Things to Consider Before Buying a Carton Flow Rack System

Buying Carton Flow Rack System

Carton flow rack systems, also called gravity flow systems, are versatile storage and retrieval units for high-volume distribution centers or warehouses. A bed of carton flow racks is the perfect solution for warehouse managers looking for an innovative way to increase storage space while improving the speed and efficiency of warehouse operations.

The carton flow design relies on gravity roller tracks to transport cartons, totes, packages, and small items along an inclined system.

Although carton flow racks can support light, medium, and heavy-duty goods, they are best suited to case pick or piece pick items.

Carton flow products are typically homogenous or at least uniform in size, weight, and shape. As a relatively expensive storage option, it’s important to consider the benefits and applications before installing custom carton flow units.

How Do Carton Flow Systems Work?

Carton flow shelves support roller platforms and inclined wheels that can be mounted with cartons or boxes. The cartons use gravity to glide along the roller track, transporting the products from the loading face to the picking aisle.

Once the carton is unloaded, the next box automatically flows into the pick path.

This is a highly efficient system when compared to a standard static rack. It reduces travel time from the storage bay, decreases shelf times for products, and eliminates excessive manual handling within the warehouse.

The gravity flow design not only improves picking speed and turnover control but can also reduce labor costs significantly. If you require a high-density storage system, the labor savings are worth the investment.

Carton Flow Options

At Shelving + Rack Systems, Inc., we carry a variety of frames, racks, wheels, and conveyors to construct your custom high-capacity gravity flow rack. Our extruded aluminum conveyors are available in PVC or stainless steel.

We carry aluminum conveyors in a range of widths and lengths, ensuring you find the right size to maximize stock visibility and transport stability. We also supply matching aluminum supports for conveyors of all sizes, allowing you to build stable foundations for your system.

If you stock lightweight items with flat bottoms, consider using gravity skate wheel conveyors. These are manufactured with individual staggered wheels that prevent goods from moving as they are transported through the system. The wheels have spaces between them, reducing debris build-up and making maintenance easier.

We carry aluminum wheel carton flow conveyors constructed from galvanized steel. They are zinc plated, helping prevent corrosion. We also supply replacement skate wheels if yours are damaged or worn.

Why You Should Consider Buying Carton Flow Racking

A carton flow racking system has several advantages over a static storage solution. The main benefits of carton flow racking include:

Space utilization

A key advantage of gravity carton flow systems is space utilization. These systems are configured for high-density storage, maximizing warehouse space. Carton flow racks can reduce aisle widths as they typically don’t require forklift access.

All items and boxes flow into return lanes after use rather than being placed on the floor. This reduces clutter on the warehouse floor, making pick shelves more accessible to staff.

Carton flow rack conveyors


Carton flow racks are highly versatile. Conveyors are available in various sizes and styles to accommodate different product types. Steel roller conveyors are frequently used for heavy items, like engine parts. Skate wheel conveyors are better suited to lightweight packages or boxes.

Carton flow racks are also easy to assemble and don’t require complex and expensive motors to run. Carton flow systems may be assembled in straight lines or curved configurations, making them appropriate for all warehouse layouts.

Access to inventory

Another critical advantage of carton flow systems is accessibility. Racks can be mounted under or within the storage system to create a dedicated picking area. This setup accommodates fast and accurate high-volume picking. Adding tilt trays to the picking area makes access even more ergonomic.

High product turnover

As a high-density and efficient system, carton flow racking can cater to high volumes of product turnover. It is beneficial for businesses that handle large quantities of homogenous goods.

However, carton flow racks are also adaptable and easy to reconfigure. If a warehouse experiences seasonal turnover fluctuations, gravity flow systems can be adjusted to optimize the flow of products.

Continuous inventory rotation

Carton flow racking is designed for first in, first out (FIFO) inventory management. This means that the products that have been in the warehouse the longest (first in) should be the first to be picked (first out). Unlike static racking, gravity flow uses separate loading and unloading areas, enabling ideal product rotation for FIFO systems.

Cold storage

Industrial coolers are expensive to install and run. Optimizing these warehouse areas for efficiency is a major priority in food storage to keep inventory fresh.

Carton flow rollers allow continuous rotation of products, making them perfect for date-sensitive and cold storage items, like food and beverages.

Decreased picking time

Pallet flow racks reduce the need for pickers to cover large distances within the warehouse. This helps eliminate slow movers and helps facilities save operating time.

Shop for High-Quality New and Used Carton Flow Racks

If you want to upgrade your standard rack setup to a more dynamic and durable carton flow solution, Shelving + Rack Systems, Inc. is your go-to provider of new and used racks. We also stock carton flow accessories and replacement parts to help maintain the condition of your system.

We are not just equipment providers. Our comprehensive turnkey services include planning, procurement, design, integration, and installation. Our experienced team can also help you with project management or securing building permits from governing bodies. From the initial consultation to replacement parts, we are with you at every step.

Browse our online catalog to view our entire product inventory. For more information about our additional services, call us today at (800) 589-7225.