When planning a new warehouse storage facility, you must carefully consider which storage solutions are the most suitable for your business and budget. Pallet racking is one of the most widespread warehouse storage rack systems to invest in, as it makes efficient use of your storage space and provides easy access to forklifts.
However, there are many factors to consider regarding pricing. Learn about the different types of pallet racking systems you can purchase for your warehousing facility, their corresponding options, and their approximate pricing.
Pallet Racking Types
Rack systems are separated into three broad categories based on their total capacity: low-density, high-density, and dynamic systems. It is critical to understand the features and pricing of each system to use your warehousing space as efficiently as possible.
The final pricing of each system varies depending on the manufacturer, the presence of safety elements such as wire decks, dividers and carton stops, and the style of the uprights.
For example, a teardrop pallet racking system refers to a rack featuring arrays of teardrop-shaped holes on the uprights, in which beams, arms, and frames lock in place without the need for bolts.
Low-density warehouse pallet racking systems employ simpler and less expensive designs than high-density systems, allowing for better access to the stored products at the expense of storage capacity. The two main types of low-density racking systems are single-deep and double-deep.
Single-deep pallet racks, also known as selective racks or selective pallet racks are the simplest and least expensive type of pallet racking. Pricing varies between $50 and $80 per pallet position.
The main advantages of a single-deep pallet rack system include unparalleled access to stored goods and compatibility with any number of aisles or any forklift type. However, this solution also features the lowest storage capacity.
For additional storage capacity, you may want to use a double-deep pallet rack system instead. As the name implies, each rack may accept up to two pallets. This system is a cost-effective method of increasing storage capacity, typically costing $65 to $90 per pallet position.
The main disadvantage of a double-deep system is the need to unload the front pallet before you can access the rear pallet. This system places a natural limit on flexibility and requires your facility to possess a double-deep reach forklift.
High-density systems prioritize maximum storage capacity over ease of access, making them better suited to long-term storage. This category is where you’ll see triple-deep and higher storage solutions.
The two main high-density pallet racking system types are drive-in and drive-through.
A drive-in rack features a set of pallet rack beams designed for a forklift to enter the structure from one end so the driver can stack pallets inside of it. Drive-in racks are at least two pallets deep and two pallets tall but can be any depth and any height within the limits of your facility.
The main advantage of drive-in racks is that they allow you to reduce the quantity of floor space devoted to aisles so that you can store more products. A forklift may simply enter the rack and deposit or withdraw a pallet. The main disadvantage is similar to that of a double-deep system; you cannot access a specific pallet in a given level without first removing the pallets in front of it.
Drive-in racks cost anywhere between $80 and $135 per pallet position, depending on depth. For example, a typical four-deep racking’s price ranges between $115 and $129.
A drive-through rack is similar to a drive-in rack but is open-ended at both extremities, allowing forklifts to enter and exit from either side. This system increases accessibility and permits the use of First In First Out (FIFO) stock rotation.
Drive-through rack pricing is similar to that of drive-in racks, which may be advantageous if your storage facility heavily depends on FIFO rotation.
Dynamic systems offer unique mechanisms for product storage. Although they tend to be the most expensive, they can provide your warehouse with unique advantages.
Gravity flow rack
A gravity flow rack (also called a pallet flow rack) is a specially engineered racking system featuring angled shelves, typically two to five pallets deep. Each shelf possesses roller conveyors or wheels, allowing the pallets to roll down. Products are loaded from the back and retrieved from the front. Retrieval of a pallet allows the subsequent pallets to roll down and reach the lowest point of the shelf.
Like drive-through racks, gravity flow racks are ideal for FIFO stock rotations, making them an excellent choice for storing products with expiration dates (e.g., food products). Unique rack systems designed to accept individual cartons or products instead of pallets are also available.
The main disadvantage of the gravity flow system is its cost and complexity, ranging from $135 to $260 per pallet position for a two-deep system and $250 to $400 per position for a three-deep system.
A push-back rack combines stationary pallet rack uprights with sets of nested rolling carts riding on inclined rails. Each cart can accept one pallet, and there are as many carts as pallet positions. For example, a four-deep, three-high push-back rack will have a total of twelve carts.
A push-back rack operates on an inverse principle of a gravity-flow rack. Instead of loading the rack from the back and retrieving the pallets from the front, forklift operators can load and retrieve pallets directly from the front end.
When retrieving a pallet, gravity will naturally let the next cart roll to the system’s front. When storing a new pallet, the forklift operator can simply push the current pallet back with the new one.
Although this system offers an undeniable density advantage (up to 65% more efficient than selective racking), it requires well-trained forklift operators and careful placement of each pallet on the carts.
It is also a relatively expensive solution, costing $110 to $140 for a double-deep system, $130-$170 for three-deep systems, $155-$200 for four-deep, and $175-$220 for five-deep systems.
Optimize Your Warehouse With the Right Storage Solutions
Shelving + Rack Systems, Inc. produces high-quality storage solutions for warehousing facilities of all sizes. With over 40 years of expertise in materials handling and storage, we can provide you with a wide range of warehousing products and services, from single racking systems to complete facilities designed and equipped by our team.
If you’d like to discuss storage and racking requirements with us, feel free to call 800-589-7225 for a consultation and a free quote. Our project managers can help you find the optimal racking systems for your business.