Pallet racks as the most common type of industrial racking
From the traditional single deep pallet racking to the more complex cantilever racking system, there is always an industrial racking that is suitable to most products that are stored by warehouses and retail stores. Variations in steel structures like the upright steel frames and horizontal steel beams including the way they are constructed and assembled creates order and maximizes storage space. A typical pallet industrial racking has a height of about 6 to 7.5 meters but it can reach as much as 30 meters for a high rise system. The frames can be bolted or welded for structural stability and safety. In the United States, most racking systems are welded while in Europe, the bolted construction is more common. Several types of racking systems are available from the simple low density systems to the complex and high density systems that make efficient use of space.
Choice between the low density and high density racking systems
The single pallet system is considered as low density racking system. It is also commonly called the selective racking system where loads are stored one pallet deep for easy access. There is unimpeded access to every pallet and can be used in any type of aisle configuration or forklift system. Double deep racking system is also a low density storage system where pallets are loaded behind another in a racking structure that is twice as deep as the single pallet system. Not all the pallets are readily accessible in this system because the front pallet position must first be emptied to gain access to the pallets in the second position. Double handling will be necessary except in instances wherein pallets are stored in the last in first out (LIFO) basis.
High density racking systems are configured to store loads that can be three to four deep to create an extremely dense storage system. The drive-in racking system is an example of high density storage where pallets can be stored four high and five deep with a total of 20 pallets each bay. Each of the bays must be dedicated to a similar product. The system works best for warehouses that stores large volumes of the same product that have to be moved at once for shipping. In the drive-through racking, the pallets are more accessible since the forklifts can drive on both ends of the racking system. The racks can be loaded at one end and emptied from the other end to allow a first in first out (FIFO) product rotation. Both types of racking however can store large number of pallets that maximizes the warehouse’s storage space.