A Basic Guide to Pallet Racks

Increasing storage space in your warehouse does not have to be expensive.

Most companies that are looking to grow may consider real estate as their only option.

A cheaper way to get more warehouse space is by using pallet racks. At Pacific Bend, we can help increase your storage space by up to 40%. From our office locations in Los Angeles and San Bernardino, we also serve the Orange, Riverside, San Diego, and Phoenix areas.

In many cases, business owners are cautious when it comes time to invest in storage solutions. This makes total sense. However, with an increase in inventory, the need for more space will present itself. In areas where only a portion of the warehouse has racking, the answer is easy. Buy more racking. The solution may sound simple; figure out the materials needed and place an order.

Nevertheless, as we continue to learn more about pallet racks, the easy answer may prove to cost more in the end. The reason is this, adding only sections of racking at a time will cause you to lose space. Though, you may ask yourself, how that could be possible. It is true.

WAREHOUSE RACKING & LAYOUT DESIGN

How to get more space in your warehouse-using pallet racks.

You see, warehouse space is much like a puzzle. While empty for the most part, it will have some inside buildings and column posts. If you only add racking and inventory as needed, you are likely to place these in empty areas. This process creates unused pockets of space that are lost.

warehouse racking & layout design

So how do you reclaim this lost warehouse space?

Have you ever heard the term, “planning is everything”? Well, when it comes to layout design, this is very applicable.

Let us look at how we can improve the process and increase our own warehouse space. The first thing we need to do is to find a reliable vendor. Someone that has a lot of knowledge and experience with pallet racks. In this “someone”, we are looking for a partner that will work with us to solve issues as they come up. We can then follow a simple planning process to create the best layout.

  1. Our plans need to include the entire space.
    While we will only purchase a portion of racking for our space, by including the entire warehouse, we avoid the loss of pockets of space.
  2. We need to take into account all areas of operations.
    The workflow and handling of goods back and forth throughout the facility plays a big role in our design. A good layout can boost productivity by up to 20%. Items to consider include:
    a) receiving                               h) security
    b) offloading                              i) returns
    c) inventory                               j) health and safety
    d) operating hours                    k) forklift trucks
    e) pick areas                             l) pallet size
    f) labeling                                  m) commodities
    g) replenishment
  3. Also, consider your budget and associated costs.
    If a complete warehouse, storage solution may be out of our budget. Break it down into a few phases. In this way, you optimize your space and can expand as your business grows.
  4. Considerations for Seismic Areas.
    In seismic areas, additional bracing may be required. For more information take a look at this FEMA article.

WAREHOUSE RACKING

Redesign your warehouse space and boost storage capacity at the same time.

What to do if your warehouse has pallet racks already?

If you have already installed some racking, do not worry options do exist. Having learned about warehouse racking design, we now have a good grasp of what it takes to create a good design. Even if your warehouse is full of racks, a seasoned designer can come up with new ideas that are new and innovative. Depending on the type of goods you store, new technology may come into play.

In some cases, vendors like Pacific Bend offer a trade-in program to help you increase space. The program works like this, after a site survey Pacific Bend will make their best recommendation. This may include keeping some of your existing racking. Depending on the age and condition of obsolete racking, they could make you an offer. In the event of old or damaged racking, Pacific Bend will still make the best suggestion by working around this.

WAREHOUSE STORAGE SOLUTIONS

Search no more; our industrial storage solutions can help you reclaim lost space.

If you are looking to increase the storage capacity of your space with pallet racks we can help. Our friendly sales staff is happy to chat about your needs and have been in this business a long time. We can advise you on a pallet rack solution to fit your needs. Not only will you get the best quality, but also a great price that fits your budget and will not break the bank.

We have been storage solution experts for 30 plus years with many clients on the west coast. We have helped many end users and Material Handling dealers to choose the right systems for the storage challenge at hand. Our designers know how to get the most out of your valuable floor space and use pallet racks to reduce the footprint.

Our specialty is in the layout design process.

  • The first step is to do a site survey to determine the size of your facility.
  • We also speak with you about your needs and requirements.
  • The positions of structures, doors and/or window are noted.
  • We advise you on risk and other issues.
what is pallet rack design layout

PALLET RACK TYPES

The core of a pallet rack system is typically very simple. This includes only a few parts that allow it to be sturdy and durable. In this next section, we learn about the various types of pallet racking.

Although the components are relatively standard, there are some things to keep in mind. There are about six different types of pallet rack systems and each has their own individual aspects. It is important to understand what they are prior to making a purchase.

pallet rack

DRIVE IN PALLET RACK

Drive-in pallet racks is an efficient way to maximize storage. A drive-in pallet rack allows forklifts to move through the aisles in order to continue stocking pallets. Drive-in pallet racks typically come in handy for LIFO (Last In, First Out) storage.

Pros of using drive-in pallet racking:

  • Allows for high-density storage
  • Requires fewer aisles for the same amount of storage
  • Because they save space, drive in pallet racks are cost-efficient

Cons of using drive-in pallet racking:

  • Not used for specific inventory selection
  • Creates issues for inventory rotation

PUSH BACK RACKS

Push back racks are ideal for efficient storage and allows for good stock rotation. They increase the visibility of the items you store making them much easier to pick. Like the drive-in pallet rack, push back racks also allow for LIFO (Last In, First Out) inventory management.

Pros of using push back racks:

  • They eliminate honeycombing by allowing for individual storage levels
  • These racks are space-efficient and increase stability
  • There is less opportunity for damage by forklifts
  • Increased visibility and selection of goods

Cons of using push back racks:

  • Not ideal for FIFO (First In, First Out) rotation
push back racks

PALLET FLOW

Pallet flow racking uses a FIFO (First In, First Out) stock methodology. This type of racking is ideal for fast moving inventories. Pallet flow systems also allow for the quick picking of palletized goods.

Pros of using pallet flow racks:

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

Cons of using pallet flow racks:

  •  Not ideal for inventories that use LIFO rotations
pallet flow racks

CANTILEVER RACK SYSTEMS

Cantilever racks are one of the unique types of systems. These racks are freestanding units that allow full front access. Think of it as an industrial storage shelf that has no front. Large horizontal arms extend out from vertical columns in much the same way that a human would hold out their arms. Since these racks are heavy-duty, you could put almost anything on them.

Pros of using cantilever rack systems:

  • Easy access to all of your inventory
  • Can withstanding various weights and sizes of products
  • Works well with non-uniformed items like building materials, pipe, bar, lumber, and carpet

Cons of using cantilever rack systems:

  • Work best when the weight is evenly distributed
  • Not the most space-efficient pallet racking systems available
cantilever racks

CARTON FLOW RACKING

Carton flow racking also works well in a FIFO (First In, First Out) rotation. These systems use a rear load design. This type of design makes stock operations much easier to manage. Carton flow racks will rotate goods on an automated schedule. This can help to maximize all warehouse operations.

Pros of using carton flow rack systems:

  • Because of automation they increase productivity and reduce operational time
  • 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:

  •  Designed to work with FIFO, not LIFO inventory
carton flow racks

SELECTIVE PALLET RACKS

One of the most popular types, selective pallet racks can often be the most cost-efficient way to store products. These racks use a FIFO (First In, First Out) rotation and can be incredibly efficient in managing your goods. However, they do have a low capacity for storing goods.

Pros of using selective pallet rack systems:

  • The most cost-efficient pallet racking method
  • Operates well with FIFO inventory management
  • Can accommodate a wide variety of forklifts & machinery in the aisles

Cons of using selective pallet rack systems:

  • Lowest pallet storage capacity
  • Does not work well if goods are stacked high
  • Can increase loading & unloading times

HIGH PILE PERMITS

What is a High Pile Storage Permit?

Creating a safe warehouse does not stop with the purchase of pallet racking. Warehouses that intend to stock goods over a certain height will need to apply for a High Pile Storage Permit. We are familiar with the clouds that can surround the whole permit and licensing process. In this article, we are breaking down everything you need to know about High Pile Storage Permits.

When is a High Pile Storage Permit required?

High Piled Storage Permits are required for all high-pile goods within a building when storage meets or exceeds 501 square feet. This also applies to High Hazard and Class 1 through IV commodities. In some areas, the approval of both building and high pile permits is required.

Please do note that height and area requirements vary by city and state. Be sure to check with local building & safety as well as the fire department for more information. In the Los Angeles area, contact the Los Angeles Fire Department.

As a licensed contractor, Pacific Bend can manage the High Pile Storage Permit process for you.

  1. To start the processes set up an appointment with one of our qualified team members.
  2. We will inspect your building and be in contact with your warehouse manager.
  3. Our engineer will create the pallet rack report.
  4. They will organize the paperwork, the fees and gather signatures.
  5. Pacific Bend will work with your local city to get permits issued.

Our fees are modest and can save you time, money and more importantly, help you meet local city and fire codes.

high pile permits

SUMMARY

We hope that this informative guide will help you in making your next pallet rack selection. Remember that the best advice we can give you is to find an ally, a partner that will work with you through thick and thin. The rest comes down to using a good plan, some common sense and staying within the limits of high pile storage.

Who We Are

We are Pacific Bend, a family owned company with a passion for what we do. Our core mission is to build a strong relationship with our all of our customers, as they are the cornerstone of our business.

At Pacific Bend, we all come to work every day because we want to solve your biggest warehouse issues. The knowledge we have collected over 29 years has led us to offer the best products and services in the market today.

pacific bend pallet racks

What We Do

Our flagship products are our enhanced teardrop pallet racks made from 100% US steel. They are easy to assemble and work with most other brands.

In our realm of services, we can help design warehouse layouts and assist with high pile permits.

We can do racking installations as well as teardowns. If you are moving, we can relocate your racking. Contact Pacific Bend at (888) 277-9817.

pallet racks
To learn more about our pallet rack solutions or to speak with a Pallet Rack Engineer about your specific needs please send us your contact information.