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Selecting the Right Pallet Racking System: Industry Examples

Choosing the appropriate pallet racking system is a pivotal decision for businesses spanning various industries. The selection process involves considering factors such as the type of products stored, warehouse layout, space optimization, and retrieval methods. In this article, we will explore different types of pallet racking systems and provide examples across a range of industries to illustrate their versatility and applicability.

Selective Pallet Racking

Selective pallet racking stands as the most common and adaptable system, suitable for businesses that require easy access to each pallet. Whether you’re in retail, manufacturing, or distribution, selective racking ensures swift access to products, making it an excellent choice for a broad array of industries. It caters to diverse product types, sizes, and demand levels.

Drive-In Racking

Drive-in racking systems are designed for high-density storage and are particularly beneficial for industries that deal with large quantities of identical items. From automotive parts distribution to textile manufacturing, these systems maximize storage space while offering efficient inventory management.

Push-Back Racking

Push-back racking is a dynamic solution that leverages gravity to move pallets forward when a new pallet is added. It’s a versatile choice, suitable for industries with varying inventory turnover rates. Whether you’re in the food and beverage sector, electronics manufacturing, or automotive assembly, push-back racking optimizes space utilization and streamlines access to stored items.

Pallet Flow Racking

Pallet flow racking is an ideal choice for industries with strict inventory rotation requirements. Whether you’re operating in pharmaceutical distribution, electronics production, or consumer goods warehousing, this system facilitates FIFO (first-in, first-out) inventory management. It ensures that products are used in the order they are received, reducing waste and preserving product integrity.

Cantilever Racking

Cantilever racking is purpose-built to store long, bulky, or irregularly shaped items. Industries like construction, plumbing, and outdoor equipment rely on cantilever racking to accommodate items such as lumber, pipes, and steel beams. It offers efficient storage and easy access for items that don’t fit conventional pallets.

Double-Deep Racking

Double-deep racking is a space-efficient solution allowing for two-deep pallet storage. This system is adaptable across various industries. Whether you’re involved in furniture manufacturing, food processing, or aerospace production, double-deep racking strikes a balance between storage density and accessibility.

Carton Flow Racking

Carton flow racking is designed to optimize order picking processes by utilizing gravity to move cartons or bins forward as items are retrieved. It’s particularly valuable in industries like e-commerce fulfillment, parts assembly, and pharmaceutical distribution, where efficient order picking and inventory management are paramount. Carton flow racking enhances productivity by reducing travel time within the warehouse.

Mezzanine Racking & Storage Platforms

Mezzanine racking and storage platforms take advantage of vertical space by adding a secondary storage level above the main floor. E-commerce fulfillment centers, electronics distribution, and parts assembly industries utilize mezzanine racking to double their storage capacity without expanding their facility footprint. It offers an efficient solution for accommodating growing inventory.


Selecting the right pallet racking system is a strategic decision that profoundly influences a business’s efficiency, productivity, and cost-effectiveness. It’s essential to align the choice with the specific needs of your industry and the unique requirements of your stored products.

Considering factors such as accessibility, inventory rotation, storage density, and space optimization will help businesses across various industries make informed decisions about the type of pallet racking system that best suits their needs. Whether you’re in retail, manufacturing, distribution, or another sector altogether, the right pallet racking system can significantly enhance your warehouse operations and overall business success.

At North American Steel, we work with clients from all industries and have the engineering expertise to understand which pallet racking systems will be the perfect fit for any business. If you or someone you know are in need of pallet racking and industrial storage guidance, please reach out to the North American Steel team here.