Warehouse Racking: The Ultimate Guide [2022]

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Warehouse racking systems are efficient and cost-effective storage options. Although they require significant upfront costs, high-quality steel racks are durable, providing a safe way to store inventory for many years. High-density storage can be vertically integrated, offering maximum space utilization.

Every modern warehouse should have a set of standards, ensuring equipment, inventory management systems, and space utilization aligns with their needs and budget. This means planning and designing the facility strategically. As one of the biggest and most important investments, buying the right pallet racking systems is fundamental to streamlining operations.

Why Your Business Needs Storage Racking in 2022

In 2022, the success of your business relies on much more than providing an excellent product or service. The modern consumer wants their order as quickly as possible, and it’s up to warehouse managers to meet these demands through efficient internal processes.

The equipment you use to store inventory determines its accessibility and significantly impacts order turnaround times. It also affects the layout of your facility, which subsequently impacts loading and unloading speed and worker productivity.

Installing the right warehouse equipment lays the foundations for fast and efficient order fulfillment. Optimizing your space may also reduce picking errors and workplace accidents, contributing to your bottom line.

OSHA Safety Compliance

A warehouse can be dangerous for workers, especially if they haven’t received proper training. Even well-organized facilities contain trip hazards, heavy-duty machinery, and hazardous materials that can easily cause an accident if mishandled. In 2020, there were 805 fatalities in the U.S. warehousing and transportation sector, with an average of over 15 deaths per month.

Erecting high-quality pallet racking with sufficient load capacities provides your business with dedicated storage spaces for your goods. This reduces clutter and trip hazards from the warehouse floor and creates stable structures for housing inventory.

Pallet racks are made from durable steel, and some varieties can withstand significant impacts from forklifts or machinery, minimizing the risk of falling equipment.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) mandates that storage facilities adhere to certain safety standards. OSHA updates its standards periodically, so businesses must ensure that their equipment meets regulations in 2022. Failure to comply with OSHA guidelines can result in penalties of up to $14,502 per violation, which may increase for repeated offenses.

Helps Businesses Adjust to Changing Consumer Demands

eCommerce sales have almost tripled in the past decade. Not only are customers buying more online, but they are also buying online more often. With next-day delivery becoming the new standard, customer demands have increased.

This trend is forcing warehousing businesses to find ways to increase the storage density of their facilities, improve product visibility, and create faster and more efficient retrieval systems. Fortunately, there are many storage options available to warehouse managers in 2022.

Pallet racking is application specific so that you can find systems designed for certain types of products, rotation systems, and retrieval methods. Pallet racks can be adapted for your specific warehouse, helping you meet the demands of the modern customer.

Allows You to Integrate Technology

Despite its rudimentary design, warehouse pallet racking can adapt to technological advancements. Carton flow racks are often built with powered conveyors, creating a semi-automated storage and retrieval system for lightweight goods.

Scissor tables and hydraulic lifts facilitate safe and efficient unloading and unloading of vertically integrated racks. These types of material handling equipment often have built-in safety sensors to protect users.

Label holders can be placed on warehouse racks to display barcodes. Warehouse workers may update or monitor stock levels in seconds if the barcodes are linked to the warehouse management system (WMS).

Popular Pallet Rack Systems in 2022

Pallet racks are praised for their ease of use, versatility, and safety. Although they can integrate with modern facilities and improve with pallet rack accessories, their core design has remained consistent for several decades.

At Shelving + Rack Systems, Inc., we provide a wide selection of pallet racks, ensuring you can find appropriate storage solutions that align with your budget and inventory management system. Here are some of the most widely used warehouse racking options in 2022:

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Cantilever Pallet Racks

Cantilever racks are built for heavy-duty storage items that can’t be confined to a pallet. They have a stable base, upright columns, and horizontal or inclined load-bearing arms. These units feature a unique design with no front-facing uprights, allowing easy access for loading and unloading long and bulky inventory, like lumber or sheet metal.

Pros

  • Storage flexibility for housing large, awkward, and non-palletized inventory
  • Easy to install and reconfigure
  • Provides easy access to goods via forklifts
  • High load capacities
  • Suitable for indoor and outdoor storage

Cons

  • Relies on forklifts to access goods
  • Requires a lot of floor space

SRS-i Solution

Our galvanized steel cantilever racks are perfect for harsh industrial environments, like steel manufacturing plants or lumber yards. The galvanized steel finish is corrosion resistant, making it an ideal indoor and outdoor storage option.

These racks offer no vertical obstruction and are available at heights of up to 20 feet. They come in single or double-sided configurations, with each tower capable of supporting up to 12,500 lbs.

Selective Pallet Racks

Selective racks are known for being affordable and versatile. While they aren’t the most space-efficient options, they can be vertically integrated and accommodate a range of standard pallet sizes. Warehouse managers typically accessorize selective racks with different varieties of decking, foot plates, and guards for safe and optimized storage.

Pros

  • Affordable
  • Versatile and easy to reconfigure
  • Accommodates a variety of product SKUs
  • Provides unrestricted access to all pallets
  • Excellent product visibility

Cons

  • Low storage density
  • High cost per pallet
  • Takes up a lot of aisle space

SRS-i Solution

Our Lyon pallet rack starter packs provide the perfect foundation for a quality selective racking system. Each unit is available in heights of up to 144 inches with a maximum of three beam levels. The largest units facilitate 48 inches of storage depth, which is more than enough for standard pallets.

The load capacities vary according to size. Our 144-inch units can support up to 9,370 lbs. These units are compatible with wire decking and various other accessories.

Drive-In Pallet Racks

Drive-in pallet racks offer a high-density storage solution ideal for businesses with large quantities of similar items. By eliminating the need for aisles, drive-in racks can store significantly more products than traditional selective racks.

This type of rack is also a good option if your business experiences seasonal fluctuation in inventory levels, as it enables you to make maximum use of available space. Drive-in racks are constructed with two rails that run the length of the system, and pallets are loaded onto these rails from the side.

Pros

  • High storage density
  • Fast access to goods
  • Reduces aisle space

Cons

  • Designed for homogenous or similar goods
  • Prone to impact from forklifts

SRS-i Solution

Drive-in systems require forklift access and should be reinforced with protective equipment. We stock several heavy-duty barriers to reduce the risk of damage from machinery.

Our modular protective barriers provide an affordable safeguard for your pallet racks. They can be configured in several ways to provide maximum coverage. Each rail is available in bright-colored finishes for easy visibility.

Other Types of Pallet Racks

There are several other pallet racking options designed for niche product types and different inventory management systems, such as:

  • Push back racks
  • Pallet flow racks
  • Drive-through racks
  • Double deep racks
  • Narrow aisle racks
  • Structural racks

We stock beams, frames, uprights, anchors, and accessories, ensuring you can build a custom storage system that fulfills your warehouse needs. Look through our online catalog to view our full range.

Optimize Your Warehouse with Reliable Equipment in 2022

Efficient warehouse systems are essential in 2022 as customer expectations for rapid turnaround times continue to increase. Whether you need an easy-to-configure teardrop pallet rack or a motor-driven roller conveyor for your pallet flow system, contact Shelving + Rack Systems, Inc. today.

We are a leading supplier of new and used warehouse equipment and carry high-quality goods from industry-leading brands. We also offer planning, design, consultation, and installation services, so you have everything you need for a warehouse overhaul.

For more information on our products or services, contact us at (800) 589-7225.