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Posted by Stephanie on April 10, 2023

Owning or managing a warehouse means making efficient use of the space that’s available to you. If you find that you’re running out of space with your existing warehouse layout, you may believe that now is the right time to upgrade to a larger space. However, the costs of moving to a new building are much higher when compared to the costs of reorganizing your warehouse space to improve its efficiency. You can boost efficiency with pallet racks instead of floor stacking.

While there are many types of pallet racking that you can purchase for your warehouse, the most common of these is selective racking. It’s a basic but versatile racking system that’s used in numerous storage applications. The height of your pallet rack uprights depends on the volume of inventory and the available space in your warehouse.

If you believe that selective pallet racking will improve warehouse productivity, you should consider the upright frame depth before making a purchase. There are several size options that you can select from based on the size of your pallets. The following is everything you need to know about selective pallet racking and how you can use it to get the most out of your current warehouse space.

Pallet Racking During Installation

What is Selective Pallet Racking?

Selective pallet racking refers to a pallet racking system where all pallet positions can be accessed instantly from the aisle. Because of the convenient access, it’s the pallet racking system that’s most commonly found in warehouses and distribution facilities.

While other pallet racking systems require personnel to move a pallet if they want to reach another, this system maintains high visibility with each pallet while also making them easy to load/unload. The primary components of this racking system include struts and columns, which are placed together to form beams that connect with the uprights.

Pros of Selective Pallet Racking

Even though selective pallet racking is among the most basic forms, it offers many advantages that can’t be had with other pallet rack types. These advantages include:

  • Accessibility
  • Versatility
  • Cost-effectiveness
  • Ease of installation

As mentioned previously, selective pallet racking makes your warehouse layout much more accessible for your employees compared to other types of racking. All sides of the rack can be accessed from the aisle without needing to reposition one of your pallets. The setup of this system promotes simpler maneuvering in wide aisles with forklifts.

They’re also highly versatile. Because these pallet racking systems are designed to accommodate vertical storage, they can be made as tall as you need them to be depending on your current storage requirements. If these requirements expand in the future, you can scale the system without needing to change the entire layout of your facility.

These racking units are also cost-effective and usually offer the most affordable racking per pallet position. By making better use of your available space, you’ll immediately lower your costs. Your personnel should see a boost in their productivity since they have easier access to the pallets.

The simplistic design for this type of pallet racking makes the installation process straightforward. The pallet racking you purchase can be positioned in your facility in just a few days. In comparison, the installation process for other pallet racking systems can take much longer.

Pallet Racking During Installation

Cons of Selective Pallet Racking

Despite their many advantages, there are also a few issues with selective pallet racking that might make another racking system more appealing. These issues include:

  • Limited space utilization
  • Increased maintenance and replacement costs
  • Less secure than other options
  • Limited weight capacity

Even though pallet racking systems will make better use of your floor space than floor stacking, it still uses more floor area than other types of racking systems. Aisles need to be positioned between every back-to-back row, which means that the ratio of aisle area to storage area is tilted closer to the aisle area. While you’ll be improving your warehouse layout with this system, other pallet racking types can save you even more space.

Selective pallet racking isn’t as durable and long-lasting as the alternatives. While this type of racking is highly accessible, any impact by a forklift or other piece of equipment could cause significant damage. You should avoid placing too much weight in one area of the racking system. Because of these issues, the replacement and maintenance costs associated with selective pallet racking will be higher.

The heightened accessibility of these systems means that they are also less secure than other options. As for the limited weight capacity, selective pallet racking supports less than 2,000 pounds per rack compartment, which is considerably lower than drive-in systems or push-back systems.

Things to Consider Before Buying Selective Pallet Racking

There are numerous factors you should consider before you purchase selective pallet racking, which include everything from the available floor space in your warehouse to the storage capacity requirements. When it comes to warehouse space, the amount of space you wish to use for pallet racking will give you a better idea of how many pallet racking systems you require and what their height should be set to. There are also numerous layout options available to you.

Knowing what your storage capacity requirements are will allow you to purchase the right pallet rack system. Manufacturers provide customers with hundreds of capacities to select from. In the event that you manage different products, focus on the one that weighs more than the rest. You can use the heaviest capacity to determine what pallet racking system you should choose. If you select a rack that doesn’t support the weight you wish to store, the entire system could collapse.

Avoid going too far over the capacity that you need, which would result in you spending more money than necessary. Along with the weight limit of the pallet racking system you choose, you should also identify the average pallet sizes that you store. This information will inform your purchasing decision.

If you have any future expansion plans, consider them when you’re picking out selective pallet racking. If you purchase enough selective pallet racking now, you can automatically scale the system to suit your growth.

pallet rack uprights with column guards

Selective Pallet Racking vs. Other Pallet Racking Systems

While there are a handful of different types of pallet racking systems, two options that are often used as alternatives to selective pallet racking include drive-in racking and push-back racking. All of these systems have their own benefits, which is why you should weigh the pros and cons of each before making your choice.

As mentioned previously, selective pallet racking is able to use vertical space efficiently because of the more basic component profile. A push-back system has a much more complex assembly, which means that more vertical space is needed between every pallet.

The type of inventory technique you use in your warehouse will also determine which pallet racking system is right for your facility. If you use a first-in, last-out (FILO) or first-in, first-out (FIFO) technique, loading and unloading goods into the selective pallet racking is time-consuming and tedious. Both of these techniques are better served with a pallet flow system.

Keep in mind that push-back racking and drive-in racking can be more durable than selective racking as well. However, this isn’t a problem unless the system is built to be tall. Selective systems typically have a limit of 30 feet tall. While drive-in and push-back systems have some advantages over selective pallet racking, the latter is better when it comes to affordability, installation, and accessibility.

How to Choose the Right Selective Pallet Racking System

There are some things you should keep in mind when you’re trying to choose the ideal pallet racking system. For one, make sure that you know what your budget is. You’ll be spending money on the racking system as well as the installation. Even though affordability is appealing, quality is more important if you want the system to last.

To make sure that the selective pallet racking you choose is customized and optimized to fit within your warehouse, identify your storage needs. If you tend to store bulkier items, drive-in racking may be more effective. However, selective pallet racking is ideal when you’re storing many different products in different quantities. When the pallet racking is being ordered, you can customize nearly every aspect of it.

Weigh the costs of expanding vertically against the costs of renting a new warehouse. The rental rate for a warehouse is around $0.85 for every square foot on a monthly basis. Operating expenses will also factor into the costs, which can be as high as $0.25 for every square foot. Renting a warehouse that’s sized at 7,000 square feet will cost you around $7,700 every month. However, you can avoid most of these costs by expanding vertically with tall selective pallet racking.

Why Choose QMH?

QMH is a reliable choice for pallet racking systems because we work with all types of pallet racking. Whether you believe that selective pallet racking is better for your warehouse or find that drive-in racking is preferable, we’ll help you obtain a system that allows you to maximize your warehouse space and boost efficiency.

Here at QMH, we offer many different pallet racking solutions that provide you with extensive customization options. These solutions include selective racking, high-density pallet racking, hand-picked racking, specialty storage, and semi-automated storage solutions. The high-density racking we offer extends to drive-in, push-back, flow, and double-deep systems. Every facet of the racking system you choose can be customized to meet your needs.

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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.