Selecting the right pallet racking system for your business can be overwhelming. From deciding on the best type, to selecting the best configuration, to the supplier you can trust, there are many things to consider. This guide provides expert advice and step-by-step instructions for choosing the perfect pallet racking solution for you and your business.
Assess Your Space and Load Requirements.
Before you can start shopping for pallet racking, you will need to assess your space and load requirements. You’ll want to make sure that the material and size of the pallets you are using are suitable for the rack you choose, as well as consider how much weight each level of the rack must bear. It is also important to investigate different types or combination of racks based on your load requirements.
Knowing this information will allow you to select a system that specifically meets your needs. Start with calculating the total storage you require, based on the type of items being stored. Remember, adjustability is important if your inventory levels fluctuate seasonally.
This basic step will enable you to focus on a suitable racking system, and will enable your supplier to understand your pallet racking space and load requirements. Knowing this information will give you confidence to select a system that specifically meets your needs.
In addition, today, companies need to look beyond product and logistics concerns. Equally important is to ensure that the material and size of the pallets you are using will help you move forward strategically. Think:
- Are the pallets the most suitable for products in industries you serve?
- Are they meeting your customers’ future trends?
- Are they meeting your environmental philosophy?
Consider the Size of Materials and their Handling.
Proper configuration of the pallet racking system is critical to optimizing warehouse space and storing products and materials safely. Different racks accommodate different sizes and shapes of materials and their handling. So, the first thing to consider here is the size and weight of the items you plan on storing.
When selecting a pallet racking system, consider the warehouse space and the clearance your forklifts need to maneuver safely. It’s important to account for aisle width when selecting a rack to ensure you don’t overfill your space. If you plan on using multiple levels of pallet shelving, check that you have sufficient overhead space for another level. Pallet racking can come in many shapes and varieties such as selective racks: Selective pallet racking, drive-through racking, push-back racking and double-deep racking. Things to consider:
- Do you need pallet selectivity?
- Do you need to store multiple pallets of the same SKU?
- Is the FIFO access important to your product shelf life?
- And importantly, what type of forklifts do you have now?
- Are you prepared to invest in new access equipment to save floor space?
Determine Your Material Flow Pattern and Layout Requirements.
Besides sizing and weight limitations, when selecting a pallet racking system you also need to take the flow of materials through your warehouse into consideration. The storage pattern desired will determine the best racking system type for you. A pushback racking system works well if you want forklift operators to load product from one end of the rack and then have it available to retrieve from the other end. However, if you need items that are stored further back in the row easily accessible, drive-in or deep reach racks may work better. Here, employees access items from either side of the row, making them ideal for first-in/first-out inventory distribution. Properly assessing your warehouse flow pattern enables you to select a rack system that will meet your product storage needs without hindering productivity.
Importantly, you want to account any future growth to ensure that your needs do not outgrow the system too quickly.
Consider the Benefits of Adjustable Pallet Racking Systems
Selective pallet racking is the most common and most flexible storage system used in warehouses and distribution centers across all industries to maximize storage space while providing easy access to stored items. Selective racks are a type of industrial storage system that is designed to store a wide variety of items. They typically comprise upright frames and horizontal beams, which can be easily adjusted to accommodate different sizes and weights of items.
Adjustable pallet racking systems are a great choice for warehouses and distribution centers since they offer the flexibility to change the layout of your storage layout as needed. Having this type of flexibility for configuring your racks can be helpful when introducing new products into the warehouse or accommodating seasonal fluctuations in inventory levels. Importantly, adjustable racks typically require less floor space while providing more storage capacity so they can be an effective way to maximize use of space.
Next, focus on additional pallet rack accessories to maximize safety and provide protection against damage from minor collisions with forklifts.
Select the Right Pallet Rack Accessories for Optimal Functionality and Safety.
Once you have the type of pallet racking system selected for your warehouse, it is important to choose the correct accessories to ensure optimal functionality and safety. Pallet rack accessories amplify the safety features that already come with a typical pallet racking system by introducing additional safety components. This includes products such as column protectors or upright protectors, row spacers and seismic anchors which add further protection against damages caused by forklifts and prevent even minor collisions from causing extensive damage.
Other rack accessories that should be considered in your warehouse design, include base plates, wall ties, upright guards, guard rails. All these are critical components to help ensure your pallet rack systems hold up and meet the increasingly strict compliance laws in Australia. Consulting with a professional can ensure you select the right accessory options, so your storage system operates both safely and efficiently.
Get good advice early.
Your own assessment can only go so far. Irrespective of the size of your planned pallet racking project, you may want to consider having a professional warehouse solutions specialist to assess your warehouse space and provide information on the safest and most efficient ways to store your materials. They can utilize software to design the ideal warehouse layout and orientation for racks depending on the types of materials you are storing, maximizing storage space while ensuring safety. Having an assessment done also ensures that any rack system you select meets industry standards, keeping warehouse operations safe and productive.
What makes a good pallet racking supplier?
Consider this. The global pallet racking market size grew from $10.4 billion in 2022 to $11.4 billion in 2023 at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 9.5%. The emergence of highly automated, clad-rack warehouses is a trend gaining popularity in the pallet racking market. Major companies operating in the pallet racking sector have shifted their focus to automation products to gain a competitive advantage.
But what is good news for pallet racking manufacturers and big suppliers can pose a threat for some businesses using pallet racking. Here is why.
While product innovation often provides significant revenue and profit-driving benefits it is inherently expensive. The trends towards high volume and high automation in pallet racking design benefit most the large-scale operations and super-warehouses. With focus on this type of customers, many pallet racking suppliers will start discriminating in their customer choice. Smaller, more conventional warehouses may become marginalised.
If your warehousing operation falls into small to mid-size category and you want to get a great service and fair advice, you need to look for a pallet racking supplier who specifically chooses to provide expertise and quality support small to mid-size businesses.
Racking Safety Inspection.
Once you have selected and installed the racking system that best fits your needs, you must ensure ongoing pallet racking safety by regular inspection. The Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA) recommends that an authorized personnel inspect the racks and the area around it at least once a month or after any event that could cause damage to it. This involves examining each component of the rack for signs of wear, tear or visible damage as well as checking for any potential safety hazards in its vicinity such as loose materials or equipment clutter. Additionally, assess if any out-of-date items are stored in the racks and remove them immediately from the warehouse if needed. By carrying out a thorough inspection on a consistent basis, you can help maintain your pallet rack system in proper working condition and guarantee employee safety in your facility.
Bottom line: Talk to a Trusted, Experienced Pallet Racking Supplier.
Selecting the right pallet racking system for your warehouse or distribution center requires careful consideration of many factors and they all have a direct impact on your business success. Properly installing and maintaining a pallet rack system within your warehouse environment is essential to the overall productivity, safety, and efficiency of operations. To ensure you select the correct pallet racking system for your needs, it’s important to consult with a trusted, experienced supplier.
A reputable supplier with extensive knowledge about pallet rack systems, and preferably a full understanding of materials handling equipment, will be able to provide sound advice on selecting the best type of racking for your space constraints, load requirements and material flow pattern. They can also guide you on selecting the right accessories that will optimize safety in the workplace by protecting against collisions or other incidents. Ideally, they will provide maintenance guidance and support, so your racks remain safe and stable long-term.
Ultimately, when working with a trusted provider you can rest assured that your pallet racking system meets or exceeds recommended industry standards and will help keep operations running quickly and safely.
Following these guidelines will help create an efficient storage layout that operates quickly and safely.
Contact ISS Equipment to start the conversation. Our experienced Pallet Racking and Materials Handling team will provided you with a holistic, professional advice.
Call: 134 234. Send us a message for a quick response.