Benefits of Cantilever Racking Systems

RED Cantilever

A cantilever racking system is a highly versatile storage solution and a worthwhile addition for many warehouses and storage facilities, especially if they need to store long and heavy objects.

Cantilever racking systems provide various benefits for warehouse storage, but they are not the ideal solution for all inventory. Read more to find out if the cantilever is the right fit for your storage needs.

What Is a Cantilever Rack?

A cantilever rack is a heavy-duty warehouse storage system for storing and providing easy access to specific types of long, bulky items. They are easily recognizable by their protruding arms and their lack of front-facing posts.

Cantilever racking systems can be single-sided (arms protruding from one side of the uprights only) or double-sided (arms protruding from both sides of the uprights).

Types of Products That Work Best With Cantilever Racks

Cantilever racking systems are ideal for storing long, heavy objects that cannot be palletized or packaged easily. Typical examples include:

  • Bar stock (e.g., stainless steel, iron, aluminum, etc.)
  • Plumbing pipes
  • Lumber
  • Plywood
  • Tubing
  • Wire coils
  • Building materials (e.g., drywall, sheetrock, flake board)
  • Vinyl rolls


Most cantilever systems are roll formed boltless designs, which are lighter and less expensive than structural models. While they can support many heavy items, you may quickly reach the upper limit of their weight capacity if you store cumbersome objects.

By upgrading to structural cantilever rack storage systems, you can store even heavier objects, such as:

  • Furniture
  • Engines and heavy vehicle components
  • Boats
  • Large crates
  • Other large and oddly-shaped objects

Major Components of a Cantilever Rack

Most cantilever racks feature four parts: bases, upright columns, support arms, and bracing.

  • The base bolts the rack system to the floor and provides stability to the entire racing system. A complete cantilever rack features at least two bases.
  • The upright column is connected to the base and determines the system’s overall height. Each column features mounting points for support arms, which you can easily adjust.
  • The support arms are connected to the upright. The system must have at least two arms per horizontal plane to store items safely and distribute the load evenly.
  • Bracings are bars connecting the upright columns, lending additional strength to the system and increasing its overall weight capacity and resistance. There are two types of bracings: straight braces (horizontal bars) and X-braces (diagonal bars). Combining both types provides extra support to the racking system.

Advantages of Using Cantilever Racks

Cantilever racks offer numerous benefits to warehouse and storage system owners. Here are some of the most critical advantages:

Ease of Installation

A typical cantilever rack is easy to install and does not require expert intervention to fit in your storage space. Most warehouses are already equipped with the tools and personnel necessary for assembling a complete system, making it cost-effective.


Items stored on cantilever racks are easier to access than most other storage systems due to the lack of a forward-facing beam or upright.

For example, a forklift operator wishing to retrieve items from a cantilever rack can simply position themselves in front of it, lift the objects from the support arms, back up, and drive to their next location.

Increased Warehouse Storage Capacity

Cantilever racks can store many items that other storage systems may not be well-suited for, effectively increasing the warehouse’s storage capacity and versatility and keeping merchandise off the floor.


You can customize the whole system to fit your storage needs. For instance, you can configure your cantilever rack’s number of uprights, the distance between each upright, the system’s overall height, and the number of bracing bars.


One of the most significant advantages is the possibility to adjust the height of your system’s support arms. This adjustability allows you to fit loads of various sizes and match your side loaders’ or forklifts’ maximum operating height.

Great for Heavy Loads

Although the weight capacity of a cantilever system varies depending on multiple factors, they are generally easily capable of supporting heavy loads. Check your model’s specifications for precise values.

Disadvantages of Using Cantilever Racks

Although they are versatile, cantilever racks are not intended to meet every warehouse storage need. Here are some of the most critical disadvantages.

Unsuitable for Palletized Products

Due to their design and primary intent, a cantilever rack is not meant for storing standard palletized goods as a pallet racking system can. It can, however, complete a warehouse already equipped with pallet racks.

Costs More than Standard Pallet Racks

Although there are ways to save money by using roll formed cantilever racks where appropriate, the average cost of these systems remains higher than standard pallet racks.

Uses a Lot of Space

Although they are an excellent choice for organizing your warehouse, cantilever racks take up a lot of real estate, requiring you to carefully manage your available floor space.

Select the Best Cantilever Racks at Shelving + Rack Systems, Inc.

Shelving + Rack Systems, Inc. is an ISO 9001-certified, Michigan-based supplier of warehouse shelving, racking, and other storage systems. We offer a large inventory of products, ideal for improving productivity, optimizing warehouse organization, and making the most out of your storage space.

Browse our online catalog today and find the best cantilever racking system for your needs.