Pallet Racking VS Floor Stacking

Pallet racking vs floor stacking

One of the most common questions we get from our customers is what is more efficient: pallet racking or floor stacking? While this question can vary by individual preference, there’s some universal truths about both floor stacking and pallet racking. In this post, we’ll walk you through a basic overview of different types of pallet racking, typical floor stacking handling and the pro’s and cons of all them. At Pacific Bend Inc., we know that picking the right system for your warehouse is important so feel free to contact us for more help and information.

Floor Stacking

Warehouses that use floor stacking typically place pallets on the floor in organized rows. While it changes in each warehouse, the rows can be as deep as the space allows. If they can support it, pallets can be stacked on top of another to create more storage room. Floor stacking is typically a LIFO (Last In, First Out) system.


  • Very inexpensive since there is no investment in heavy equipment
  • High storage density


  • Limited-to-no access to individual pallets
  • Takes up a large amount of space

Selective Pallet Rack

As one of the most popular pallet rack choices used today, selective pallet racks uses uprights and cross beams as a shelf to support and store a pallet. Selective racks typically have multiple levels per one (or occasionally two) pallet bay.


  • Inexpensive compared to other pallet racks
  • Can easily access pallets
  • Accommodates LIFO and FIFO styles


  • Low storage density due to aisles between rows of rack

Drive-Through 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 while drive-through pallet rack allows for FIFO (First In, First Out)


  • High storage density
  • Typically cheaper than most flow pallet rack systems


  • Drive in and drive through pallet racks offer poor accessibility to individual pallets
  • Easily damaged from machinery and forklifts

Push Back Racks

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.


  •        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


  •        High price compared to other racking systems

To learn more about our other pallet rack systems, we broke down the differences in our blog post on pallet rack types.

There is no easy answer to the age-old question of pallet racking versus floor stacking. Each system of pallet racking or floor stacking has different advantages and disadvantages. While floor stacking makes more economical sense, the space it takes up allots for a difficult warehouse environment. Pallet racking is more costly, but the long-term benefits of being able to effectively operate a warehouse and manage inventory better can make it one of the best choices for any warehouses.

Still got questions? We’d love to help you! Pacific Bend Inc. offers a personalized touch for all of our past, present and future customers by giving free, no-obligation quotes for anyone interested in our material. We can easily help you find the right pick for your warehouse or simply help you find the right storage system for you.