6 Questions to Ask When Buying Pallet Rack Shelving

Warehouses can quickly get unorganized when proper planning of the space isn’t done. Many managers fail to take the necessary time to assess their warehouse and material handling needs before they choose their pallet racks and shelving. It has been a fact that enhancing your warehouse’s inventory management system can be a profitable move by effectively increasing the efficiency and the profitability of the space. 

When choosing pallet racks and pallet rack shelving for your warehouse, many factors need to be taken into consideration. These components are critical to making sure your materials flow through their processes smoothly. Every warehouse setup is going to require a different pallet racking system to run efficiently. Below are some crucial questions to ask yourself before you purchase the pallet rack shelving for your inventory management system setup. 

1- What’s Your Distribution Order? 

There are two basic methods of running an inventory. The first one is called “FIFO” and stands for “first in, first out.” The next method of inventory is called the “LIFO”and stands for “last in, last out.” For companies who store perishable items in their warehouses, they most likely follow the FIFO methods.This is typically the most profitable method to be used and warehouses can benefit from pallet flow racks for this type of high storage density. For a LIFO method, warehouses may benefit from a system that uses configurations such as the push back pallet rack system. 

2- What Are Your Loading Parameters?

Another thing to ask before purchasing pallet rack shelving is the safety of the system. The weight of your products and pallets need to be factored into the equation. Be sure you are fully aware of the weight limits of your specific pallets. This will help you determine how to set up your rack shelving in the safest manner. 

3- How Much Inventory Diversity and Volume Do You Have? 

Create a detailed list of all pallets you have to store in your warehouse. Take special notice of any products which are identical. Consider how much access you will need for each product and pallet. Some systems will offer better access to pallets you need regularly. Some systems will be best for those who have products and pallets that don’t need to be accessed regularly and may be stored out of the way. 

4- Should You Consider Galvanized Rollers Over Steel Rollers? 

Depending on the type of applications your rollers will be subjected to, galvanized rollers make more sense. Steel is durable but very susceptible to rust. Galvanized steel will protect your rollers from moisture and makes it practically rust-proof. For warehouses that deal in food distribution, this is especially important. 

5- What Applications Work Best with Full-Width Pallet Flow Racks? 

Any application which requires extra space and capacity is best suited using split roller-style pallet flow rack systems. When using full-width rollers, heavier pallets may cause minor deflections and cause a negative flow impact. Split rollers are also optimal for loads which are extra wide and unwieldy. The spacing and number of flow rails will be dependent upon the weight and dimensions of your product load. 

6- When Is Full Roller Racking Recommended Over Skate Wheel or Magnum Racking? 

Applications which use non-standard pallets should use full-width rollers on their systems. This is because most types of specialized pallets need full surface coverage below them to keep proper flow through the distribution line. Some special pallet types include slip pallets, container pallets, plastic pallets and corrugated containers.A full roller system is the most flexible kind of pallet flow. It is ideal for warehouses utilizing a variety of footprints and pallet sizes. If your pallet choices change frequently, full rollers can accommodate all types of sizes and shapes and will allow the design of your system to stay the same. 

Each of these questions and considerations needs to be factored into your pallet rack shelving system purchase. When it boils down to the basics, you will be trading off access over density because high-density systems are able to store more pallets in any given space. Low-density systems hold less because they allow for more space for aisles in a warehouse setting. However, the low-density systems allow for easier access to all pallets at any given time.

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