When to Consider Drive-In/ Drive-Thru Pallet Racking

When it comes time for a new storage system in your facility, pallet racking may be your best option.

Pallet racking consists of a set of upright frames connected in various ways by horizontal beams to provide storage for palletized or non-palletized product depending on the rack configuration and beam supports used.

There are five basic types of pallet racks:

  • Drive-In/Drive-Thru
  • Selective
  • Pallet Flow
  • Pushback
  • Cantilever

What is Drive-In/Drive-Thru Pallet Racking?

The drive-in/drive-thru pallet racking consists of a multi-level system of rails forming several levels of continuous pallet storage.

Drive In 3It can be installed as a drive-in system, which is accessed for product delivery and retrieval from only one side (LIFO) Last-In First-Out. It can also be installed as drive-thru, which typically delivers product to one side and retrieves it from the opposite thereby preserving First-In First-Out (FIFO) sequencing.

When Should You Use Drive-In/Drive Thru?

This type of storage is used when storage density desired is high (potentially 85%) and SKU base is low.

It is well suited for refrigerator or freezer environments where square footage costs are significantly higher. This is why this type of pallet storage is often used in the grocery industry.

What are the Challenges Associated with Drive-In/Drive-Thru?

Challenges with this storage system include:

  • It requires highly skilled forklift drivers since they enter the rack system every time they deliver or retrieve products.
  • It also requires quality pallets since they reside on rails that suspend them on each end.
  • There is no easy access to the internal pallets leading to trapped product
  • The system is designed for specific sized pallets and cannot be easily modified to accommodate larger or smaller width pallets.
  • There is an increased potential for injury and damage due to forklift impact.

When deciding on this type of storage, it is best to keep in mind your inventory receiving and delivering process, the number of SKU’s, and your FIFO and LIFO product needs.

If you have any questions or would like a facility assessment from one of our racking specialists, give us a call at (253) 872-7114.