Industrial Metal Shelving: What to Know Before You Buy

Industrial metal shelving is a secure storage option for your warehouse. Unlike storage racks, shelving offers storage space for the smaller items in your inventory that are manually stored and picked.

Before you buy industrial metal shelving, you should consider what needs to be stored, your storage facility’s safety features, and which specific shelving system will serve you best.

Industrial Metal Shelving vs. Racking

The terms racking and shelving are often used interchangeably. However, they are distinct storage systems that differ in the retrieval method of the items stored. Shelving is made for employees to access the items manually while racking stores palletized items that must be removed using material handling equipment.

The storage capacity of shelving is significantly smaller than rack systems. Industrial metal shelving can still handle heavy items, but it is not built for bulk storage.

Choosing the Correct Shelving Type

Not all industrial metal shelving is made the same; some shelving offers higher weight capacities, while others offer easily reconfigured designs. Before you buy a shelving solution for your warehouse, consider the different types of industrial shelving options.

Industrial steel shelving

Steel shelving comes in open and closed configurations to allow for easy access to your stored items. They can be customized to hold products that vary in height, length, and weight.

The Tri-Boro’s Klip-It™ Industrial Steel Shelving – Light Duty shelving solution offers 225 to 400 lbs. of storage capacity per shelf. The shelves have compression clips that snap into place, allowing shelves to be independently adjusted. The dimensions of the shelves range from 36”x12” to 48”x30” to accommodate your specific inventory.

Boltless shelving

Boltless shelving uses rivets, often teardrop-shaped, to connect shelves to vertical columns. Because of this, boltless shelving is commonly referred to as rivet shelving. The assembly for this type of shelving is fast and easy because no fastening hardware is necessary.

Industrial Boltless Shelving:

The Rivet-Rak™ Steel Shelving – Spacemaster is a boltless steel shelving option by Ti-Boro. You can order six shelf units with a capacity per shelf of 350 lbs. or an eight shelf unit with 261 lbs. per shelf. The air circulation makes the shelving ideal for plants and produce.

Wire shelving units

What wire shelving units lack in weight capacity, they make up for in visibility, air circulation, and accessibility. They are the preferred shelving solution for the food service industry.

Wire shelving is ideal for freezer storage because the design allows for even temperature distribution. Food storage facilities often opt for an antimicrobial coating to ensure food cleanliness.

Wire Shelving Units

This stainless steel wire shelving unit by Olympic Storage Company displays the simple design and large storage area. With notches at 1” increments, these wire shelves are easily customizable to fit the needs of any freezer or warehouse.

Heavy-duty roll-out shelving

Heavy-duty roll-out shelving is part shelving, part rack storage which gives warehouse options for its use. It can hold 1,500 lbs. evenly distributed per shelf. The shelves roll out for easier loading and unloading of heavy items.

Heavy-duty roll-out shelving

The Vestil Heavy Duty Roll-Out Shelving unit offers four shelves for a total of 6,000 lbs. of load capacity. The roll-out shelves can be locked into their extended position for maximum security when loading and unloading. This shelving unit is for the warehouse that needs heavy-duty storage but does not need a full-on pallet rack system.

Mobile shelf trucks

In a dynamic workspace, mobile shelving is an excellent, flexible storage option. With wheels on the bottom, handles for controlled movement, and up to a 1,000 lbs. load capacity, mobile shelf trucks offer workers unparalleled storage freedom.

Mobile shelf trucks

The Tri-Boro Mobile Shelf Truck features two rigid wheels and two swivel wheels for maneuverability. It has an 18-gauge bottom tray and four 20-gauge shelves for added stability and support.

Safety Considerations

Industrial metal shelving is great for many storage needs, but there are safety considerations you should know before purchasing a unit.

Some shelving systems must be secured to the ground. If your shelving unit comes with baseplates and anchor bolts, then they must be screwed to the ground.

Your floor must be level and flat enough to safely store your items in vertical shelving. A warehouse floor also must be strong enough to withstand the weight of a fully loaded shelf. An industrial floor is usually made of concrete, linoleum, epoxy, or vinyl composition tile. OSHA requires warehouses to post their floor’s load capacity in poundage per square foot.

You must conduct monthly checks of your shelving systems. Note any damage to vertical supports, bolts, wall mounts, and baseplates. If there is serious damage, then the weight capacity of the storage unit may be compromised.

You must ensure the shelving you are using has the load capacity to handle the items being stored. Keep the load capacity of the shelves displayed on the shelves so that workers know how much they can load onto each shelf. You risk damaging products and injuring employees if shelves are overloaded.

Get the Right Industrial Metal Shelving

Industrial metal shelving will provide your company with the storage it needs for its smaller items. Outfit your warehouse with shelving and racking units from Shelving + Rack Systems, Inc.

Contact us at (800) 589-7225 with any questions about shelving or other storage systems, or contact us online to request a catalog, request a free quote, place an order or ask us a question about a category of our products.