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The difference between warehouse racking and pallet rack system

Views: 26     Author: Site Editor     Publish Time: 2021-11-11      Origin: Site

The difference between warehouse racking and pallet rack system

You walk into your warehouse; do you think it's a messy and unorganized nightmare? Are forklifts buzzing, pallets scattered on the floor, and workers scrambling to find out where products and inventory are?


Or are you looking for a warehouse management system to maximize existing storage space in your facility and reduce the "cellular mix" in high-density storage areas?


You can invest in warehouse pallet rack systems to reduce clutter, maximize warehouse space, and increase worker productivity. The pallet winch system solves many warehouse storage problems, including:

  • Organize the trays and get up and down the floor

  • Maximize existing warehouse space

  • Simplify handling and picking of pallets or cartons

  • Improve worker efficiency and automate some of the labor required to store and retrieve pallets


We learned how frustrating it is to feel that your warehouse or distribution center is not organized or productive. We offer a variety of warehouse solutions to address any obstacles you may encounter, and we work with our customers to provide customized solutions that meet their budget and time frame. We offer everything from simple selective racks and drive pallet racks to more innovative and complex storage technologies and solutions.


In this article, we will discuss the different considerations for choosing the right pallet rack storage system, as well as the different designs and components of the most popular pallet rack storage systems.


Considerations For Selecting a Warehouse Rack System

Some of the factors you need to know when designing a pallet rack system are total #SKUs, total pallets, material weight, inventory retrieval method, turnaround time, and whether these are complete or split case choices.


Warehouse pallet racks vary widely in size, application, and configuration. No two rack systems are the same, one system that has been designed for similar building structures, or similar product types, and may not be the best design for your facility.


When considering the best type of warehouse winch system, you should consider the following factors to maximize efficiency, streamline processes, and get the best return:


The number of pallet SKUs

Inventory Hold Units (SKUs) are unique numbers that retailers assign to items in inventory. To understand the design and layout of the pallet rack storage system, you need to know how much SKUs will be stored in the shelf system. For example, you might want to store six different SKUs on a tray, all of which have their own unique dimensions.


The total number of pallets

The total number of pallets that need to be stored per rack system.


Tray size

You need to know the size (width, depth, and height) of the pallets to design racks and racks to maximize storage space in rack systems.


The weight of pallets and materials

What is the weight of each pallet? This will determine the capacity of the steel beams, what deck can be used, and whether any additional pallet brackets are required to support the material.


The product types

Is it perishable, fragile, and needs climate control?


The order in which the inventory is retrieved

First Offer (FIFO) or Final First Retrieval (LIFO) retrieval?


Turnaround time

How long will SKUs stay in your facility? Hours/weeks/months?


Full case or split case pickup

The same facility can use one method instead of another, or use both methods for different products or processes:

Split Bin Pick - Pick individual items from the trash or open carton, usually with many SKUs and low pickups per SKU. This method is often used in e-commerce or other order fulfillment centers.

Full box picking - This method involves collecting complete cartons or product boxes for distribution. This method is often used for retail distribution of goods, truck or train cargo, supply chain, logistics, etc.


Seismic activity where the rack is located

Seismic activity affects foot size, beam size, and additional materials required for system rigidity and support.


Warehouse Pallet Rack Design, Components, and Construction

The protective plate (shown) can be integrated into the rack system to protect the impact area from forklifts or trucks.


Here are some of the components and design factors for any type of warehouse storage or pallet rack system:


Rack structure

What materials are the beams, uprights and brackets made of?


Rolled steel - Steel coils or plates run through the machine, kink, and roll material to the final structural shape. It is cheaper than structural steel, but more susceptible to damage from forklifts or trucks. Once damaged, the structural integrity disappears.

Structural steel - Steel made of raw iron that is machined and formed into its final shape, making it more durable and providing less maintenance throughout its life cycle. It is more expensive to design pallet rack systems with structural steel.

Mixing - Structural steel mixing for "impact" areas, such as the base, surface, or frame of a rack system, and rolling material for the back end or internal components of the system.

Rack deck

How do I support pallets? Common materials are steel beams, wire mesh, carts, gravity rollers, or solid decks (highly specialized for archiving applications).


Rear frame protector

Additional protection can be fixed to the ground and can be designed to bear the brunt of the impact from forklifts or trucks.


Rack material is complete

Galvanized materials can be used in outdoor applications, as well as epoxy or powder coating surfaces to prevent corrosion.


Different Types of Warehouse Racking Systems:


Selective Pallet Racking Systems

Selective pallet rack systems are inexpensive and are designed to organize products so that pallets are brought up and down the floor.


Selective pallet racks are the most popular type of warehouse storage and pallet rack systems on the market. They offer inexpensive designs, as well as a maximum size and accessory selection tailored to your warehouse storage application. They are designed to remove pallets from the warehouse floor and place them in the rack system, which can be used immediately to store or unload pallets. With the selective pallet rack system, you can take advantage of floor space in your warehouse and effectively manage employee time.


Imagine a big bookshelf system and you'll understand how selective rack systems work. Selective storage racks are adjustable, allowing you to change the beam level so that you can find the right height for the load, or reconfigure the entire system for new or different size pallets. This flexibility allows you to customize and maximize storage space in rack systems.


Selective pallet racks are available in rolled and structural steels to meet your budget and support needs.


Drive-in Pallet Racking Systems

The pallet rack system maximizes warehouse space and allows high-density storage of similar products or SKUs.


The driving rack system provides maximum density storage for similar products and pallets in the warehouse. The pilot rack system eliminates aisles in warehouse facilities because inbound systems are used to store many similar products that are used for each hatch or rack using the same inlet and exit points. Thanks to the incoming rack system, which facilitates forklift lifts, they provide maximum density of storage space, and products or pallets can be stored in lanes up to six or more locations deep in the rack.


The forklift enters the rack from one side and loads the pallet onto the back of the rack. From there, the pallets are loaded to work from front to back - giving more depth and up to 3 times the amount of storage as selective tray racks. As a result, storage costs per pallet and square foot will be lower.


The drive in the rack can be a single entrance for a forklift that can only enter one side, or a dual entrance that a forklift can access on both sides of the rack structure.


The driving system can be specifically designed to best suit your needs with different heights and depths, as well as a wide variety of different components. The system can be ordered for rolling or structural steel for additional support. If you are looking for a space saving solution that can increase the warehouse area, consider entering the vehicle system.


Push Back Pallet Racking Systems

Pushing back the tray rack is a high-density storage solution that loads the tray from the front onto a nested vehicle system that slides on the tilt rail.


Pushing back the rack system is designed to allow intensive storage of products that do not require a first come, first-quality product. Pushing back the tray rack is a fixed rack structure that loads the tray from the front onto a nested vehicle system that slides on the tilted rail.


Pushback rack systems are ideal for high-density storage of multiple product lines or S libraries. This product is designed to eliminate maintenance and provide greater selectivity. In the push-back system, the pallets are placed on a free rolling cart and are pushed back into the system each time additional pallets are loaded into the system. These systems are available in two, three, four, five and six deep vehicle configurations. As the pallet slides down the aisle position, the push-back tray rack is loaded and unloaded significantly faster than the comparable drive frame.


In a push-back system, everything is accessible from the aisle while using the Last In, First Out (LIFO) storage method. The system provides multiple picks faces while using fewer aisles, opening more warehouse space.



From simple selective racks to more innovative and complex storage technologies and solutions, Highbright can work with you to design and install a pallet rack system for any facility or budget.


If you’re interested in partnering with an innovative warehouse storage designer and manufacturer, please don’t hesitate to contact us. We offer consultation services that will help guide you through the entire warehouse operation, from start to finish.

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