The Different Types of Pallet Racking

When looking to add pallet racks to your industrial warehouse, there’s a lot to consider. Pallet racks come in a variety of different sizes and types, which may make it a bit confusing when looking to purchase quality pallet racks. In an effort to make this process a little easier, Industrial Storage Solutions is breaking down the various types of pallet racks to help you make the best selection for your warehouse and business.

Components of a Pallet Rack System

A pallet rack system is typically pretty simple and made up of a few components that allow for a pallet rack system to be sturdy and durable.

  • Pallet Rack Frame (also known as an Upright)
  • Pallet Rack Cross Beam
  • Wire mesh (also known as wire deck)

Although the components of a pallet rack system are typically standard, but there’s still a wide variety of different options when purchasing pallet rack systems.

Generally speaking, there are about 6 different types of pallet rack systems and each have their individual aspects that are important to understand when assessing your personal storage needs.

Different Types of Pallet Racking:


Drive in Pallet Rack

Drive in pallet racks are an efficient and affordable way to maximizes warehouse and storage capabilities. A drive in pallet rack allows for forklifts to move through the aisles in order to continue stocking and adding additional pallets. Drive in pallet racks are typically used for LIFO (Last In, First Out) storage.

Pros of using drive in pallet racking:

  •        Drive in pallet racks allow for high-density storage
  •        Drive in pallets require fewer aisles for the same amount of storage
  •        Because of the saved space, drive in pallet racks are cost-efficient

Cons of using drive in pallet racking:

  •        Drive in pallet racks are not great for specific inventory selection
  •        Drive in pallet racks create issues for inventory that needs to be rotated
  •        Complications can also arise when there’s an insufficient amount of forklifts available  to move


Push Back Rack

Push back racks are ideal for efficient storage while enabling inventory rotation. Unlike other pallet racks, push back racks are great to increase visibility of products, allowing for specific selection of inventory items. Like the drive in pallet rack, push back racks also allow for Last In, First Out (LIFO) inventory management.

Pros of using push back racks:

  •        Push back racks eliminate honeycombing by allowing for individual storage levels.
  •        Push back racks are space-efficient and increases stability
  •        Less opportunity for damage of pallet racks by forklifts
  •        Increased selectivity among inventory

Cons of using push back racks:

  •        Push back racks may not be ideal for inventory that operates on First In, First Out (FIFO) inventory management


Pallet Flow

pallet flow racks

Unlike the systems previously mentioned, pallet flows operate on a First In, First Out (FIFO) inventory management systems. Pallet flow systems get inventory moving and create easier inventory rotation. Because of the nature of the pallet flow systems, it increases selectivity of inventory compared to other structures, like drive in pallet racks.
Pros of using pallet flow racks:

  •        Easy inventory management for FIFO inventories
  •        Works great with easily perishable items
  •        Increased selectivity
  •        Immediate access to every product

Cons of using pallet flow racks:

  •  Not ideal for inventories that use LIFO management


Carton Flow Racking

carton flow racks

Like the pallet flow system, carton flow racking offers great storage for inventories that operate by First In, First Out (FIFO) management.  Carton flow racking systems use a rear load design, allowing for easily managed and operated inventory. Unlike other pallet rack types, carton flow racking systems automatically rotate products by design, allowing for maximum efficiency and storage organization.

Pros of using carton flow rack systems:

  •        Carton flow rack systems increase productivity without requiring much work on the operator’s part
  •        Carton flow rack systems are ideal for inventory that is perishable or works best with FIFO management
  •        Inventory is fully visible at all times

Cons of using carton flow rack systems:

  •   Carton flow rack systems are designed to work with FIFO, not LIFO inventory

Selective Pallet Rack

One of the most popular and common pallet rack systems, selective pallet racks can often be the most cost-efficient way of industrial storage. Selective pallet racks use First In, First Out (FIFO) inventory management and can be incredibly efficient in inventory management. While selective pallet racks can be cost-effective, but is also the lowest pallet storage capacity.

Pros of using selective pallet rack systems:

  •        Most cost-efficient pallet racking method
  •        Operates well with FIFO inventory management
  •        Can accommodate a wide variety of forklifts & machinery in the aisles
  •        Can also accommodate multiple forklifts and trucks

Cons of using selective pallet rack systems:

  •         Lowest pallet storage capacity
  •         Does not work well stacked high
  •         Limited storage height
  •         Can increase loading & unloading times

At Industrial Storage Solutions, we are dedicated to helping businesses find the right pick for their industrial storage needs. While we’re happy to help make the pallet rack selection easier through our blogs, nothing beats the personal touch that one of our representatives can offer you with our free quote option