What Type of Metal Shelving Would Work Best for You?

steel shelving

Metal shelving has a variety of applications for the modern warehouse, factory, office, and retail store. If you’re contemplating purchasing shelving for your new business or expanding your existing one to increase your storage space, it’s worth looking at the metal shelving options available to find the best one for your needs.

Shelving vs. Racking

First, it’s worth understanding some of the differences between shelving and racking. While sometimes used interchangeably, shelving and racking refer to different systems.

Shelving systems are generally more compact, lighter in weight, and designed to store relatively small items for retrieval by order pickers without using material handling equipment. In comparison, racking systems use horizontal beams to support palletized inventory items for retrieval by forklift trucks and pallet jacks.

Industrial Shelving

If you need a durable and strong shelving system for your warehouse, industrial steel shelving is the best place to start. Depending on the type and configuration, industrial steel shelving provides a cost-effective and highly durable storage solution to the warehouse or factory. Three examples of industrial steel shelving that could benefit your warehouse are:

Tri-Bolo Boxer™ Box Shelving

This type of shelving offers fully welded box construction for increased strength and support. The corners are also lapped to increase the strength of the system. The clip-type assembly allows for cost-effective and simple installation.

Shelves are available in either 20 or 22 gauge, while the uprights are 14 gauge and allow you to adjust the shelves in 1½” increments. If you order the closed unit, the rear and end panels are 24-gauge steel. For increased corrosion resistance, the finish is a baked-on gray enamel.

Depending on the configuration you choose, the Boxer can support between 550 and 850 lbs.

Tri-Bolo Klip-It™ Industrial Steel Shelving – Light Duty

Using the same time- and cost-saving clip-type assembly method that the company is known for, Klip-It™ shelving offers the warehouse manager a heavy-duty storage solution.

Ruggedly constructed, these shelving units use offset post angles to support heavy loads and are designed to be used with compression clips. Once snapped into position, the normal process of loading shelves increases locking, ensuring that the system remains secure and rigid. This shelving system uses the cold-rolled steel fabrication method, allowing for ease of assembly and adjustment.

In addition, the steel components feature triple bends on all four sides to increase the structural strength of the system. Regardless of the type of shelving system, if it’s made from steel, it needs to be protected from the elements, and Tri-Bolo applies baked-on gray enamel finish to prevent rust. It is available in either open or closed configurations, depending on the specific requirements of your warehouse. Sway braces add extra support.

Little Giant All-Welded Heavy-Duty Steel Closed Shelving

Made using reinforced 12-gauge steel shelves, this heavy-duty system features a per-shelf weight capacity of 2,000 lbs. and is enclosed on three sides to keep your inventory items secure.

Uniform in design, this shelving system also allows you to anchor the footpads for additional stability. This system is ideal for storing heavy machine parts, castings, dies, and metal stock. These shelving units are powder coated for increased corrosion resistance, ensuring that the steel remains free from rust.

Boltless Shelving

Boltless or rivet shelving uses rivets or connectors to attach shelves to upright columns or posts. This allows you to easily assemble and install shelving systems without the use of bolts, nuts, washers, or other fasteners. Since boltless shelving units are easy to install, they’re also less expensive and time-consuming to integrate into your warehouse.

Boltless shelving is also highly configurable, allowing you to adjust the spacing between the shelves according to your specific storage requirements.

If you’re in the market for a boltless shelving system, consider the Rivet-Rak™ Steel Shelving (Spacemaster) by Tri-Bolo. Due to its durable design, no diagonal brace is required for additional support. As a result, worker access to the inventory items on the shelves is increased — double-entry access.

A boltless design, no clips or other fasteners are required. Assembly is possible in minutes, allowing for easy installation. Rugged and versatile, this shelving system can support medium to heavy loads of up to 350 lbs per shelf.

Mobile Shelving

Type of Metal Shelving

Mobile shelving systems use carriages that run on tracks built into your warehouse or storage room floor. When aisles between the shelving units are not needed for worker access, the mobile shelving system closes these spaces, increasing storage density and reducing wasted floor space.

These systems may be either electrically driven or manually operated using a hand crank. In addition to increasing storage density, mobile shelving is also highly secure. When the aisles are closed, the system fully encloses the inventory, protecting it against unauthorized access and potential theft.

Caster Mobile Shelving

Alternatively, through the use of heavy-duty casters, you can turn a stationary shelving unit into a mobile system. Mobile shelving of this type allows you to conveniently relocate your storage systems according to the specific requirements of your warehouse without the need for unloading. When you’ve found the ideal position, simply lock the casters to secure the shelving unit.

Bulk Storage Racks

When you need a storage system that blurs the line between shelving and racking, bulk storage racks provide a cost-effective and strong option for heavy, bulky items. This type of system is ideal for the warehouse, factory, or auto-body shop, where heavy items, such as engine blocks, dies, castings, or machine parts need to be stored.

Tennsco Bulk Storage Racks

Made from 14-gauge welded upright frames and beams, Tennsco’s Bulk Storage Racks can support up to 3,800 lbs. provided the loads are evenly distributed. This rack shelving system is available with your choice of either particleboard or corrugated steel decking and features adjustable shelves. One of the strongest shelving systems available, this should meet your needs when weight is a factor.

Wire Shelving

Wire shelving consists of multiple steel wire strands arranged in a mesh. The open design of wire shelving allows light to penetrate the shelves and air to flow freely. This ensures that your products remain fresh and dust-free, and your workers can readily identify and retrieve inventory items as needed. Because this system is open, it increases the effectiveness of fire suppression systems since overhead sprinklers can access every shelf.

Wire shelving units are also highly customizable. For example, by adding S-Hooks, you can create continuous runs of shelving or corners. If you need garage shelves or home storage, wire shelving is a great option.

Midwest Wholesale Container Wire Shelving

Using carbon-steel shelves that you can assemble without tools in a matter of minutes. If you need chrome wire shelving for the increased corrosion resistance, that finish option is available. Posts have locking grooves spaced apart in 1” increments, allowing you to adjust shelving height according to your storage needs. This system also has bolt levelers, so you can keep your shelves square on less even surfaces.

Corrosion Resistance

For shelving and racking systems to remain functional for years, they must withstand the elements. This is especially true if you need to place your storage systems outside or in refrigerated areas. Stainless steel is sometimes used as a shelf material because of its inherent corrosion resistance and ease of cleaning.

However, stainless steel is generally more expensive than carbon and alloy steels; therefore, manufacturers often choose to apply a rust-protective finish on these materials instead, such as powder coating, chrome plating, or galvanizing.

Shelving + Racking Solutions for Every Warehouse

At Shelving + Rack Systems, Inc., we offer a wide variety of storage solutions for sale, from selective pallet racking to industrial steel shelving. For the warehouse that needs versatile, human-accessible storage solutions, we carry several types of shelving.

These systems are designed for many applications, from storing perishable goods in refrigerators to heavy-duty mechanical goods on the shop floor. Give us a call at (800) 589-7225, so we can help you find the right shelving system for your business needs.