Pallet racks are one of the hardest-working installations you’ll have in your warehouse – but have you ever wondered if you could make them work harder?

Especially in these days of ecommerce and faster delivery times, many warehouses and fulfillment centers are already packed to the gills with items. But through careful planning and placement of your current pallet rack layout, you can maximize the amount of items you can store on each rack, as well as better optimize where items can be stored and make it easier for your staff to get to them during the picking process.

Whether you want to fit more pallets on your racks, streamline the picking process, or just make sure you’re holding the maximum capacity of items, here’s four of our favorite ways to make your pallet racks work harder for you:

Use longer racking

Sometimes the easiest solutions are the ones that seem obvious but haven’t been implemented yet. By lengthening your racks, you can actually add a surprising amount of storage space by reducing gaps in your current rack and using fewer uprights. By lengthening the space between your uprights and using longer pallet rack decking, you can squeeze every last bit of storage out of your existing setup and allow for a greater number of pallets to be stored. This will require a little caution and foresight on your part though – make sure you’re not trying to lengthen any pallet racks that need to be kept shorter by design due to their placement near doors or in areas of high traffic.

Go up, not out

If lengthening your pallet racks isn’t a viable option, you might be able to increase their height instead. A lot of warehouses have pretty tall ceilings, and that unused vertical space is a prime opportunity to fit more products onto your racks. If you can invest in taller uprights you can start to stack items higher than before, but be careful what you put up there. Items stored on higher racks will naturally be more difficult to take down, so this may be a better option for overflow products or goods your team doesn’t need to pick as often.

Blend static and dynamic storage

A lot of warehouses think static storage (overflow goods, items that don’t sell as often, or goods that are always in the same location) and dynamic storage need to be kept completely separate for convenience’s sake, but it may actually be more advantageous in many cases to use the same pallet rack for both. By making the same pallet rack serve as both a cell for pallet flow (for items that may be relocated later) and a selective rack that always holds the same group of items, you can free up space elsewhere and streamline your picking processes that much more.

Prioritize popular items

Finally, the best way to get the most efficiency out of your pallet racks is to prioritize storage of your most important items. Place the items you need most often on the racks you use most often, and keep them easily accessible to your picking team to make sure they can get to them without a lot of slowdown or hassle. Once you notice how much faster orders start getting out the door with this tip, you’ll be glad you made the change.

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