7 Reasons to Use Open Steel Wire Shelving for Storage


One of the biggest decisions warehouses and storage facilities face is deciding which type of shelving is best for their operation. There is a range of suitable shelving types to choose from, depending on the type of product being stored and the size and layout of the facility.

Among these, steel wire rack shelving is an increasingly popular choice due to its unique benefits compared to other shelving systems. Some advantages depend on your specific application: cold storage capability, easy fire sprinkler access, and high shelf content visibility, for example. Discover seven reasons to use steel wire rack shelving for storage.

 Easy Custom Installation

One reason that many storage facilities and warehouses switch to wire shelving is their ease of installation. Since this shelving is lighter than most other types, installation takes far fewer employees, saving time and money on labor.

Steel wire can easily be customized to fit the unique needs of your operation. It is constructed of steel uprights and reinforced wire shelves formed from a mesh pattern of support wires. The wire shelving is adjustable, with incremental shelf position markings on the uprights where the shelf retainers are placed to support each shelf.

Steel wire shelving units can also be finished in various ways, such as with antimicrobial coating to suppress mold, mildew, and bacteria growth or nickel or chrome plating to comply with FDA food storage standards.

Steel wire shelving is available in several forms, including freestanding shelves and individual bins. Most metal wire storage racks feature adjustable shelves to fit the dimensions of your product.

A great example of a versatile, adjustable steel wire shelving system is Shelving + Rack Supply, Inc.’s FastRak bulk storage racks with wire mesh decking. This system is designed to hold various products with lightweight wire mesh decking and high weight capacity. The shelves are easily adjustable to fit the dimensions of your inventory, so this storage solution is suitable for various warehouse settings.

With so many ways to tailor your shelving to fit your storage needs, steel wire shelving is one of the most versatile storage solutions on the market.

 Enhanced Airflow

One of the most important benefits of steel wire shelving is the increased airflow the stored products receive compared to normal steel shelving. Since there are gaps between the wiring, air can flow freely, allowing products to remain fresh.

This is particularly useful for warehouse and storage operations storing food, beverages, medicine, agricultural goods, and other perishable items. Even if the stored goods are non-perishable, the increased airflow prevents the product or its packaging from degrading due to dust or other eroding factors.

Another major benefit of the increased airflow provided by steel wire shelving is a decreased risk of a potentially-catastrophic fire. Standard shelves make fire-retardant systems far less effective since sprinkler systems typically operate from above.

Without gaps in the shelving, the sprinklers cannot reach the fires if they are not located on the top shelf. With steel wire shelving, the fire system can more easily fight the fire, potentially saving lives and thousands of dollars.

Shelving + Rack Supply, Inc.’s wire decking is a great warehouse option. The decking can be used with most frame and rack models and features heavy-duty wire arranged in a two-by-four inch layout to increase airflow.

 Rust and Corrosion Prevention

Since steel wire shelving has gaps between the wiring, the increased airflow reduces dust accumulation compared to traditional shelving. This is a major benefit for storage facilities, as dust can degrade the quality of the product and even render it unsellable in some cases.

In addition, steel wire shelving fights against the development of rust through a combination of factors: the increased airflow reduces the accumulation of moisture, while the plating on the wiring is specifically designed to fight rust accumulation.

With traditional steel shelving, rusting can be an issue that significantly shortens the lifespan of the shelving. Operations that use steel wire shelving can save significant sums of money in the long-term by reducing the need for replacement shelves.

Shelving + Rack Supply, Inc.’s wire mesh decking is an ideal choice for operations that need a corrosion-resistant storage option. The decking features a waterfall design for a smooth storage surface and is made with durable five-gauge wiring, making it suitable for many storage applications.

 Increased Product Visibility

Another major benefit that steel wire shelving provides storage facilities is the increased visibility of stored products. This increased visibility can significantly enhance productivity and picking rate for operations that rely on hand-picking.

By allowing stored products to be easily seen, steel wire shelving reduces the labor hours required to complete regular tasks, such as inventory. This can significantly reduce labor costs and increase worker productivity.

Another often overlooked benefit of the increased visibility of steel wire shelving is an enhanced ability to detect broken, defective or spoiled products. In some cases, such as in facilities that store fruit or vegetables, this can save the warehouse from having to discard an entire batch of product. Over the long-term, this can increase profitability.

Shelving + Rack Supply, Inc.’s Muscle Rack storage unit is an excellent choice for warehouses that need enhanced product visibility. The rack features wire decking and is NSF-certified for dry food storage, making it particularly useful for businesses that store food products.

 Reduced Need for Maintenance

Cleaning traditional shelving systems can be a labor-intensive chore. Depending on the setup of the warehouse or storage facility, this can involve removing products from the shelves, disassembling the shelving, and thoroughly cleaning the system.

On the other hand, each wire shelf can be easily cleaned; its reduced number of corners and hard-to-reach spaces lessen the time needed to clean the shelves properly.

The design of the steel wire shelves is intended to resist dust and dirt accumulation, reducing the frequency with which the shelves must be cleaned. Combined, steel wire shelves significantly reduce the need and difficulty of maintenance.

One option for warehouses that need to convert their shelving units to wire decking is Shelving + Rack Supply, Inc.’s wire rack deck. Since the decking is designed with convenience in mind, operations can easily convert their shelving with minimum tool usage. Moreover, the deck’s high-strength steel construction facilitates its use for the storage of a variety of products. Its steel mesh wiring is easy to clean and reduces the accumulation of dust and debris, significantly reducing the need for constant maintenance.

 Reduced Costs

Since steel wire shelving requires less material to produce, the price per shelving system is often lower than other shelving or racking systems.

Besides a lower initial cost, the nature of the design of steel wire shelving lowers the cost of maintenance and labor. The combined cost-saving benefits of steel wire shelving can save operations thousands per year, making this factor one of the primary reasons facilities choose to switch to wire shelving.

 Storage Capacity

While each set of wire shelves will have a different capacity, steel wire shelving is strong and can support various products. Shelving + Rack Supply, Inc.’s R3000 shelving units are a fantastic option for operations that need high-capacity, heavy-duty shelving. The highly-customizable units are available with wire decking so you can get all the benefits of wire decking in a high-capacity storage system.

Contact a project management specialist at Shelving + Rack Supply, Inc. to learn about the different types of steel wire shelving and their weight capacities.

What Types of Products Are Commonly Stored Using Steel Wire Shelving?

Steel wire shelving is suitable for storing an assortment of products and goods; however, it is most useful for storing perishable goods. Among the types of products most often stored using wire shelving are:


When storing medicine, it is critical to keep the product in a controlled, well-ventilated area. Steel wire shelving helps encourage proper ventilation. The increased visibility of steel wire shelving can help storage facilities more easily locate inventory.


Food is difficult to store since it is prone to spoilage, pests, and mold. By increasing the airflow around the product, steel wire shelving helps prevent products from degrading. Over time, this can save operations considerable sums of cash by reducing their shrink rate.

Plants or Agricultural Products:

Like food and medicine, storing plants or other agricultural products can be difficult. These products need exposure to light and airflow to stay fit for sale; unfortunately, traditional storage methods do not afford the products these factors at the necessary level.

Steel wire shelving allows air to freely flow to the product while exposing it to increased light levels. These products are often stored in outdoor warehouses, where traditional shelving is prone to rust, dirt accumulation, and molding. As a result of these factors, plants and similar products are often stored using steel wire shelves.


Steel Wire Shelving at Shelving + Rack Supply, Inc.

If your storage facility or warehouse stores perishable goods, switching to steel wire shelving can save you money spent on labor, replacing shelves, or replacing perished goods.

Even if your facility does not store perishable goods, it is worth considering using steel wire shelving for the benefits they provide. If you think steel wire shelving can help your business, call Shelving + Rack Supply, Inc. at (800) 589-7225 and learn why upgrading your shelving can improve your bottom line.