Warehouse racking is absolutely vital in the overall plan of maximising space and efficiency in any warehouse environment. In addition to optimising space, racking systems are imperative for the safe and effective organisation of products allowing for streamlined picking and easy access, saving time, stress and money in the long run. However, there are many types of warehouse racking systems each with their own pros and cons and ideal purposes.
Standard pallet racking
If there is such a thing as the default racking option in warehouses, this is it. These racks necessitate an aisle to allow for forklift access. It is, therefore vital to understand the overall flow and layout of a warehouse before choosing racking that makes the most of the available floor space. The very worst thing that can be done is to leave unusable wasted space or create inaccessible racking options. Virtually all goods are shipped on trucks using pallets, however, so variations on the pallet racking theme are an obvious choice for almost all storage facilities.
Multi-tier racking is an excellent option for large stocks of items with small individual unit sizes. It will enable warehouse owners to take advantage of vertical space. Multi-tier racking options can be very flexible, allowing for the option to add or remove tiers according to individual needs. Multi-tier racking is best for lighter objects that are picked and stacked manually. Everything must be very well organised and attention must be given to weight limits and ceiling to rack height guidelines.
Longspan racking / Widespan Shelving
This kind of racking is a scaled down version of pallet racking and can be an ideal heavy duty racking solution for storing hand-loaded items in warehouses. Similarly to pallet racking, longspan racking is easy to assemble and adjust but is more suited to storing boxed goods and individual items as opposed to entire pallets. There are a great many size options and although 500kg per shelf is the typical limit, loads of up to 1000kg can be made possible, making this an ideal option for heavy items.
Cantilever racking systems are typically constructed from hot-rolled structural steel sections. This ensures that they are incredibly robust and thus able to withstand the heavy duty rigours of very demanding industrial operations.They are ideal for narrow aisles and can be fitted with steel safety barriers, column protectors and bollards to protect valuable stock. Cantilever racking is the perfect option for:
- Aluminium sheet and plate
- Heavy pipes or tubes
- Raw materials
- Worktops & laminates
- Scrap vehicles
- Steel sections
Should the budget and space allow, mezzanine flooring can, on its own merits be an exceptional space-saving storage option. Installing a mezzanine floor can often be done without planning permission, it is an expensive option but has great potential for customised features, like specialist lighting, lift systems and conveyors.
As seen there are a whole host of warehouse racking and storage solutions for all manner of warehouse and industry types.