Quality Material Handling Inc. Logo

Call QMH Inc. Today (800) 404-RACK

Over 30 Years of Material Handling Excellence

Contractor License #731100 (B, D34)

Posted by Stephanie on May 29, 2023

In the event that you store bulky materials in your warehouse or distribution center, you may require special shelving that will accommodate these items. This shelving can be used to properly store everything from lumber and plywood to wood veneer sheets and piping. If you require special shelving units, the best option at your disposal is cantilever shelving.

If you use cantilever shelving in your warehouse, these racks don’t come with vertical obstructions, which means that you can effectively load your items via a forklift without being restricted by a front column. Cantilever racks are comprised of bases, upright columns, arms, braces, and decking.

Since the materials that are usually placed on cantilever shelves are heavy, these racks are capable of supporting anywhere from 1,500-5,000 pounds for every arm. A small selection of cantilever shelves are outfitted with arms that support as much as 18,000 pounds. Understanding the average weight of your materials should help you select racks that suit your needs.

When you’re searching for the right cantilever racks to place in your warehouse, consider the height of these racks and the vertical space that’s available in your storage yard or warehouse. These racks usually range from 6-30 feet in height. However, the most popular ones extend from 12-16 feet tall. Make sure that you never use cantilever racks that are made to be single-sided racks. The wrong configuration can result in a severe safety issue. The following guide offers a closer look at cantilever shelves and how to efficiently use them in your facility.

Pallet Racking and Cantilever Racking Installation

The Advantages of Structural Cantilever Racking

When you need to store any lengthy or oddly shaped items in your warehouse, you’ll want to use cantilever shelving. Without the use of vertical obstructions, your personnel will be able to load products with ease.

When using a forklift, the items can be positioned directly on the extended arms without needing to make any difficult maneuvers. There are many reasons why cantilever racking has become a highly popular storage solution in warehouses, the primary of which is that it supports materials from the ends instead of using pallets. There are many advantages of using cantilever shelving in a warehouse setting, the primary of which include:

  • More durability and strength
  • High versatility
  • Accessible
  • Helps with space efficiency
  • Cost-effective storage solution

You’ll save a considerable amount of floor space by installing cantilever racking in your warehouse. When using linear racking, your items are loaded directly on the shelf to be stored. In this scenario, additional vertical columns are needed to support hundreds or thousands of pounds. Cantilever racking is more appealing because storing heavier items won’t put as much pressure on the facility’s infrastructure.

Once this shelving has been installed, you’ll also save time. This type of racking system makes it easier for employees to access materials, which means that your personnel can stock and retrieve goods more efficiently. By saving time, you’ll also reduce the amount of money you spend on warehouse operations and lower your energy use.

Keep in mind that these racks are able to store almost all types of lengthy materials. When you use traditional racking in your warehouse, you’re limited to a maximum product height of 54 inches. In comparison, cantilever racking supports items that are as long as 10 feet. Make sure, however, that the items you want to store fit in the standard beam length of 48 inches. If your warehouse stores piping, lumber, aluminum, or steel, you can benefit from purchasing cantilever shelves.

Structural cantilever racking is also very easy to build and install. The installation process can be completed in less than 30 minutes. Make sure that you have the correct beam size for the specific application that the shelving is being used for.

While cantilever racks have a relatively high cost in comparison to other racking types, they offer much more durability and weight capacity, which reduces the possibility that the shelving will be damaged when holding heavier items. If you store numerous heavy items in your warehouse, cantilever racking is a highly cost-effective storage solution.

Cantilever Racking

The Limitless Features and Benefits of Cantilever Shelves for Various Settings

Since cantilever racks are available in mobile and stationary options and come with a wide range of different accessories, you can customize these shelving racks to suit the specific applications that they’re being used for. These racks are easy to configure, which means that they can be altered and reorganized to fit your specifications without issue. The many cantilever shelving options available to you include:

  • Fixed display shelf
  • Periodical display shelf
  • Zigzag display backstop
  • Multimedia browsing box
  • Pull-out reference shelf
  • Flat storage shelf
  • Hanging wire support
  • Aisle identification options
  • Sloped adjustable shelves
  • Low-back dividers
  • Offset center stops
  • Canopy lights

Cantilever shelving racks are known for their durability, stability, and functionality. They are designed to accommodate regular reconfiguration, heavy use in a warehouse setting, and seismic activity. You can equip these shelves with anti-tip protection that helps you avoid dangerous accidents when the units are installed in high-traffic environments. You’re able to place these overhead devices on stationary and mobile shelving units alike.

As mentioned previously, among the most beneficial aspects of using this type of shelving in your facility is that they are easy to reconfigure and expand. You can change and grow these shelving units to suit your needs. It takes just minutes to disassemble and reassemble these shelves.

If you want to use cantilever shelves that fit the aesthetics of your warehouse or distribution center, they are available in many different powder-coat paint finishes. These finishes are created with durability in mind, which means that you can use them in your warehouse without needing to worry about scratches, scuffs, or chips.

Cantilever racking

The design options at your disposal include end panel finishes and materials as well as sign holders. These items can be matched to any design plan or decor that your warehouse is based on. The end panels on these shelves can also be removed and replaced to accommodate a different design. If you’re changing your cantilever shelving units, you can replace the end panels instead of getting rid of the units altogether.

As touched upon previously, you’re able to store items that are usually difficult to shelve, which means that practically any item can be stored on a cantilever shelf. With the right approach, you should be able to remove clutter and free up some floor space. These shelves are ideally suited for storing thin and long items, which include everything from uniquely shaped boxes to furniture. If anything in your warehouse is unable to be placed on a standard shelving unit, it’s likely that a cantilever shelf will accommodate it.

Because of how cantilever shelves are designed, you’re able to see all of the inventory in your warehouse, which makes it easier to reach products and take inventory. Since these shelves are made with versatility in mind, you don’t need to move your items around to make sure that the different shelving units are matched with one another. Cantilever shelves are easy to move, which means that you won’t be required to reconfigure the entire inventory.

Conclusion: Choosing the Right Cantilever Shelving for Your Needs

Not every item in your warehouse can be fitted onto a standard pallet rack. If your warehouse contains any lengthy or bulky materials, attempting to store these materials on standard shelving can damage the rack and cause issues with loading and unloading efficiency. Cantilever racks solve this issue by accommodate all irregularly shaped items that may have been taking up floor space in your warehouse.

Whether you want to store PVC or steel sheets, the long arms that come out of the metal frames can hold any heavy items you’ve been having trouble finding space for. The many benefits of choosing cantilever shelving for your warehouse include a relatively affordable cost for the advantages you obtain, easy accessibility, ample versatility, high durability, and space efficiency.

Cantilever Racking

Since cantilever racks are easy to customize, there aren’t many factors that you should consider when selecting this shelving. The most important thing to remember is to weigh the heaviest items in your warehouse that you intend to store on the shelves. With these weights in mind, select cantilever shelving units that have the necessary weight capacity.

Cantilever racks aren’t perfect for every situation. However, they give you the ability to make more efficient use of your space. When you need more shelves to support the items you’re looking to store, additional arms are available to extend the shelf functionality. Cantilever racking provides your business with many benefits as you’re searching for ways to grow your operations.


The QMH mission is to serve and/or create a world where people and products are handled the right way. Our customer service philosophy is simple: We strive to be the best for everyone who walks through our door. We’re passionate about providing our customers with the greatest value for their money.


QMH is committed to providing end-to-end solutions for companies
with distribution, logistic and warehousing needs.

What material handling solution can we help you create?

Contact Us (855) SEL-RAMP

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.