Case study

Which pallet racking type is suited to your business?

Pallet racking comes in many different formats, so how do you decide which type would be most beneficial to your business?

To help you to understand the different factors involved when choosing the right pallet racking solution for your warehouse, I have been talking to our most experienced design technicians and here is what I discovered:

Why one type does not suit all

The primary function of a warehouse is to store high volumes of inventory and a distribution or fulfilment centre will include additional services like sorting and packing. Whatever the services each warehouse is distinct by its size, operations and inventory and with the right pallet racking system, you can do more than store your pallet loaded items, you can streamline your operation and increase productivity. A pallet racking system designed to suit your particular warehouse will support the speed and volume of your inventory, streamline the picking process and utilise your space.

Height space is just as relevant as available floor space

Pallet racking can be used to utilise the full cubic Tall narrow aisle pallet racking area of your warehouse, giving you maximum storage capacity. The independent structure can be built as high as your warehouse allows which is a great advantage especially when floor space is limited. Your height space could be the key to solving the problems caused by insufficient space usage within your current warehouse.

Tall pallet racking structures – Assess the space between the top of your current pallet racking system and the ceiling. If all you see is an empty unused space, perhaps you could consider utilising that space with taller racks?

Examples of tall pallet racking solutions:

  • Narrow and very narrow aisle racking (VNA) solutions present an opportunity to utilise both floor and height space by narrowing your aisles to allow room for additional rows of racking whilst building your racking taller. Thanks to evolving technology behind fork lift truck innovation, the narrow aisle can be accessed and pallets stored at high levels can be reached using a specialist slim-line, high reaching fork lift truck.
  • A multi tier racking system is made up of tall pallet racking structures from floor to ceiling with built in floor levels, integrated mezzanine, lifts, pallet gates and staircases.

WSL provide a free site survey which entails a visit to your site by one of our expert designers which allows you to discuss your requirements in detail. Whilst there we will measure the dimensions of your warehouse so we can design a solution which will perfectly suit your cubic space whilst meeting your operational and storage needs.

Why inventory characteristics influence pallet racking type decisions

The characteristics of the goods you receive, store and despatch will largely dictate the type of pallet racking system most suited for to your warehouse operations. Different pallet racking types have distinctive features designed into them giving you a fully comprehensive solution to suit your inventory, space and operation:

Compact pallet racking structures – Where height space is not so generous there are numerous pallet racking types which Drive in racking system for compact storage will allow you to increase storage capacity by utilising your floor space. This is achieved through deep storage racking systems where aisles are fewer and pallet racking rows are increased. Compact storage is also an energy efficient solution for those storing in temperature controlled environments. Condensing your products by using a compact storage system uses less space which in turn reduces the energy consumption.

Examples of compact pallet racking solutions:

  • Aisle numbers can be reduced by placing standards pallet racking rows back-to-back creating a double deep pallet racking system which a highly popular cost effective way to increase storage capacity.
  • Pallet live racking is a compact storage system allowing pallets to be stored within deep lanes and only two aisles. One for loading and one for picking situated at either side of the system. As a pallet is loaded onto the slightly tilted racks it moves automatically on rollers towards the picking pace.
  • Mobile pallet racking consists of standards pallet racks mounted on to a mobile base allowing the rows to move. Space for only one aisle is needed which is opened as and when required.

First-in First-out (FIFO) – A pallet racking system which uses the FIFO method will automatically rotate your pallets. This is especially useful when stock rotation is priority as it will save time and eliminate errors which can occur when rotation is done manually.

First-in Last-out (FILO) – If stock rotation isn’t a priority the FILO method will allow you to pick the last pallet loaded into a deep storage system quickly and efficiently.

Here are the methods some pallet racking systems use:

  • Pallet Live – First-in First-Out (FIFO)
  • Mobile pallet racking – First-in First-out (FIFO) or First-in Last-out(FILO)
  • Push back pallet racking – First-in Last-out (FILO)
  • Drive –in pallet racking – First-in Last-out (FILO)
  • Drive through pallet racking – First-in First-out (FIFO)
  • Shuttle racking – First-in First-out (FIFO) or First-in Last-out(FILO)

Your budget matters

A new pallet racking system may be a significant investment however the right pallet racking system will certainly save you money in the long term due to an increase in productivity. The cost of a new pallet racking system will likely be a concern, so our advice would be to plan your budget in advance. You can speak to our team before you begin planning to discuss budget costs to help you plan. WSL strive to find the most efficient, cost effective solution for our clients matching both their goals and budget.

Why you should consider your Intended pallet numbers

Whether it’s a new warehouse fit out or you want increase storage capacity within your current setting, it’s important to think about how many new pallet locations will comfortably meet your current and future needs. If future growth is predicted, WSL can design your pallet racking system so it will adapt easily as your needs change.

Why WSL?

WSL has been designing and implementing pallet racking systems for over 30 years and use the extensive knowledge and expertise of our design team to provide the perfect solution for your unique requirements. Whether a small start up or a large organisation we can create a solution which will serve your business needs now and in the future.

Call our team today for more information on 0113 2045350 or email us at

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