Case study

Cantilever racking: Making your oddly shaped items easier to store and manage

Apr 7, 2021 | Cantilever Racking

Looking for heavy duty racking but not in the form of pallet racking? Not all items are suited to palletised storage, particularly items that are long in length that may also be quite heavy such as pipe, steel bars or timber. Due to their size and weight, bulky items such as white goods or coffins are also unsuited to a pallet racking storage; however cantilever racking is an effective solution used across a wide spectrum of businesses.

Coffin storage using cantilever racking


What is cantilever racking?

A robust yet flexible storage solution, cantilever racking is specifically designed to accommodate the characteristics of products that make them unsuitable for palletised storage. Racking for pallets is structured to support a high volume of fully loaded pallets using integrated pallet shelves whilst utilising space through its multiple row and multiple level format. For cantilever racking, the principles of safe secure storage and space utilisation is the same however the structure is designed to accommodate the varying shape, weight and length of items that the pallet shelving format is unsuited too.


How is cantilever racking structured?

The cantilever structure consists of these main steel components:

Base – Steel beams with one fixed to the end of each bay and positioned horizontally extending out on the ground, providing balance and stability.

Upright – These stand tall and are fixed to the base creating a frame.

X Brace – A sturdy X shaped panel which is fixed between to uprights to keep the structures position.

Arms – These are fixed to the uprights and extend out running parallel with the base feature. The arms form support for inventory which is placed across them, however tubular arms can feature instead to allow rolled items to be placed around them. This is an innovative cantilever racking design which is ideal for those delicate rolled fabric items.

Optional Extras

Retaining Pins – Fitted onto the end of the arms, these pins which vary in length act as a barrier preventing items on the arms from rolling over the end of the arm and falling. This is particularly useful for loose items that can roll or slide.

Decking – Steel wire, timber, chipboard or steel panelled decks can be fitted to cantilever racking, closing the gap between the arms leaving a solid long running shelf with no obstructive bay frames limiting view or use. Perfect for those storing items that may vary in length and size that would otherwise fall through the gap between the arms.

The assembly of the above components create a slim open fronted structure which can be up to ten metres tall.

Empty cantilever structure where the components are in view


Who uses cantilever racking?

A very versatile solution, cantilever racking systems is the perfect storage support for a wide range of businesses. The bespoke structure can be designed to match the needs of your inventory through the length and positioning of the cantilever arms. A long pipe for example can be laid across as many arms as required, or the width of the space between the arms can be suited to the product. Cantilever racking can be used to store large, heavy individual products like coffins or for the bulk storage of high volumes of the same type of product like timber, steel or pipe.

Cantilever racking used to store pipes


How flexible is cantilever racking?

Not all storage requirements consistently stay they same. For many businesses, change is frequently common and for others change could be sudden and unexpected. The good news is that if your needs change, your cantilever racking system can adjust very easily and quickly to accommodate those changes. This is mainly through the adjustable arms which can be repositioned at any time simply by unclipping the arms and fixing them on at a new position easily. For example your tall fridges have sold out and now you have more of the smaller fridges to display or store. By moving the arms around you can create more support to place more small fridges into the structure safely. Or maybe your short wood planks have been replaced with longer ones in which case the arms can be adjusted to support the new length and extra bays can even be used to extend the structure.


How can cantilever racking make best use of space?

Cantilever racking is a slim structure by nature which in itself means is uses up a limited amount of space. The fact that it can be built up to ten metres tall means you can utilise height space as well as floor space. The structure can be built against a wall to save the rest of the floor space for other uses or in situations where higher volume storage is needed, cantilever racking can be doubled up by adding an additional base to the opposite side of the upright and making the structure double sided and this still only uses a limited amount of floor space.

cantilever racking positioned back to back


Can cantilever racking support external storage needs?

Cantilever racking is ideal for external storage and is often found in builder’s yards, garden centre yards or warehouse yards. The robust structure can withhold all weather conditions and when galvanised, the risk of corrosion is minimised and the structure will last even longer. To help protect products whilst being stored outside on a cantilever racking system, a shelter can be fitted to cover the structure and inventory.

External cantilever racking


Is access and visibility easy with cantilever racking?

Because cantilever racking is open-fronted with no obstruction between each bay, it provides great visibility and very easy access. You can check or even count inventory when viewing from the aisle. The items resting on the cantilever arms higher up can be accessed using a fork lift truck which doesn’t need to be specialist.


Is cantilever racking the right system for my inventory and operation?

A cantilever racking system is a bespoke solution and at WSL we can provide a cantilever racking system that is designed and built around your inventory needs and your operation. As a designer, manufacturer and installer of cantilever racking systems, we can manage your project from start to finish:

Cantilever racking design

An experienced Technical Designer from our team can visit you at your facility to spend a little time getting to know your operation and inventory type. This will allow our designer to create a bespoke solution unique to your particular requirements and as a manufacture, there’s room for extra flexibility so we can meet even the most complex requirements.

Cantilever racking fabrication

Our highly accredited in house manufacturing facility simplifies the process of your project. Our designer will pass your design to our engineers where it will enter production and as a Full SEMA member accredited to the UKCA certification, safety and quality is guaranteed. Meanwhile you’re dedicated Project Manager will make contact with you to keep you informed during the production of your cantilever racking system and to arrange the installation.

Cantilever racking installation

On the agreed installation date your cantilever racking component parts will arrive on site directly from our factory where our highly professional installation team will be ready and waiting. The parts will be off loaded and the structure will be installed and completed within the agreed time scale whilst overseen by your Project Manager. The great thing is, cantilever racking is quick and easy to install without any major disruption.

Warehouse with cantilever racking installed


Is periodic racking inspections important for cantilever racking?

Like all warehouse racking systems, cantilever racking is a structure that holds inventory which is very often quite heavy. There is also a risk of accidental bumps into the structure from moving handling equipment. For this reason we strongly recommended your cantilever racking to be inspected every twelve to eighteen months. If you have a combination of other storage systems such as pallet racking or mezzanine floors it’s simpler and more cost effective to have all inspected during the same visit. At WSL we offer a rack inspection service which covers all types of storage systems inclusive of advanced reminders so you know when your inspection is due.

Discuss your cantilever racking project with WSL

To get expert advice on cantilever racking and to find out whether its right for your operation, contact WSL today on 0113 2045350 or email us at

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