How to Pick the Right Pallet Racks for Your Business [Guide]

Western Storage and Handling Blog, Pallet Rack Systems

Pallet racks save an enormous amount of space and are essential to warehouse storage, but did you know they come in a variety of types and sizes? In this guide, we’ll walk through nine pallet rack systems and the solutions they offer for warehouse storage.

Empty and full selective pallet racks in a large warehouse

Selective Pallet Racks

Selective Pallet Racks

Selective pallet racks are the most popular pallet rack systems on the market. They allow you to select and move any pallet without having to move or disturb any other pallets, making them a great choice for businesses’ prioritizing efficiency. They can be inexpensive compared to other systems, and can be custom-configured to meet various space and budget needs.

Best used for businesses who need immediate access to a wide variety of different products.

Drive-in Rack Systems

These are the deepest, most compressed design for pallet rack systems. They’ll save you the most space, but they also adhere to a Last-In/First-Out (LIFO) system. This is where forklift drivers load and retrieve pallets from the front only, and have to remove multiple pallets and “drive in” to access products in the back. 

Best used for businesses who have a large inventory of the same or similar products where easy accessibility to products isn’t necessary.

Pallet Flow Rack Systems

These systems are similar to drive-in rack systems, except they use conveyor rollers placed at an incline and use gravity to help move pallets from the front loading space to the back. Forklift drivers can load at the front of the system and remove products from the back. Inventory systems for pallet flow racks are usually First-In/First-Out (FIFO).

Best used for industries that need regular rotations of high volumes of product, such as pharmaceuticals and food. They also work well in situations where large quantities of overstock or backup stock are necessary.

Floor to ceiling standard pallet racks in a warehouse

Standard Pallet Racks

Push-Back Racks

Like pallet flow racks, push-back racks use rails and carriages to help move pallets from the front to the back of a rack system smoothly. The difference here is that pallet loading and retrieval all happen at the front of the system, and pallets move forward or backward as pallets are placed/removed from it. This is similar to systems you find at the grocery store that “push” products to the front when you take an item off the shelf. This creates an efficient and highly-dense pallet rack system that cuts down on forklift drive time. Push-back racks adhere to the First-In/Last-Out (FILO) inventory system

Best used for businesses that have a high volume of product and that are not dependent on FIFO inventory control. 

Double-Deep Racks

When you have loads of inventory and need to save the most space possible, double-deep racks are your solution. They offer twice the amount of storage capacity and utilize forklifts that have double the reach of regular reach forklifts. 

Best used for maximizing storage capacity with pallet load accessibility required.

Cantilever Racks
Cantilever Racks for storage holding wood slabs

Cantilever Racks

Cantilever RacksThese racks are used where storage of long items is necessary. A variety of accessories are available to accommodate products of different shapes and sizes.

Best used in furniture applications and storage of long or flat items like lumber, pipes, or steel building components.

Structural Pallet Racks

These pallet racks are made with structural steel angles and channel members. They are the strongest, most durable, and longest-lasting racks available and usually come with bolted connections.

Best used for high volume, large and heavy storage needs or for applications where forklift damage is an issue.

Hybrid Rack Design

These are racks constructed of a combination of structural steel and roll-formed steel. This rack design can be incorporated in all of the rack types described above. 

Best used where upright damage is an issue, and where a variety of rack accessories need to be used. 

Rack Supported Structures

For newly-constructed facilities, rack systems can be designed and installed before the building is built. After the rack installation, the rest of the building is constructed around the storage system. Automated storage and retrieval systems are usually incorporated into these rack systems. 

Best used for cold storage, high rise applications, and where minimization of labor is an objective. 

Need pallet racks NOW? Give us a call and speak to one of our experts!

We’ve worked with a wide variety of businesses to design and install pallet rack systems that help them save money and increase their overall efficiency. Receive a free consultation by giving us a call at 877-669-6602. We look forward to speaking with you!

Serving Colorado, Eastern Wyoming and Western Nebraska.

We have both Denver and Colorado Springs locations! 


1630 West Evans Ave, unit L

Denver, Colorado 80110

Phone: 303-937-8376


1880 Office Club Pointe

Colorado Springs, CO 80920

Phone: 719-272-8253