To most people, racks and shelves are probably functionally identical – they’re both just storage, right? And to some extent, that is the case, but if your business has reached the point where you need warehouse space, or if you’re trying to maximize the use in your current space, the difference is important.

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Using the correct solution for your actual usage can help you make the most of your space, which means making the most of your money. Here are a couple tips to help determine the best solution for your storage needs.

Benefits of Pallet Racking

Pallet racking looks like shelving to the untrained eye, except it is missing the solid ‘shelf’ component, only being made up of beams and uprights. Racking is usually deeper than shelving, being the same depth as a standard pallet, and stacks much higher than shelving, letting you vastly increase storage space without increasing floor space.

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Racking can have these benefits because it only works with pallets placed directly onto it. This means that pallet racking solutions require mechanised warehouses, as forklifts are required to place pallets on racks, especially to take advantage of the higher tiers of racking. If your warehouse deals with large or bulk packed items, pallet racking is ideal.

Racking is not suitable for smaller or loose items, as there is no physical shelf to place items on. Because of the added depth and height, it is unlikely to be beneficial for warehouses relying on picking individual items ‘by hand’.

If your business deals with a lot of pallet goods, seriously consider investing in some used pallet racking from a supplier like http://www.rackzone.ie/ to make the most of your warehouse space.

When to Use Shelves Instead

If your warehouse relies on manual picking of individual or smaller items, shelves are almost certainly the better solution. Pallet racking is not intended to be accessed ‘by hand’, and therefore will offer little to no benefit to some types of business.

For storage spaces and loose inventory, as well, pallet racking is completely unsuitable, and shelves would be required.

It is almost guaranteed that your business will use some shelving, but you could save a lot of space, time, and money over time through a relatively small investment in pallet racking if your business deals with a lot of pallet packed goods.