Warehouse and organization: all about using the pallet rack

In a warehouse, the pallet rack makes it possible to use the storage space in an optimal way. Single or double deep, static or dynamic accumulation, single or double entry…: we invite you to find out more about the different types of pallet racking and the advantages of each of these racks. You will know which pallet rack to choose to optimize the storage capacity of your warehouse.

What is a pallet rack?

Also called storage rack or pallet racking, the pallet rack is specially designed to store palletized loads at height. It is made up of different elements:

  • Ladders: these vertical elements are made up of uprights joined together by braces.
  • The beams: attached to the ladders, these horizontal elements support the weight of the pallets.
  • The connectors: these parts welded to the ends of the healds are connected at the level of the perforations which punctuate the ladders.
  • The cell: it corresponds to the storage location of the pallet.
  • The span: it is made up of cells superimposed between two ladders.

Mostly metallic and able to support heavy loads, these pallet storage racks are commonly used in logistics warehouses. On the shelves are stored products packaged on pallets as well as empty pallets.

What are the different pallet rack formats?

When it comes to industrial shelving, there are several types of pallet racks:

  • Thesingle-deep pallet rack: this front storage structure allows the storage of a single load in the depth of the cell.

  • The double-deep pallet rack: two loads can be stored in the depth of each cell.

  • The pallet rack by static accumulation: the forklift enters the structure for the deposit and the withdrawal of the goods. This storage system is generally dedicated to large quantities of products of the same reference.

  • Dynamic pallet racking: the forklift stays in the aisle for pallet handling. On the beams are arranged layers of rollers, which ensure the movement of the pallets by gravity.

  • The mobile pallet rack: the racks move on rails on the floor. This motorized storage solution eliminates aisles between shelves and saves space.

Drive-in pallet racks also offer two loading modes:

  • LIFO (Last In First Out) or Drive-in: The first pallet loaded will be the last to be unloaded. This single entry loading mode is most often reserved for high turnover products.
  • FIFO (First In First Out) or Drive-through: thanks to a two-entry structure, the first pallet loaded on one side will be the first to exit the rack on the other side. This system is particularly suitable for perishable products.

What are its benefits?

The advantages of the pallet rack are numerous:

  • Storage space is optimized since the pallets are stored on the height of the warehouse. Drive-in pallet racks thus make it possible to increase the number of pallets stored by 80%. A mobile pallet rack saves 40% of storage capacity.
  • Products are visible, which helps improve inventory control.
  • Goods are easily accessible.
  • Versatile and scalable, it adapts to all types of goods and all warehouse configurations.

What are the calculation rules to optimize the use of warehouse space?

The design of pallet racking meets precise calculation rules, which aim to guarantee the stability, resistance and safety of storage facilities.

These calculations make it possible to predict:

  • The weight and height of a loaded pallet
  • The length of the healds
  • The height of each level
  • The number of levels
  • The height and depth of the ladders
  • The number of spans

Clearances are also taken into account. Thus, the pallet rack must be distanced from the walls of the warehouse by a minimum clearance equal to 5% of its height in the longitudinal direction of the aisle and 2% in the transverse direction. Standards also govern the spaces between the pallets, the distances between the shelves and the width of the aisles for the circulation of people and handling tools.

What are the safety rules to follow?

The main risks associated with the use of a pallet rack are:

  • Partial or total collapse of the structure
  • Load drop

Most often, human error is involved: poor placement of the load on the beams, impact against the structure when depositing or removing a load, lack of safety equipment, etc.

To ensure optimum safety conditions, it is necessary to:

  • Place fall arrest accessories: protective nets, mesh panels, trellises, ladder heads, etc.
  • Install protections at the bottom of ladders, such as bastaings, bumpers, shoes, etc.
  • Train the forklift operators: they must be informed of the rated load of the pallet racks, the conditions of use of the forklifts, the modes of circulation around the pallet racks, etc.
  • Check the condition of the structure at least once a year and make any necessary repairs.

The pallet rack, a solution for optimizing storage space and productivity in a warehouse.

Thanks to the pallet rack, you gain storage space in your warehouse. And the goods are stored in such a way that they can be easily identified and handled. Savings in space, time and productivity contribute to reducing the costs associated with the management and operation of the warehouse. The pallet rack thus contributes fully to the performance of your company.