• Pallet Rack Storage Q&A

    Pallet Rack Storage can be a complicated topic without an expert to guide you. That's why Arbor Material Handling is available to answer any questions you have by using the query form at the bottom of this page. Ask us anything and we will respond to you with a helpful and comprehensive answer. Here are some of the top questions that are often asked about Pallet rack Storage.

Can you explain warehouse's pallet rack distribution order?

The two primary methods of inventory valuations are "first in, first out" - also known as FIFO - and "last in, last out"- which is also referred to as LIFO. If your operation is involved in managing perishables- like food- then there is a very high likelihood that your facility is designed with FIFO as a strategy. FIFO storage operations benefit from high storage density and should be using pallet flow racks, which are also know as “gravity flow racks”. For products that are held in storage for a long period of time - and that use the LIFO strategy - you would look at configurations that use Push Back Pallet Racking Systems.

What are your order picking and placing practices?

Is your facility’s focus on high-density storage, ie. is the layout more about tall, elevated racks? Do the pallet racks need to accommodate special equipment like lift trucks, or pallet jacks, or possibly warehouse conveyors because these will impact the design of aisle widths and pallet rack dimensions? Be sure to also assess your warehouse’s picking processes. Determine if your warehouse staff picks full pallets, or partial loads or perhaps are they more inclined to pick individual products. How you answer that will dictate the setup for maximum productivity.

Why are pallet rack load parameters important to understand?


Pallet rack weight capacity is an important consideration for both efficient warehouse operations and maintaining safety. Your warehouse design consultant or pallet rack storage expert will examine, consider and design for the upper limits of your pallet rack, as well as the average weight of each pallet load.

What is Carton Flow Racking?

A carton flow rack system is designed to move cartons or boxes. It is designed to move a high volume, of fast-moving inventory.  It’s FIFO (first in, first out) design allows for the carton flow rack system to be loaded and unloaded at the same time. This allows for maximum order-picking efficiency. Since it is used to store individual cartons and not full pallets, it can accommodate a big volume of SKUs. Industries that tend to use this design include food and beverage, medical, frozen foods, automotive and general carton distribution. Carton flow rack is also ideal for liquor or beer storage applications, as it allows cases to be loaded from one side and picked from the other.

Carton Flow Racking systems are built with upright frames, cross beams, and metal rollers (or skate wheels) that span the width between the two beams. One beam is elevated higher than the other so that it is gravity driven. This creates a sloped surface that cartons slide on. When a carton is loaded onto one side it moves down the slope pulled by gravity and when it arrives, it is ready to pick on the other side. If it is behind other cartons then it moves towards the picking side of the rack system. The boxes ahead of it are removed by warehouse workers (or in retail applications by consumers). 

Carton flow tracks come in several different designs. One version is built on a full wheel bed and is made up of several rows of aligned wheels.  This design is not as common as it once was.  A newer style is made from a heavier duty steel roller track and is used for more demanding applications.  A second, newer style is similar to the traditional wheel bed, but it has key differences. It features wheel beds that consist of smaller pieces. The wheels are often staggered and they are also stronger than smaller traditional wheels.

For time to time we will update these questions. If you have a question, ask using the pallet rack storage query form below and we will respond with an answer. We will also select the most common questions and answers and post them for everyone to read.

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