Guide to Warehouse Shelving Systems

November 23, 2018 0 By admin

cantilever shelving systems

Whether you own an industrial warehouse, or you need to plan carefully for the space you have by using creative storage solutions, a pallet racking system can be an extremely handy storage tool. Pallet racking systems enable companies to store product units in limited floor space and to organize their inventory in a more effective manner. Companies can choose between a horizontal or vertical shelving system based on their storage needs and picking policies.

Horizontal Shelving System

Horizontal racks are ideal if the objective is to display products sideways, and you can find cantilever shelving systems with horizontal load arms, too. However, these racks usually have limited storage capacity, so a lot more racks are needed to display and pick all the pallets. This is also perfect for warehouses where the picking routines are not very frequent.

Vertical Shelving System

On the other hand, vertical shelving systems are well-suited for the display and upright storage of long units. They are more commonly deployed as they are quite versatile. They enable pallets to be stored securely and in an orderly fashion within different warehouse and retail environments.

Although vertical shelving systems are used more frequently, that doesn’t mean they are appropriate for every warehouse. Multiple factors need to be considered to determine which shelving system is right for a particular warehouse.

Storage Density

If storage space needs to be maximized, then vertical shelving systems trump horizontal ones as they can be easily extended to accommodate more products. However, with horizontal racking systems, several systems will need to be bought to store the same number of items.

Inventory Management Method

Every company has a different method for managing and valuing its inventories. The most frequently used inventory management methods are FIFO or LIFO. If your company retrieves products on a FIFO (first in first out) basis, horizontal racking systems may be better as they allow access to every pallet. However, for a LIFO (last in first out) management system, vertical racking systems are more effective.

Rack Decking

Another way of increasing storage capacity is to add rack decking. Rack decking helps in providing greater stability for the pallets and products. It is easier to add rack decks to a vertical racking system as opposed to a horizontal racking system due to their respective configurations and designs. This further explains why vertical racking systems are preferred in warehouses where storage capacity is limited, and space utilization needs to be maximized.

Forklift Access

Most warehouses employ forklifts for racking and load picking. In such scenarios, aisle width can be a very crucial determining factor. While the placement of the shelving systems across the warehouse determines aisle width, vertical racking systems use less space which it is why is easier for forklifts to gain access to the pallets.


Having considered all the above factors carefully, warehouse managers can decide whether to opt for a horizontal or vertical shelving system. As most companies prefer the latter, it is possible to find a vertical shelving system for sale which can save businesses large amounts of money.

Look online for a range of vertical and horizontal shelving systems and even buy cantilever shelving systems online, as well as other options.