Blog 7 min read |

How to Plan your Warehouse for Racking

Getting the most out of your warehouse pallet racking system requires some planning. When arranging a move into an empty warehouse, or redesigning your existing layout, it is important to take the time to ensure you are designing a layout that fits both your current and future needs. Your pallet racking system is one of the most critical aspects of your warehouse design as it determines how your products will be stored, how you’ll access them and how you’ll navigate the aisles of your storage facility. When planning out your new warehouse, the racking supplier will provide valuable insight and play a large factor in the project as a whole. Since planning for warehouse racking is likely one of the larger projects your business will encounter, having professional guidance ensures positive results.


Why Do I Need Pallet Racking?

Many warehouses are crowded, busy, and full of inventory that gets frequently moved around. A poorly designed storage layout can quickly become the biggest bottleneck of your business as this can lead to your warehouse becoming cluttered, disorganized, inefficient, and ultimately a safety hazard. As a warehouse manager, you need this process to be optimized to fit your business’ needs. To accurately define exactly why you need a new pallet racking system, it is best to perform a comprehensive evaluation of your business operations to properly decipher the needs of your warehouse. Some considerations in this instance include:

– Inventory accessibility and quantity

– What you are storing

– Dock positions and warehouse layout

– Type of equipment/lift-trucks being used

– Your budget

Once you and your team have a fundamental understanding of these needs, you can begin to unravel which pallet racking system is optimal for your warehouse. Many warehouse facilities operate in different manners and there are different racking systems for each process, you may even want to consider having your racking system customized.


When to Start Planning

Although a complete overhaul of a warehouse racking system can be done, it is best to begin planning as early as possible to avoid a costly revamp. The earlier you begin planning, the better chance you have at creating an optimal system that is tailored directly for your operational functionality.

Warehouse racking installation can be a lengthy process, and with continual global supply chain challenges, estimating an accurate completion date can be difficult. It is also important to remember that a professional racking inspection is required to be done by a racking engineer to ensure that the racking system is safe for use, which should be done prior to the racking system being put into use.


Understanding Which System Is Optimal for Your Business

Much like your business, no two pallet racking systems are built exactly the same way. At North American Steel, we offer various types of racking systems for different types of industries and functions. Depending on your product and operations, certain systems may be more optimal for your business and workflow. Although your racking supplier will likely provide you with all the information needed, having a foundational understanding of the differences between each system will benefit you during this process.

Some of the most common systems include:
Single Selective Racking Systems
Double-Deep Systems
VNA (Very-Narrow Aisle) Systems
Cantilever racking Systems
Drive-In/Drive-Thru Systems

Each system is suited for a specific function and implementing the correct system for your operation is essential for the long-term growth and success of your business. By working with your racking supplier to design your warehouse racking system, this will allow you to meet all your specific storage requirements, and ultimately allow your business to operate at the highest level of efficiency possible. Oftentimes there isn’t just one specific type of storage system that can address all storage requirements. Racking and Storage Projects can involve complex warehouse layouts that are most efficient utilizing various forms of racking and shelving systems. For example, if your business stores a mix of perishable and non-perishable food items, like in a food and beverage or grocery distribution facility, your warehouse may benefit from a combination of Single Selective Pallet Racking as well as a higher density FIFO (First-In-First-Out) based storage system, such as a Pallet Flow System. This is all dependent on the needs of the operation.


Choosing the Right Supplier

There are many racking suppliers across the globe that offer racking systems to companies, but like your business, each supplier operates differently. Ensuring you have an experienced and well-versed supplier ensures accurate and professional results.

North American Steel is a manufacturer and end-to-end service provider of steel storage equipment that specializes in high performance and cost-effective customizable storage solutions. For over 50 years, we have assisted our customers in making lasting improvements to their facilities by providing the most advanced material handling equipment, warehouse racking systems, and engineering inspection services in the industry. At NAS, we pride ourselves on manufacturing and supplying one of the widest ranges of pallet racking and shelving product lines and systems in the North American Industrial Storage industry. With the capabilities to manufacture Roll Formed, Structural, Hybrid, and Knockdown (Bolted) pallet racking and shelving systems, North American Steel has the unique ability to address practically every operational requirement and budget imaginable, regardless of the industry, without the need for compromise.

If you are interested in learning more about our racking systems, browse our website for more information, or contact us to speak with a pallet racking expert directly. Are you interested in receiving a quote for a particular project? Click here to Request a Quote!