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What is high-density pallet racking - and do I need it?

21st October 2021

Making more from less

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For businesses who are just beginning to store goods, it can be difficult to gauge what kind of storage is necessary. There are numerous different types and configurations of storage, and the needs of a small business can differ dramatically from those of a large logistics company.

High density pallet racking may sound like it’s only for big warehouses, but that couldn’t be further from the truth. Instead, it’s about maximising whatever space you do have – and installing racking that is efficient, reliable, and flexible to your growing business.


Pallet racking explained

The needs of a small or medium sized business may only extend to simple shelving in a stockroom or archive room. If you have a large amount of stock, documents or other objects to store, however – or if they are too bulky to fit in any current storage solution – pallet racking may be the answer.

Pallet racking is exactly what it sounds like: large metal racks that can accommodate ‘pallets’, essentially large trays of goods or other objects. These pallets may vary in size, but are all designed to hold items in a secure manner, and in a way where they can be easily placed on and removed from shelves. These pallets may be moved to another area to be picked specialised vehicles such as forklift trucks, but some smaller items may be picked directly from the pallets by personnel.

As well as the many types and sizes of pallets, there are many different forms of pallet racking. The design of pallet racking will vary depending on the type of goods it is intended to store, as well as the dynamics of the space it’s in. For instance, some racking is better suited to perishable goods such as food or medicine, whereas others are better suited to the long-term storage of bulky items such as building materials.


What is high-density pallet racking?

High-density pallet racking is racking which is designed to use the available space as efficiently as possible. It includes a variety of formats which are configured in a way that allows more pallets or items to be stored in a smaller area. Depending on the format, this can require changes in how the space is used and the pallets are accessed, such as the use of specialised forklifts.

High-density pallet racking options include:

  •     Double deep racking
  •     Drive-in pallet racking
  •     Narrow aisle racking
  •     Push back pallet racking
  •     Pallet shuttle racking

These racking formats are often characterised by a unique approach to storage and retrieval. For instance, pallet shuttle racking uses motor-assisted shuttles to deliver pallets to the back of the racking, while drive-in pallet racking allows forklifts to (as the name suggests) drive into alcoves in the racking in order to place and retrieve pallets.


Benefits of high-density pallet racking

The primary benefit of high-density pallet racking is to save space, allowing you to either store more pallets or occupy less space in your warehouse. For instance, a narrow aisle pallet racking system will occupy as little as 50% of the space of traditional pallet racking, meaning you can quite literally double the amount of pallets your warehouse can store.

This is especially beneficial if you are a business that’s looking to create an entirely new pallet racking system. By designing your racking from the ground up in a high-density format, you’ll ensure that you make the best use of your space from minute one. This will prevent you from having to purchase new racking later on, and give you a better sense of how to expand should you require it. 

Due to the improved storage capacity of high-density storage, it’s not uncommon for businesses to leave free space in their warehouses, either in terms of floor space or headroom above the racking. With our modular racking formats, this can easily be expanded in future using the same racking type, an entirely different format, or a multi-tier system that occupies the unused headroom in your facility.


How do the racking formats compare in terms of costs?

There are a variety of reasons why it is difficult to directly compare racking types in terms of cost. The exact proportions of the racking, the pallet sizes it will accommodate and the features it will include all depend on the dynamics of your space, and the requirements of your business.

Pallet shuttle racking, multi-tier racking, or racking built to accommodate an AS/RS will naturally be more expensive due to the scale and technologies they involve. However, this will all be dependent on the scale they are constructed at, and the efficiencies they create in terms of improving on your current racking format and layout.

The common factor with all forms of high-density pallet racking is that they will save space compared to standard racking, and thus will save you money in terms of the space they free up, either for more storage or other applications.


Enquire about high-density pallet racking today

Invicta Racking are industry leaders in the provision of high-density pallet racking solutions, having worked in the field for almost three decades. During that time, we’ve provided racking for a number of leading clients in their fields, including Wahl, Crown Records and DataSpace. 

The combined ingenuity and experience of Invicta’s five divisions means that all of our racking is designed and engineered in-house, and installed by qualified experts. For more information on our services and to enquire about your own high-density pallet racking solution, get in touch with us today.

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