Drive-In Racking 101
What do you store in your warehouse? Are you looking for an even more dense storage system? Warehouses usually share one common goal—maximize space and value. Drive-in racking is one of the best pallet racking systems for maximizing space. It has potential to multiply the amount of usable storage square footage in your warehouse.
Finding the right kind of pallet racking for your warehouse can be a challenge if you don’t know the differences between each type of racking. Drive-in racking is a versatile solution and unique type of racking for warehouses and distribution facilities. Learn more about the advantages and disadvantages of drive-in pallet racking to see if it could be the right fit for your pallet storage.
Things to Know About Drive-In Racking
Drive-in racking is most widely used in the manufacturing and food and beverage industries. This dense storage system requires much less aisle space compared to other types of racking, making it ideal for cooler and freezer applications. Use less energy with a more efficient use of your space. Additionally, for a large inventory of products with the same SKU, drive-in racks provide dense storage for non-perishable products or products with a low turnover. This is because pallets that are loaded first will be harder to access, because they slide to the back of the system over time as more pallets are loaded onto the system in front of them.
With drive-in racking, pallet racks have lanes for forklift access that essentially have an unlimited amount of depth. The most common drive-in racks are generally designed to be between 6-8 pallets deep. Having such a dense system with fewer aisles uses more space in your warehouse. Each lane enters and exits one way. Drive-in racking is constructed with side rails as opposed to a typical racking system with cross beams. The pallets sit on the rails and are loaded with a LIFO (last-in-first-out) inventory system.
Types of Drive-In Racking
Single Entry: forklift access on one side only. This is known as standard drive-in racking.
Double Entry: forklift access on both sides of racking. Double entry was designed to allow access to pallets from the back side of the rack system as well as the front. A large beam in the center of the structure holds all of the racks together. This style is called drive-through racking.
Advantages of Drive-In Racking
- Great for temperature controlled storage
- High density storage
- Saves time stocking and picking
- LIFO storage system
- Maximize square footage in your warehouse
- Unlimited storage depth
- Cost efficient
Disadvantages of Drive-In Racking
- Last-In-First-Out inventory system limits what kind of products can be stored in a drive in rack
- More common for forklift damage to racks with this type of racking because of the high amount of forklift traffic in and out of the system
- Easier to lose product if it’s not well-managed
- Poor accessibility to pallets that aren’t at the front
If you are interested in this dense storage system, contact one of our rack experts today to speak about installing drive-in racking in your warehouse or distribution center today.