Types of Pallet Racking Systems

By: Larry Rausch – Vice President of Sales and Marketing

 Customers often ask us about the different types of pallet racking systems.  Given this, it seems that there is much confusion on the topic.  This post is intended to provide an overview of the varying types of pallet racking systems. So here we go.

Very Narrow Aisle Pallet Racking

This is a compact version of adjustable pallet racking, creating a higher density and capacity storage system without the need for more space.

This type of adjustable pallet racking is compacted by narrowing the aisles, resulting in a space saving of over 40%. The minimum aisle width must be 1.5 m in this type of system. To be able to work correctly in the warehouse with these VNA racking systems, special handling equipment for VNA is required.

Double Deep Pallet Racking

This is a conventional storage solution, but which shares common features with compact racking. In this type of industrial racking system, the pallets are stored at two depths, thus achieving higher storage density. Unlike standard adjustable pallet racking, in double deep pallet racking the operator does not have direct access to all the pallets stored.

Double deep pallet racking must also be used with special forklifts equipped with telescopic forks or a pantograph mechanism to easily and quickly access the second pallet stored.

Industrial Racking for pallets

Pallet racking is a type of industrial racking designed to support large loads that will be lifted by the handling equipment.

Adjustable Pallet Racking

This is a type of industrial racking that stores pallets mechanically using forklifts. The forklifts access the goods via the aisles that run parallel to the racking, and have  direct and immediate access to all the nit loads stored. They have a standard aisle width and store a single pallet at the back of the racking.

Compact Racking

Compact Racking is a high-density storage system that fully optimizes warehouse space and height by reducing the truck’s work aisles to the maximum.

In these types of warehouse racking systems, parallel aisles are generated inside the structure, where forklifts can enter and move around for the pallet loading and unloading process.

These systems are suitable when the problem of space takes priority over direct access to or selectivity of all the unit loads stored.

Drive in Pallet Racking (LIFO)

The drive in compact system is the most used. It only requires one access aisle for the forklift and works according to the LIFO (Last in, First out) stock management method, where the last pallet in is the first one to leave. This type of compact storage is recommended in warehouses with homogeneous products that have low rotation of material.

Drive Through Pallet Racking (FIFO)

Drive Through racking needs two work aisle accesses, one on each side of the racking. Works according to the FIFO (First in, First out) method, where the first pallet in is the first one to leave. FIFO is a storage system recommended for warehouses with high rotation products. however, space optimization is less than in Drive In racking.

Live Pallet Racking

Live pallet racking is a type of compact storage system that takes advantage of the forces of gravity and pushing to optimize pallet storage. Its peculiarity is that using these 2 forces, the pallets are moved inside the racking to their desired position.


Although the industry provides many additional types of pallet racking systems, these types of configurations appear to be the most popular. It is key to understand what your warehouse management goal is prior to selecting the specific type of racking system.

We hope this post provided you helpful information as it relates to selecting your pallet racking system. To speak with one of our technical experts, please call 1-216-229-9300. And thank you for reading our post.

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