A Comprehensive Guide to Selective Pallet Racking Systems for Your Warehouse (Edition 2024)

selective pallet rack system

A warehouse racking system is fundamental to any distribution, storage or material handling operation. In the 1900s, many industries began searching for a better, more economical, and simpler way of packaging their products. This brought about the use of cardboard boxes, which were easy to pack, cheap and could be disposed of after use.

The only disadvantage was that the boxes still needed to be moved individually, and if the products were heavy, the boxes could not be that large. This made packaging cheap, but labour became more expensive. And that’s when metal industrial racking systems became an essential part of warehouse operations.

Today storage racking has become an industry of its own, and one of the most common is the selective pallet racking system. Thanks to the eCommerce industry, the shipping business has increased their requirement. Every year, billions of dollars are spent on warehousing, and a large portion of that is allocated to selective racking systems.

The Business Research Company carried out an in-depth investigation of the present and future state of the racking industry. The high need for warehouse space is likely to increase the growth of the pallet racking market. With the increase in online shopping, the desire for warehouses has risen to the point that a huge global strategy and distribution network is needed, further increasing the demand for selective racking systems.

What is Selective Racking?

Pallet racking is a storage system used to store items on pallets. The pallets are stacked in rows horizontally and on multiple levels vertically. This increases facility space while simplifying inventory demand. Selective pallet racking, in particular, allows you to choose any pallet load from the system without moving other pallets.

Different Types of Pallet Racking

Generally, racking systems are classified into two including:

1. Low-Density Racking Systems

  • Selective Pallet Racking:

It is highly flexible and works with any type of forklift, so no specialized lift trucks are needed.

2. High-Density Racking Systems

High-density pallet racking systems are an essential group of storage solutions used for warehouse achievement tasks, from those that permit direct access to each pallet.

High-density storage racking systems include:

  • Double or triple-depth racks
  • Drive-in/drive-through
  • Push back
  • Pallet flow

Essential Parts of Selective Pallet Racks

Pallet Racking comprises different parts designed specifically for the loads to be stored. These include:

1. Upright Frames:

warehouse racking upright frame
It is also known as upright columns. They are the side supports for the structure. They ascertain the height and depth of the pallet racking system.

2. Horizontal Beam (Load Beam)

warehouse racking horizontal beam

They are heavy-duty rails that connect upright frames and create shelves for storage racking. They provide the surface storage area where loads are placed on a pallet rack.

Selective pallet racking beams are of two basic styles:

  • Step Beams: These feature a lip on the inside of the beam and support cross bars and mesh deck
  • Box Beams (Structural Beams): They are suitable with wire mesh and safety bars and do not have an inside lip.

3. Braces

Braces consist of horizontal and diagonal bars. These bars are usually fused to the upright frames. Thus, it supports the frames and provides additional strength.

4. Cross Bars

warehouse racking crossbar

They support pallets between two horizontal beams and restrict them from falling through. In other words, they are called support bars.

5. Clips (Safety Drop Pins, Beam Locks)

warehouse racking safety drop pin

They are small fasteners used to hold horizontal beams to upright frames. It prevents the beams from accidentally disengaging during loading or unloading.

Baseplates (Foot Plates):

This creates a means of attaching the rack to the floor and as well increases the firmness of the pallet racks.

Benefits of Selective Pallet Racking System

The type of warehouse racking system you choose can positively or negatively impact your operations and profits.

1. Makes Use of Vertical Space

Selective racks enable you to use the whole space attainable in your warehouse. They allow you to stack goods higher than just floor level within your facility. The ideal racking solution extensively increases the storage capacity of your warehouse when compared to floor stacking.

2. Durability

Durability is crucial, so always look out for systems from reliable and reputed manufacturers. Poorly made columns can disintegrate or damage from crashes or collisions with handling equipment like fork trucks. This can lead to occupational hazards like staff injuries, product damage and more. All these can be avoided by going for the right racking system specifically made to meet your facility’s needs.

3. Productivity

With a better-designed pallet racking system, you can improve the productivity of your operations. Load and unload products without delay and with less difficulty. Time saved from unloading can enable your team to be assigned to other areas of need in the warehouse.

4. Ensures Satisfaction

Smooth order achievements improve the overall customer experience and will help you attract more clients to your industry.

5. Flexibility

There are different types of racks. This allows you to make the perfect choice for your needs.

Pallet Racking for Your Needs

There are crucial factors to consider when choosing the right type of warehouse racking system.

1. Budget

Each pallet type varies in cost. So, before getting a particular one, you should consider the upfront and long-term maintenance costs.

2. Floor

Space Also, consider the number of rooms obtainable in your facility. Some racking systems take up more space than others. Ensure to choose a system that will suit your facility.

3. Material Handling Equipment

Specialized material handling equipment is needed for some types of pallet racking. For example, if you use narrow aisles, you will need a forklift with a small footprint for maximum transportability.

4. Flexibility

Ensure that your racking must be able to contain whatever product you desire to store. Inventory Management. Some pallet racks are better suited for different inventory management systems (First-in, First-Out or Last-In, First-Out methods). However, ensure that your pallet racking can accommodate whichever method you use.

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.

How to Determine the Right Pallet Racking System for Your Business

You must consider certain aspects to enable you to choose the right racking system.

  • Amount of storage density needed
  • Accessible floor space and building height
  • The obtainable inventory method
  • The location of doors and columns in the facility
  • Inventory rotation
  • Load sizes and weights
  • The type of pallets and the suitable size.
  • How much will new equipment cost, as well as the installation

Working with the right pallet racking system can provide many benefits for your warehouse. Therefore, you should ensure that you choose the right storage racking system to gain maximum benefits and profits.

Count on Us to Get a Custom Warehouse Racking System for Your Business

AL Kheera Steel Works is one of the leading racking and shelving companies in uae for racking systems and shelving systems. We empower warehouses with customized racking solutions that optimize operations and improve the bottom line.

Whether you are looking for selective pallet racking or any other type of warehouse racking system, we can help you. Contact us to discuss your unique requirements. We will be happy to assist you in making the most of your investment.

About Author

Rizwan Khira


  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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