When to Use Shelving Instead of Racking

Most warehouses are going to be stacked wall to wall with some sort of pallet racking; it’s practical, easy-to-find, and fairly economical. However, it’s not necessarily the best solution for your storage needs. As a matter of fact, it might be a little overkill; like using an impact driver when a screwdriver will do. For smaller objects, pallet racking is typically too deep and too tall, making it difficult to stock or retrieve efficiently. What you need is a good shelving unit. Just like racking, shelves are available in an assortment of configurations and types, based on your needs. Let’s take a look at a few options and how they can help you.

(originally posted July 13, 2017)

Much like, pallet racking, shelving is made up of upright frames, but instead of being connected by horizontal beams, they are connected by shelves. These are typically used for lighter, smaller items when pallets are not required.

Wide Span Shelving

Wide Span Shelving is typically a lighter duty version of a standard pallet rack. It provides the same versatility, access, and sizing as selective pallet racking, but is used when the overall capacity stored is less than light duty pallet rack standards.

This shelving isn’t typically designed for pallet storage, but is ideal for cartons, hand stacked storage, bin or tote storage, etc.

Wide span shelving is most common in loose pick, totes, and small item storage. It can also be stacked to form shelf supported mezzanine structures that can maximize vertical storage.

Industrial Shelving

This type of storage offers multiple levels of storage or picking in a relatively small footprint.

These shelves typically store anywhere from 300 to 1,000 pounds per shelf level. They can incorporate dividers, drawers, and many other accessories that augment the product stored.

Industrial shelving is extensively used in the automotive and electronics industries for small parts picking. It is also versatile and can be stacked to form multi-level mezzanine supports.

It is less durable than pallet rack or widespan shelving, but is significantly less costly per storage location.

For more questions on shelving options, please contact us at (253) 872-7114.