Pallet Rack Versus Floor Stacking

Pallet Rack Versus Floor Stacking
Some people think if they can stack pallets double or triple high on the floor, there’s no benefit to investing in a pallet racking system. This is only true if:

  1. You don’t need to move the pallets often
  2. All stacked pallets have the same product
  3. The product can support the weight of additional pallets without being crushed
  4. The products don’t expire/don’t need to be FIFO’d (first in first out)

If all four of these things apply to your products, pallet racking may not be a cost-effective choice. For everyone else, the right pallet racking system can help you maximize warehouse space, dramatically improve productivity and reduce costs. Read on to learn the pros and cons of pallet racking versus floor stacking.

Double Stacking Vs. Pallet Racking

Double/Triple Stacking Pros and Cons
With floor stacking, two or three pallets are placed one on top of another. This method is inexpensive, but vertical space is underutilized as pallets can only be stacked so high. Product access and visibility are limited.

Floor stacking also requires using a LIFO (Last In, First Out) system where newly-delivered product is placed on top of the stack and gets used first. LIFO inventory flow works well for non-perishable products and inventory that isn’t time-sensitive.

Pallet Racking Pros and Cons
For many businesses, pallet racks pay for themselves in very little time. Some of our customers reduced warehouse expenditures by millions of dollars in the first year alone. Also, because pallet racking systems take advantage of vertical space, adding pallet racks can mean the difference between needing to open an additional warehouse versus doing more with what you already have.

Other benefits of pallet rack:

  • When products are organized and easily accessible, material storage and handling is much easier to manage and less overwhelming.
  • Stacking creates a safety hazard, especially when stacks are built unevenly. With pallet racks, you improve efficiency and safety.
  • Using pallet rack also improves access to products and provides superior flexibility in SKU arrangement and SKU types.

A pallet racking system also facilitates FIFO (First in, First Out) inventory flow, where the first item in is the first item to leave. This type of inventory flow is ideal for perishable goods and Stock Keeping Units (SKU’s) with expiration dates.

Pallet Rack Options
The most inexpensive pallet rack is designed for a 48”x 40” pallet, but racking systems can be created for any size pallet. A well-designed system can increase warehouse storage space by 40 percent and help your operation adjusts to changing inventory needs. Learn more about different types of warehouse rack, or contact us and let us know how we can help.

Beware of pallet rack pricing that seems too good to be true. California has specific requirements and a permitting process. Know before you buy.

Make a Smart Investment
Floor stacking has a low monetary cost, but is very expensive in terms of space. Pallet racking requires a more significant investment versus stacking product on the floor, but for most businesses, it allows them to save money by improving productivity and maximizing every inch of their warehouse.

Our experienced staff is available to help conduct an assessment of your current space, calculate the minimum aisle widths required for your forklift fleet, and make recommendations on a racking system for your business. You can also visit our Livermore location to demo any of the racking systems described above. Contact us online or by phone for more information or to schedule a demo.

SF Bay Area – Livermore (510) 473-8151
Fresno (559) 834-9500
Sacramento (916) 376-0500
Salinas (831) 757-1091

Further Reading
Different Types of Pallet Rack
Structural Steel Vs. Roll Form Pallet Rack