Warehouse Racking Systems

Very Narrow Aisle Racking (VNA)

Very Narrow Aisle Racking (also known as VNA racking) is especially designed to allow very efficient use of not only your floor space, but height space too, therefore making the most of the cubic space available within the warehouse.

Insufficient floor space can lead to your warehouse to being crammed with homeless pallets placed anywhere they might fit, however one solution could be within the height of the warehouse. The unused vertical area in your warehouse can become viable, by converting it into safe and secure storage for your pallets. Making good use of the generous headroom in the warehouse whilst reducing the width of the aisles can greatly improve the density of your rack storage.

How does it work?

Owing to the very narrow aisle width between the high rows of racking, this is a solution which maximises storage capacity by getting as much functionality out of both the floor and height space as possible. When compared to a standard wide aisle racking system, the VNA racking solution offers much more storage capacity through the additional pallet locations overhead and the extra rows.

VNA racking does require specialist fork lift trucks, as the aisle widths would be too narrow for a standard truck to operate. As there is far less room between the racks, the VNA trucks are designed to work best in long straight lines guided by rails or concealed wired guiding. The trucks reach higher and work at a faster pace than conventional trucks which can increase productivity and efficiency whilst saving time.

Why is A Flat Floor Essential?

VNA racking must be installed on a concrete floor which is perfectly flat. It is essential that the warehouse floor meets the required specifications including a super flat surface. VNA racking is normally higher than standard racking, and with an uneven floor the trucks can tilt and nock the racks at height which is highly dangerous.

What is the aisle width of a VNA system?

The aisle width and the highest point of the racks will depend on available height space and floor space. Operational needs and inventory requirements are also a consideration as well as budget, however when we consider the 3.5-4 metre aisle width of a wide aisle racking system and compare it with the VNA system which can be as little as 1.5 metres, there is a huge difference. There is also a middle option, which is the narrow aisle racking system where aisle width is around 2.9 metres. This is less than the standard racking width and therefore allows more storage capacity, whilst not quite as narrow as the VNA system which means a standard sized truck can access the aisle. When considering a narrow aisle configuration, it’s important to understand how the narrow aisle and VNA systems vary.  

Very Narrow Pallet Racking System VNA
Narrow Aisle Racking on a Smooth Flat Floor (1)
Narrow Aisle Racking on a Smooth Flat Floor (1)
VNA racking with P&Ds

Who Uses VNA Racking?

VNA racking is the perfect solution for any operation looking to utilise height space just as much as floor space. The solution can enable growing businesses to accomodate increased inventory volumes just by utilising redundant height space. A bespoke VNA racking system is designed to support the individual operation, inventory needs and maximise the particular space.

What are the comprising components of VNA Racking?

Similar to a standard or wide aisle racking system, the main components used to create the structure consist of frames, uprights and beams. In addition, guidance for the fork lift trucks is required and this can be in the form of mechanical or wired guidance. The mechanical guidance is a rail which runs along the outside of the structure acts as a barrier between the truck and the structure. The slim struck is fitted with additional overturned wheels which run along the rails without the body of the truck itself coming into contact with the rails. The wired guidance consists of a thin electromagnetic cable which runs centrally along the aisle floor and connects with the truck sensors to guide it.  

How Safe Is VNA Racking?

VNA racking can be built as tall as the ceiling allows which means pallets are loaded and unloaded at very high locations. The specialist trucks used in conjunction with VNA racking are highly efficient with capabilities that ensure this is can be achieved safely. There are a number of different options when choosing a VNA racking truck including a man-up truck which enables the operator to travel along with the pallet to the top, enhancing visibility during activities at height. To add protection from the towering rear racks, backstops can be fitted to prevent a pallet from being placed over the edge accidentally or anti collapse mesh can be fitted to close the back to ensure the security of goods on the pallets.

The option to include VNA Racking P&Ds

The VNA racking trucks have the capacity to operate with speed and efficiency between the racks only to become less effective when operating in the areas beyond the racks. This could mean that activities such as transporting pallets between the rack and external doorway are likely to be a slower process when using VNA trucks. A counterbalance truck would be much more efficient in this area; however a counterbalance truck is unable to put the pallets away in the VNA system once transported from the goods-in area. The solution most operations turn too is the pick and deposit stations (P&Ds). This is a distinct pallet racking accessory located at the entrance of the VNA racking system and allow the counterbalance truck to drop the pallets off so that the VNA truck can pick them up and put them away efficiently. There is the choice of either castellated P&Ds which means every other racking row is extended to enable the counterbalance truck access to the P&Ds with room to manoeuvre. Or there is the cantilevered P&Ds and these are located at the very end of every row and both trucks work in a two directional motion when picking and placing the pallets.

The benefits

Why Choose VNA Racking?


Efficient Space Utilisation

The maximisation of both floor and vertical space allows a significant increase in storage capacity, even by up to 50% for some businesses


Direct Access to Stock

Stock is easily located with 100% direct access even at height with the specialist trucks.


Taller Racking Saves Money

Making the most of your vertical space you can store more pallets in one floor space area, therefore reducing cost per pallet stored.


Increased Productivity

Because VNA racking uses faster specialist trucks, the picking and loading process can be achieved safely and efficiently.


Reduce Damage

The risk of damage to the racks is significantly reduced as the fork lift trucks are guided down the aisle with no requirement for manual steering, therefore lowering likelihood of collisions.


Increased Safety

Sophisticated handling features on narrow aisle trucks and being “man up“ improve the safety of load handling for your staff.

Why choose wsl?

What Sets Us Apart

Our dedicated and experienced team will take time to understand your goals and asses your needs. Our extensive market knowledge and practical experience enables us to design and develop a bespoke system that is as unique as your business. Here at WSL we aim to maximise your available space and increase productivity through creating innovative and ‘outside the box’ solutions. Our commitment to excellence, our portfolio and our recommendations provide our customers with confidence in our ability to deliver solutions that are not only superior, but very cost-effective. Our in-house services simplify the process from design to installation by giving you just one port of call. By continuing to remain independent across the whole market we commit to providing our valued customers with the highest quality and – wherever possible – British products, all at competitive prices. We aim to fit our pallet rack systems with as little inconvenience to our clients as possible, using highly experienced fitters overseen by qualified project managers.

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Some Case Studies

Our warehouse Racking experience is extensive. Take a look at a very small selection of some of the pallet racking projects we have completed over the years.

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