Guidelines for Designing Cantilever Shelving Systems

The cantilever is an exceptionally useful supporting design for shelving and racking systems, offering strong support without compromising on accessibility and visibility of stock. When designing cantilever shelving systems, there are a number of considerations to make, which is why we’ve prepared these guidelines to help you with your plan.

Cantilever Shelving Systems

Common usage scenarios for cantilever shelving systems include libraries, retail/supermarket spaces, and warehouses with personnel-based operations. Designing the right system involves considering the needs of your operation and finding a system that works for your stock and your storage requirements.

Establishing Your Requirements

Knowing the exact requirements of your storage is important because it can dictate a number of important factors regarding your shelving. At a basic level, you need to make sure your shelving can hold the full weight of your stock, as well as fit all your stock on the shelving.

Looking deeper, you need to consider who will be accessing the shelving – specialized warehouse staff might tolerate a complicated space-saving arrangement and still operate efficiently but retail customers will enjoy something more convenient and easy to understand. Likewise, trained staff can use a kickstand or step-ladder to reach an upper shelving tier, but you can’t expect that of a customer either.

Consider all the requirements you have for your shelving and bear them in mind when making decisions about the shelving type and system you employ.

Developing an Ideal Shelving System

  • Decking – In most cases, you’ll want to deck your shelving. Traditionally, library cantilever shelving has a smooth, sheet-metal surface, as do retail and other customer-facing uses. For a warehouse, you could benefit from a mesh structure that saves on load-bearing capacity, increases visibility and allows for sprinkler flow in an emergency.
  • Single or Double-Sided – One useful feature of cantilever storage is that you can support two sides from the same vertical support columns. This can improve your efficiency, as well as save on hardware purchases but might not be suitable for every scenario.
  • Shelving Specifications – You’ll need to make sure that your cantilever shelving is safe and usable. For worker or customer access, it’s no good making the shelving so deep that people can’t reach to the back of it. Most likely, you’re using cantilever to enjoy a nice open front-facing side that allows for unimpaired access to stock. Make sure your shelving is safe by spacing cantilever arms evenly and sufficiently along any storage aisles to avoid bending or sagging of your decking and stock.

Planning Your Space

When you buy cantilever shelving systems online, it isn’t enough to just consider your storage requirements, the space around your shelves will also affect your cantilever shelving systems.

In a retail environment, you normally need to be able to fit at least two shopping carts down aisles between stock. Warehouse environments, conversely, might present the opportunity to use a space-saving solution such as mobile-shelving. Additionally, in reserve libraries, archives or laboratories, mobile shelving might be a great space-saving choice to maximize the variety of items you can carry.

Customizing Your System

Once you’ve decided on the cantilever shelving type, made a suitable layout for your operation and are ready to purchase, you should also consider customization options to make your shelving an ideal fit. Pricing label display sleeves, brackets, dividers, and spill trays are all options that can make your cantilever shelving function better in different environments.

Make good use of accessories and color-coding if necessary to enjoy an efficient, useful cantilever shelving system at the end of your hard work and investment.

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