Selective Pallet Racking Systems Guide

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According to Persistent Market Research, sales for the global industrial racking systems are expected to exceed US$12 billion by 2020. The increasing demand for warehousing is driving industries to invest broadly in warehouse infrastructure. And hence, installation of racking systems is surfacing as one of the key components. As a matter of fact, selective racking holds approximately 30% value share in the market.

What makes the selective type of racking one of the most popularly used warehousing systems? Before you head to purchase one, it is important to understand the know-how of it. And therefore, this simple guide will help you consider selective racking strategically for your warehousing requirements.

What is Selective Racking?

Selective racking is one pallet deep and has a maximum of two racks that are placed one after the other. It follows a First in First Out (FIFO) racking system. This means the stock which is added first will be removed first.

The direct access to any pallet is the biggest advantage of this racking system. The storage capacity and cost per square metre of racking offered are lowest. But if you go for pallets more than 3000, it can turn out to be an expensive investment.

The main aim of selective racking is to optimise flexibility, the speed of operation and access. The selective type of pallet racking is one of the most effective ways to store items in warehouses.

Different Types of Selective Racking

Selective type of racking is categorised into two types based on structural integrity. Opting for the right type and style is crucial to make sure your warehouse space is utilised efficiently.

1. Roll Formed Pallet Rack

Roll Form Pallet Rack is fabricated by moulding flat steel into the desired shape. Mostly, it is manufactured in “teardrop” style where holes on the upright columns are shaped like a teardrop. The horizontal load beams that are held in place by mounting clips act as support for pallets. Due to the movable clips, the shelves can be quickly adjusted to accommodate different load sizes. Roll Formed Pallet Racks are ideal for those who need to store a wide variety of product sizes. However, this type of selective racking is more susceptible to forklift damage. Hence, make your considerations accordingly.

2. Structural Pallet Rack

Structural Pallet Racks are fabricated from heavy-gauge steel as opposed to rolling form racks. Beams are bolted to the uprights that have holes punched into place. Thanks to its strong structural steel, this type can efficiently withstand harsh warehouse conditions. It is more durable and less susceptible to damage due to minor impacts. Above all, opt for structural pallet if your warehouse has heavy forklift traffic in and around the rack area.

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Advantages of Selective Racking

  1. Enables 100% access to any pallet without the need to rearrange stock around. This helps you optimise operations and save time.
  2. Fits in limited space with the least number of pallets that you need to get off the floor.
  3. It allows using more than one forklift in one aisle at the same time.
  4. It is versatile and easily customizable to suit different kinds of warehouse environments.
  5. Allows relocating or readjusting it easily when required.
  6. Selective racking is a First in First Out (FIFO) type of system. Meaning that stocks can be removed in the same order as they were received. This comes out as a great advantage for industries that need to stock a huge variety of item in low quantities.
  7. In the selective type, multiple forklifts can operate in one aisle at once. This helps in enhancing the efficiency of your warehouse.
  8. Selective racking systems need minimal labour for installation. Additionally, the cost of the materials used is low. Hence, this makes it one of the most affordable racking systems.

Disadvantages of Selective Racking

  1. This racking system cannot store large-sized products without a huge amount of space in the warehouse.
  2. It requires high storage investment if the stock volumes are medium or high.
  3. This type of racking is not workable for high volume applications.
  4. The loading and unloading time for low quantity stocks increases. The reason is that different sized items will have to be stocked on racks of different sizes.
  5. It can support a limited storage height of 12 m and not above that.

Safety Considerations for Pallet Racking

Safety considerations for racking are not just a legal commitment but also a high priority for industries. To begin with, owners should follow the guidelines of a racking manufacturer. Installation, operation and maintenance processes should align well with the guidelines.

  1. Choose the type of racking system as per the size, shape and weight of the products to be stored.
  2. Use racking that is compatible with the material handling equipment used in the warehouse.
  3. Do not exceed the recommended working load limit of the racking. This may lead to a harmful failure of the racking system.  
  4. Execute regular inspections to keep eye on damage or overloading. Check for any loose component or frame damage that may cause pallets to collapse. This is one of the key factors for a safe warehouse environment.
  5. Indicate signs of caution if the racking is used as a retail infrastructure. This is important where customer traffic is present.
  6. Avoid using racking systems until they reach the state when they become vulnerable and faulty. This may cause loading and unloading problems.
  7. Avoid placing pallets on the edge of aisles that acts as an obstruction and threat to fatal accidents.
  8. Perform regular rack audits on with the help of a qualifies inspector. As audits need to be checked considering RMI design and safety standards ensuring 100% safety.

The above-mentioned safety considerations hold good for selective racking systems as well.

Selective Racking Guide Infographic

Selective Racking Guidelines Infographic

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  1. Thanks for your quick reply. We need a racking system that has high density, should be cost-effective and can store lower turnover inventory with a long shelf life.

  2. This guide is very helpful to understand the selective racking system. We have a warehouse that has limited space. And we need a storage solution for similar items. Could you please suggest us an appropriate pallet racking system for this?

    1. Hello Shadab, We are happy to help you. Please give us the details about inventory you need to store, your required storage density, and product shelf life. This detail will help us to suggest you an appropriate pallet racking system.

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