Blog 8 min read |

Pallet Racking: Used vs New

North American Steel Used vs New Pallet Racking

As a pallet racking manufacturer, we are often presented with the age old question – “Why would I buy a new pallet racking system when used pallet racking systems are cheaper?”

In the short term, yes, used pallet racking systems are more cost effective than new pallet racks. However you must always keep in mind the long term costs involved with a racking storage system.

While used pallet racking systems may offer upfront cost savings, the long term costs to repair and replace damaged upright frames and beams may be much more than you realize.


Consider Racking Damage

The reality of any industrial storage system, particularly pallet racking of any type, is that these steel rack components will sustain damage over time. Damage to pallet racking frames and beams caused by daily lift truck and pallet impacts is impossible to avoid. Unfortunately this type of impact damage can cause racking to bend.

Depending on the pallet loads housed in the racking system, over time the weight capacity originally certified for the system will diminish and the racking may become unsafe as it continues to sustain damage.

Once racking components bend, moisture can penetrate cracked powder coat finished paint and rust can set in, leading to even more detrimental damage to the racking.

When purchasing Used Racking, it may not always be entirely clear from the start how much the original load capacities have been diminished. This may require further inspections and certifications, incurring a higher cost than anticipated.


The Real Cost of Used Pallet Racking

The truth about used pallet racking is that the purchaser will not always know the original manufacturer, characteristics, or previous operating conditions of the used pallet rack components. All of these are crucial considerations when purchasing a pallet racking system.

Time and time again, North American Steel has received inquiries from customers wanting to certify the used racking system that they just installed in their warehouse storage or distribution center.

It is always important to remember that a professional racking inspection is required to be done by an Engineer to ensure that the racking system is safe for use. Depending on the damage to the racking components, you may be required to replace upright frames, rack beams, or both. Some racking can sustain a repair whereby a section of the upright frame is cut away and another ‘boot’ is bolted into the existing upright with a new piece of rack.

This entire process for racking repairs can be both costly in materials for the replacement racking hardware, as well as the labour involved to install such repair kits. Additionally, always consider the cost of downtime for your warehouse, as the racking system will have to be emptied in order to perform the repair, and restocked once complete.

In most cases, the upfront cost saved with a used racking system is eaten away by unexpected costs to replace and repair already damaged components in the system..

Besides damage that has already been incurred by the used racking hardware, there are other costly considerations to be made about a used racking system:

  • How old is the used racking system? If the components are aged, even if they do not require upfront repair, they will require more significant repair or replacement much sooner than a brand new racking system.
  • Is the racking system compatible with other current brands on the market? With used racking you will often require repair or replacement of certain parts. However oftentimes you will not know the originating manufacturer, or the manufacturer may no longer exist. This will make it difficult to find racking components compatible with your system.

Rack Safety is a Priority

Over the past 5 years there has been a huge push on workplace safety by the Ministry of Labour Racking Inspection campaigns.

At North American Steel, it has been our experience that the money saved on buying used racking is quickly spent on racking repairs. In many cases, the entire racking system is required to be replaced with new racking in order to sustain the required load capacities for heavier products or pallets.


Buy Your Racking from a Trusted Source

North American Steel specializes in manufacturing pallet racking and storage systems for warehouses, distribution centres, logistics providers, and manufacturing plants across Canada. Our manufacturing facilities in Ontario (Whitby and Colborne), as well as Alberta (Edmonton/Nisku) will ship directly to you, to ensure safe and timely delivery of all racking components.

For immediate racking requirements, North American Steel has stocking dealers across Canada ready and willing to assist.

Our distribution network in Canada is vast, with distribution hubs in major cities across Canada, including but not limited to:

  •     Edmonton
  •     Nisku
  •     Calgary
  •     Vancouver
  •     Victoria
  •     Kelowna
  •     Kamloops
  •     Winnipeg
  •     Brampton
  •     Hamilton
  •     Toronto
  •     Newmarket
  •     Markham
  •     Kingston
  •     Cornwall
  •     Ottawa
  •     Montreal
  •     Laval
  •     Saint John
  •     Fredericton
  •     Halifax


North American Steel has been manufacturing the largest selection of pallet racking and industrial steel shelving systems for over 50 years.

We are not just a steel racking manufacturer. North American Steel is a full service industrial storage solutions provider.

We have racking installation crews who are trained and certified on all types of warehouse industrial rack installation and site safety practices

Our project managers, technical sales team and system design staff can assist you in designing a warehouse using the most cost effective racking and shelving storage solutions while utilizing your existing space.

To maximize the storage density of your facility, our team can design, manufacture, and install a High Rise shelving and Mezzanine system, bringing exponential storage capacity to your facility.

Already Purchased Used Racking? We Can Help!

As a manufacturer of racking systems, North American Steel can manufacture all types of racking systems compatible with almost every style of racking on the market today. This will allow you to incorporate new and used racking if required.

Some used racking brand names you may have heard may include: Redirack or Redirack Compatible, Mastorak, Triple A Rack, Unirack, Pedrack, Centennial Rack, Pacific Westeel, Enrack, Interlake, Boni, Econorack, Konstant, Superack, Cresswell, Interlake/Mecalux and Novamerican.