Choosing pallet racking for your business can be a very tricky exercise. There are so many options, styles, sizes and basic considerations that you need to factor into making the correct choice. Most decisions on whether to use pallet racking are based on either the need to use a more economic method of storing pallets at your facility, the need to improve the speed of delivery of pallets to customers or the improved use of the pallet contents within your own business. Either way, there is always a financial element involved and making the correct choices will directly influence the money that you will spend or save.
Our first recommendation is that you seek professional help, preferably a company with experience in this field and backed up by accreditation to ISO 9001. In order to reach the best conclusion for your needs, either a telephone discussion or a site visit will be required. The racking should always be designed to SEMA (Storage Equipment Manufacturers Association) standards and should be manufactured to ISO9001, 14001 & 18001 quality standards as well.
In 85% of cases the requirement will be for a straightforward pallet racking system that can be purchased from stock and supplied/installed in a relatively short space of time. The remainder of cases will be for the more tailored solutions with the possible inclusion of narrow aisle, drive-in, push back, double deep or mobile design options.
There is also a wide range of accessories available to compliment racking systems. These come in many forms but from column safety protection through to the often-overlooked pallet marking and labelling methods are so important in locating your correct pallet of goods and maintaining an efficient storage system. We always suggest that you work your way through a relatively easy checklist. This will give the basic information required to form the criteria for making the best choices available and to prevent costly mistakes being made in the selection process. Some advance thought can speed up the whole process before seeking expert advice.
Pallet racking system checklist
a) What is the nature of the goods to be stored?
b) What size(s) of pallets are you looking to store and could that possibly change in the future as new suppliers are engaged or potential growth is experienced?
c) What maximum weight of pallet is to be stored and could that also change in the future?
d) What min/max quantity of pallets are to be stored and could that change in the future?
e) What dedicated area are you proposing to use for pallet storage and are there any drawing plans available for that area?
f) What type of flooring do you have in that area and are there any remedial considerations that you need to address?
g) What type of access is there to that area and are there any gradients to consider?
h) What type of lighting, heating and fire protection do you have in place?
i) Do you currently have a method of loading and unloading pallets (fork lift, stacker etc) and will that be suitable for the movement of pallets into and out of the pallet racking. Careful checks on height of lift and capacity of fork lifts/stackers will be needed?
j) How will you maintain stock levels and record pallet location positions?
k) Will additional training of staff be required?
l) What timescale do you have in mind?
So as you can see, there is an awful lot to consider and making the right choices can save you a massive amount of time, energy and not to mention … money!