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Posted by Stephanie on May 6, 2016

Does your warehouse need a rack for storing materials? With so many different options of pallet racking systems, it can be tough to figure out which type of racking would be best for your warehouse and application. We’ve decided to look closely at three of the more popular pallet racking systems to give you insight as to what type of warehouse racking could be the most efficient for your warehouse. In order to make the best decision, read our guide to understanding the advantages and disadvantages of Selective, Push Back, and Drive-in Pallet Racking.


Which Pallet Racking System Should I Consider?

When considering different styles of racking, ask these questions to help narrow down what your racking system needs and what features you would be looking for in a pallet racking system:

What will you be storing?

Does your product have a shelf life?

What type of inventory system do you use? (LIFO or FIFO)

How tall are your ceilings?

Do you need a dense storage system?

Can this racking make your warehouse more efficient?

Selective Pallet Rack

Selective pallet racking is the most standard and common type of pallet racking. With basic pallet access from racking aisles, this multi-level storage system can store high capacities of materials. Generally, selective pallet racking is constructed with single-deep pallet loads, but deeper options can double this to increase storage densities. Pallets can be accessed with a lift truck that can select pallets off of any level of your racking system.

Advantages of Selective Racking:

  • Smaller Investment
  • All Pallets are Accessible
  • Accommodates both FIFO & LIFO inventory systems

Disadvantages of Selective Racking:

  • Lower Storage Density (due to so many aisles)
  • Limited to 1-2 Pallets Deep


Push Back Pallet Rack

Push back racking gets its name from its design. Place your pallet on the front, and the other pallets are pushed back to remain stored behind the new pallet. Great for a LIFO (Last In, First Out) inventory system, push back racking’s inclined rails and sliding carts are ideal for bulk storage 2-5 pallets deep. This large storage system is often constructed with double lanes to maximize storage density by allowing for fewer aisles and creating more storage space in your warehouse.

Advantages of Push Back Racking:

  • High Storage Density
  • Easy Loading/Unloading

Disadvantages of Push Back Racking:

  • Poor Pallet Accessibility
  • Limited to 4 or 5 Pallets Deep


Drive-in Pallet Rack

Drive-in Pallet racks have “lanes” of stacks that enter and exit one way with your forklift to allow access deep into your pallet storage system. Pallets usually sit on side rails, rather than cross beams, to make it easier for the forklift to maneuver into and out of the racking system. Drive-in racks allow for high density storage for non-perishable products, or products with a low turnover. They work well for LIFO (Last-in-first-out) inventory systems, and are usually designed about 6-8 pallets deep.

Advantages of Drive-in Racking:

  • High Storage Density
  • Cost Efficient

Disadvantages of Drive-in Racking:

  • Poor accessibility to pallets,
  • racks more vulnerable to forklift damages


We’ve done racking systems for warehouses up to 1,000,000 square feet! We can custom-design racking solutions for any warehouse, manufacture and install racking systems, and help you acquire city permits as well.


Questions? Call 800-404-RACK (7225)

Learn more about Pallet Racking
Talk to a Pallet Racking Specialist


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with distribution, logistic and warehousing needs.

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About Us

With over 32 years of experience in material handling, QMH is committed to providing end-to-end solutions for companies with distribution, logistic and warehousing needs. From permit approval management to full-service execution from the ground up, QMH delivers unique solutions providing distinct value in record time.