05 Oct Do You Need a Custom Racking System?
There is no one-size-fits-all pallet racking system for every warehouse. That’s because businesses have different needs and storage requirements. What all warehouses do have in common, however, is the fact that the right racking system will make their operations run more smoothly. This article will help you determine if you need a custom racking system for peak efficiency.
The Types of Custom Racking Systems
Your first step is to understand the five primary types of racking systems.
The selective rack is the most common type of pallet rack system. Similar to home and office shelving units, selective racks use uprights and cross beams to create a “shelf” for holding a pallet. Depending on your ceiling height and the height of your pallet, selective rack systems have multiple shelves per bay. A bay usually is only one pallet deep, although two-deep systems are not uncommon.
A cantilever rack is useful for storing long and heavy objects like pipes and steel, fencing, beds, and couches.
A pallet flow rack or a gravity flow rack is a good choice if your warehouse needs to follow first in, first out (FIFO) rules. This system uses gravity and gentle rollers to push the next oldest product to the front while you load new products in the back.
The push back rack system also uses gravity and rollers, but it follows the last in, first out (LIFO) method. New products enter from the front and leave from the front.
A drive-through or drive-in rack allows a forklift to drive in to load and remove pallets or products as needed. These racks are often hybrid combinations of drive-in selective racks or drive-in pushback racks.
To learn more about each type of custom racking systems, read more on our warehouse shelving resource page.
What are the advantages of a custom-built system?
A custom racking system is not only designed to fit your exact space, and it allows you to maximize the space you have to its fullest potential. A custom design frees up floor space, optimizes air space, and offers safe and accessible traffic patterns for workers.
For instance, e-commerce warehouses must be organized for quick and easy picking, packing, and shipping. Custom-designed pallet racks are a must for fulfilling orders safely and efficiently.
A custom system can help you keep your inventory safe. Some products need specific environmental conditions or are fragile, date-sensitive, or cannot be stacked. A custom system takes these needs into consideration.
A custom system also allows you to have products stored at different temperatures within the same warehouse. Also, if you store both food and non-food products in your warehouse, a custom system allows you to have racks that meet FDA requirements. For instance, you’ll need food-containing racks to be at least 12 inches off the ground, but racks holding non-food products can be lower.
Next, the number of pallets per SKU in your facility plays a role in determining the type of racking system you need. Warehouses with only one pallet per SKU can use selective pallet racking since it allows for variability in SKUs while leaving them accessible.
However, warehouses that store several pallets per SKU may want to have a higher-density storage system, such as push back or drive-in or pallet racking. If you have a high number of pallets per SKU that need FIFO retrieval, you may want to consider a pallet flow system.
Other Factors for a Customer Racking Solution
Here are some other factors that wight into the custom racking decision:
- Size and location of dock doors
- Location and spacing of building support columns
- Interior ceiling height
- Available warehouse space
- Product flow and accessibility
- Handling equipment and machinery you use
- Seismic activity in your area
Of course, your budget is one of the most critical parts of this decision. And it only makes sense that the more features and capabilities a racking system has, the higher its cost.
That’s where we come in. At Speedrack West, we offer a free no-obligation consultation. We will listen to your needs and concerns and help you figure out the type of pallet racking system that provides the best storage solution for your warehouse.
Then, if you choose us to design your custom system, here’s what we offer:
- Custom racking designs that give safety and efficiency
- Systems that meet or exceed all industry standards and regulations
- Technicians and installers to make sure your system is safe and secure and works the way it is intended
- Support staff to answer your questions whenever they come up
If you’d like to learn more about custom racking or schedule a free consultation with one of our design experts, please contact us today.