Although some people may assume that warehouse shelving and warehouse racking are the same thing, for those in the warehouse industry it’s important to understand the difference and how they can both benefit your business. It is important for a business with warehouse facilities to understand these differences, so they know which option is best for them.
Although shelving comes in many sizes, it is typically used for smaller goods which are easy to access by hand. If people are picking products individually by hand, shelves are often the best choice. Warehouse shelving is normally made from metal (or sometimes wood). They can be a variety of heights and include any number of shelves on it that you require. Sometimes the shelves have a solid back, whilst others are an open design, depending on what the use of it is for.
Pallet racks, on the other hand, tend to be designed for access by forklifts and other automated systems, rather than by hand. Racking solutions are generally a lot taller than shelves and therefore can be great for warehouses with enough height as it maximizes the space available. Racking tends to be deeper than shelving as well. This makes it a great storing solution for pallets of smaller products or individual larger items.
They are produced from metal that is heavy duty due to the items they are storing, and are usually attached to the floor or walls for additional stability. Racking pallets tend to not have solid shelves (and sometimes no shelves at all) as it depends on what is being placed on them.
Racking is described as a structure of bars for holding a specific load. They are more open in design. Shelving however includes a solid slab which supports the products.
Which is right for you?
Does your business need shelves or racks? The answer 100% depends on what the product is that you’re storing and in what quantity. If you are storing smaller items that you need to be hand selected, shelving will probably be the best for you. If you are storing large quantities of products, racking will allow you to stack these products up on pallets.
You also have to remember that although some warehouses have either one storage solution or the other, you can have a combination of both pallet racking and shelving in different areas of your warehouse. This will allow you to optimize the space in your entire warehouse.
Tell us what you’re looking for and what you need and we’ll see how we can help. Complete Warehouse Supply is your one-stop-shop for all your warehouse needs.