square); knowing what sizes you can easily encounter can help you figure out how to make the most of your available space.

 

Think about what industries you serve and what you need to store:

Another good way to easily determine pallet rack needs is to measure and review what products you store in your warehouse, and what industries you serve with your storage. Do you store a lot of products with consistent container and packaging sizes like paint or food products? If you’re in the hardware business, do you have a lot of lengthy or irregularly sized items (like pipes or lumber) that might be better kept on something like cantilever racks to free up space for standard pallets? For retail storage, do you divide your pallets by product type or simply size/weight? Consider what kind of products you already deal in and how you can best store your current inventory before making any big changes to your storage solutions.

 

Ask yourself what kind of work is being done near these pallets:

Not every warehouse is the same, and the sort of work that gets performed in each warehouse will change vastly depending on the industry and the needs of the products. Will you need to leave space for forklifts to fit down the aisle, or is all your work being done manually/by hand? If you place new pallet racks in your warehouse, will it interrupt your current workflow? And if so, how difficult will it be to maintain productivity after the fact? There’s few feelings more frustrating as a warehouse manager than to install a ton of new warehouse storage only to find out it’s in the way of getting work done – do some homework first to ensure this doesn’t happen.

 

Measure the size, type, and style of pallets you currently have:

Finally, an easy way to maintain storage density and shelf space is to check out the kind of pallets you get a lot of now. Are your pallets a consistent measurement? Do you get regular shipments that can be evenly stacked and stored on your current shelves? If you buy new pallet racks, can you prevent overhang or other safety hazards due to incorrectly stored racking? Measure the racks you have now and contact your suppliers to see what kind of sizes you can expect in the future, and make sure whatever pallet racks you buy can accommodate the products you need to store.

And of course, if you have further questions, you can always contact Shelving Inc to learn more about what kind of shelving can best help your warehouse.

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