Adjustable Pallet Racking (APR) Racking

The Ultimate Guide to Pallet Racking: Everything You Need to Know

With such a diverse array of options available to meet every storage need, it can be overwhelming to select the perfect pallet racking system for your warehouse, so here's our guide to help you make an informed decision.

Pallet racking systems are the backbone of countless warehouses and distribution centers around the world. These versatile structures provide efficient storage solutions for palletised goods, optimising space and facilitating smooth operations. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll delve into the intricacies of pallet racking, covering everything from its components to different types and how to choose the right racking system for your needs.

What is pallet racking?

Pallet racking is a storage system designed to store palletised goods in a warehouse or distribution center. The system, consists of  upright columns, horizontal beams, and optional accessories such as wire or timber decking. The primary purpose of pallet racking is to maximise vertical storage space while allowing easy access to stored items for loading and unloading using forklifts or other handling equipment.

There are various types of pallet racking systems available, which we will discuss below.

Key components of a pallet racking system

Before we dive into the various types of pallet racking, let’s first understand the key components that make up these systems:

  • Frame / Uprights: These vertical columns serve as the support structure for the racking system. Uprights typically have holes or slots at regular intervals to accommodate beams.
  • Beams: Horizontal load-bearing members that connect to the uprights, forming the shelves or levels where pallets are stored. Beams come in various lengths and weight capacities to suit different storage requirements.
  • Wire Decking or Timber Decking: Optional decking placed on the beams to provide additional support for pallets and prevent items from falling through.
  • Footplates: These are anchored to the floor to provide stability and support for the uprights.
  • Bracing: Diagonal braces or cross beams that connect the uprights together, enhancing the overall stability and strength of the racking system.
  • Locking / Safety Pins: Inserted into the upright frames and engage with the beams to secure them in place, preventing accidental dislodgment or displacement of the beam.

Types of Pallet Racking

Pallet racking systems can broadly be categorised into two main types based on their accessibility and storage density:

Direct Access Pallet Racking

  • Adjustable Pallet Racking(APR): This is the most common type of direct access pallet racking. It allows for individual pallets to be accessed directly without moving others. Selective racking systems are versatile and suitable for warehouses with a wide variety of SKU (stock-keeping unit) requirements. They offer easy access to each pallet, making them ideal for businesses that prioritise quick retrieval of goods.

Adjustable Pallet Racking (APR)

Adjustable Pallet Racking (APR) Racking

  • Cantilever Racking: a specialised type of pallet racking system designed primarily for the storage of long, bulky, or irregularly shaped items that cannot be stored on traditional pallets. Unlike conventional pallet racking, which utilises horizontal beams to support pallets, cantilever racking features long, horizontal arms that extend from vertical columns.

Cantilever Racking

High-Density Pallet Racking Systems

  • Mobile Racking Systems: Unlike traditional static pallet racking, mobile pallet racking is mounted on a steel framed base. This racking system is installed over guided mobile bases that slide laterally, thus eliminating the need for aisles, which open up only when accessed.

Mobile Racking

  • Drive-In Racking: Drive-in Racking, also know as drive-through racking, allows forklift trucks to drive directly into the pallet racking , providing easy access to stored pallets. This efficient design eliminates the need for aisles between racks, maximising storage space for products with a low inventory turnover rate.

Drive-In Racking

  • Push Back Racking: Push back racking is a type of selective pallet racking system used in warehouses to maximise storage density while maintaining selectivity and ease of access to stored goods. Ideal if you’re storing bulk goods on pallets according to the Last-in, First-out (LIFO) principle.

Push Back Racking

  • Carton Flow Live Shelving: This system utilises gravity to move products seamlessly from the loading end to the picking end, reducing the need for manual handling and increasing picking efficiency and is particularly effective for products with a short shelf life, where the first-in-first-out (FIFO) system is crucial. It’s commonly used for cartons, boxes, and smaller items.

Carton Flow Racking

carton live storage

How to choose the right pallet racking system

When it comes to choosing a pallet racking system for your warehouse or distribution centre, several considerations come into play. First off, you’ve got to assess your storage requirements. Take a good look at the size, weight, and volume of your inventory, including any items with special handling needs. This will help determine the type of racking system that can best accommodate your goods.

Accessibility is another key factor to think about. Do you need direct access to each pallet, or are you okay with sacrificing a bit of accessibility for higher storage density? Understanding your accessibility needs will steer you towards the right type of racking system that balances storage efficiency with ease of access.

Lastly, don’t forget about your warehouse layout and future growth plans. Consider the dimensions of your warehouse, including ceiling height and aisle width, to make sure you’re optimising space utilisation. And as your inventory grows over time, ensure that the racking system you choose can adapt to accommodate your evolving needs without requiring a complete overhaul. Taking all these factors into account will help you make an informed decision and select a pallet racking system that maximises efficiency and productivity in your warehouse or distribution centre.

Stamina Storage Solutions have 25  years of experience designing and installing storage solutions for businesses in all sectors.

So, if you need support or advice contact us and we can help you find the right storage solution for your business.
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A load notice sign to show the weight capacity of the racking

How Much Weight Will Pallet Racking Hold?

Pallet racking plays a pivotal role in optimising warehouse storage, providing a systematic and efficient way to store goods and understanding the weight capacities associated.

The weight capacity of a pallet racking system is its ability to support and safely hold the weight of the goods stored on its shelves. Overlooking this crucial factor can lead to safety hazards, structural failures, and operational inefficiencies. It’s essential to accurately assess the weight of your stored goods and choose a pallet racking system that can handle the load.

The amount of weight that a pallet racking system can hold will vary depending on the type of system, and the manufacture and we will always advise to check the pallet racking you use is suitable for the good you store, especially if the goods have changed. Below we have given some guidance on the different pallet racking types and their weight capacities:

Types of Pallet Racking and Their Weight Capacities:

Adjustable Pallet Racking

Adjustable pallet racking is the most common type of pallet racking, allowing direct access to each pallet. Weight capacities can vary but generally range from 500kgs to 2000 kgs per pallet position. Ensure to check manufacturer specifications for precise details

Double-Deep Pallet Racking:

Ideal for high-density storage, double-deep racking systems have weight capacities similar to selective racking. However, it’s crucial to consider the accessibility constraints, as pallets are stored two-deep, making rear pallets less accessible. Also there is a weight reduction on rear pallets due to the truck operation.

Drive-In Racking:

Designed for high-density storage, drive-in systems can handle substantial weight. Capacities typically range from 500kgs to 2000kgs per pallet position. Consider the trade-off between storage density and selectivity.

Push Back Pallet Racking:

With a Last-In-First-Out (LIFO) inventory management system, push back racking can handle weights ranging from 500kgs to 2000kgs per pallet position. It’s essential to consider the dynamic nature of this system when assessing weight capacities.

Cantilever Racking:

Commonly used for storing long and bulky items like pipes and timber, cantilever racking is generally designed around the goods stored and is therefore not as restricted on weight capacities as per the other options. The overall capacity depends on the length and thickness of the stored items.

Before  determining the weight limits of a specific pallet racking systems, we would need to understand the following:

  1. What type of racking you are using:
    As we mentioned above, different types of pallet racking system have different weight capacities (e.g. selective pallet racking, drive-in racking, push back racking, etc.) so we will need to know what type you are using or are planning to use.
  2. Manufacturer and Model:
    As well as type of raking, we will need to identify the manufacturer and model of your pallet racking system. Different manufacturers may have variations in design and specifications, impacting weight limits. If you don’t know the manufacturer of the racking, just take a photo and we can help you identify the model you have.
  3. Configuration and Dimensions:
    It is important to provide details about the configuration and dimensions of your pallet racking system. This includes the height, width, and depth of the racks, as well as the number of levels or beams – we can give you guidance on how to measure your pallet racking system.
  4. Material and Construction:
    Note the materials used in the construction of the pallet racking, such as the type of steel, and inquire about the design features that contribute to its load-bearing capacity.
  5. Beam Levels and Spacing:
    Specify the number of beam levels in each rack and the spacing between these levels. This information is crucial as it directly impacts the weight distribution across the racking system.
  6. Pallet Size and Weight:
    Provide details about the size and weight of the pallets you intend to store on the racks. The weight of the individual pallets, along with the quantity, influences the overall load on the system (UK Pallet -1200mm x 1000mm, Euro Pallet -1200mm x 800mm).By providing these specific details, will enable our expert team to calculate and recommend accurate weight limits based on the design and specifications of your system. It’s essential to consult with experts in pallet racking to ensure that your system is configured to safely and efficiently handle the weight requirements of your stored goods.

Cantilever racking loaded with long steel products
euro pallet, uk pallet diagram

Are there any regulations around weight loads

Load notices on pallet racking help warehouses comply with weight restrictions and other regulations imposed by local authorities. This compliance not only ensures a safe working environment but also prevents potential legal issues.

Whilst there is no specific legislation in place with regards to  load notices, the Health & Safety Executive (HSE) states that the limitations indicated in the maximum load notice should never be exceeded.

In addition to this, training and guidance should be provided to staff within the warehouse to ensure they are a clear understanding on what the maximum racking loads are, and why it’s important for them to adhered to.

Stamina Storage Systems will supply load notices when installing pallet racking systems providing information on the weight-bearing capacity of each pallet and the load distribution, these notices help prevent overloading, ensuring that the racks can support the intended weight without compromising safety. If you need further support on load requirements for your racking, feel free to contact our team experts, who are on hand to help.

A load notice sign to show the weight capacity of the racking

If you need support finding the right storage system for your business, contact our expert team today.

Contact a member of our expert team to discuss your needs.
Request a callback

new brand for stamina handling ltd

Stamina Handling Limited Powers into the Future as Stamina Storage Systems!

Stamina Handling Limited is thrilled to unveil its dynamic transformation into Stamina Storage Systems. This monumental rebranding aims to align the company's identity with its unwavering commitment to the UK racking distributor market.

New Branding!

The buzz doesn't stop there – along with the exciting name change, Stamina Storage Systems is unveiling a fresh, modern look and an upgraded website at '' Boasting user-friendly features, the revamped site promises customers an enhanced experience, providing easy access to support and expert advice on all racking and storage services.
While the company's registered business name will remain Stamina Handling Limited, the metamorphosis into Stamina Storage Systems marks a pivotal moment in the company's evolution. With a bold new identity, cutting-edge website, and an enduring commitment to excellence, Stamina Storage Systems is poised to revolutionize the racking and storage industry for years to come. Stay tuned for the exciting journey ahead!

Peter Gobbi, Managing Director explains the change; “We’ve had feedback that our name and marketing didn’t represent who we are and what we do, and this was impacting on our ability to reach our customers in need of support with their racking and storage solutions. Our new name, more accurately reflects our on-gong offering to the racking distribution market.  As we approach 30 years of service, the rebranding illustrates how the company is continuing more committed than ever to the customers we serve – and we’re investing and appropriately modernising our business to ensure we’re around for many more years”.

Stamina Storage new brand

Cantilever racking installed at Network Rail

Cantilever racking for timber products

Traditional storage systems may struggle to accommodate these requirements, making the adoption of specialised solutions imperative. In this blog, we delve into the world of cantilever racking and its role in optimising storage for timber products.

What is Cantilever Racking?

Cantilever racking is a versatile and space-efficient storage system designed to handle long, heavy, and awkwardly shaped items – precisely the characteristics of timber products. Unlike traditional pallet racking, cantilever racks feature arms that extend from vertical columns, providing unobstructed access to stored items.

Advantages for Timber Products:

  1. Length and Flexibility:
    • Cantilever arms can be adjusted to accommodate varying lengths of timber products.
    • The system's flexibility allows for easy storage of items with irregular shapes, such as planks, beams, or logs.
  2. Weight Capacity:
    • Engineered to support heavy loads, cantilever racking is well-suited for the weighty nature of timber products.
    • The robust design ensures stability and safety, even with substantial loads.
  3. Accessibility:
    • Cantilever racking enables easy accessibility to stored timber items.
    • Forklifts and other material handling equipment can navigate through the aisles, ensuring efficient retrieval and storage.
  4. Space Optimization:
    • The open-front design of cantilever racks maximizes space utilization, making it ideal for long and bulky timber products.
    • High vertical storage allows for the effective use of vertical space in your warehouse.

Installation and Maintenance:

Implementing cantilever racking for timber products requires careful planning and installation. Here are key considerations:
  • Customisation -
    Work with a supplier who can tailor the cantilever racking system to suit the specific dimensions and weight capacities of your timber products.
  • Safety Measures - 
    Emphasise proper load distribution and regularly inspect the system to ensure it meets safety standards.
    Educate staff on safe loading and unloading practices.
  • Regular Maintenance -
    Implement a routine maintenance schedule to identify and address any wear and tear promptly.
    Keep aisles clear and organise inventory to prevent accidents and damage.
Cantilever racking emerges as a tailored solution for the unique storage demands posed by timber products. Its adaptability, weight capacity, and accessibility make it an indispensable asset for industries where efficient storage and retrieval of timber items are paramount.


With decades of experience with cantilever racking, you can trust the team at Stamina Storage Systems  to unlock the full potential of your timber product storage, helping you pave the way for streamlined operations and enhanced productivity. Contact us to arrange a free site visit or a online quotation.

If you are looking for a storage solution for timber products, then cantaliver racking could be the perfect system for you. Stamina Storage Solutions can do a free site survey to dicuss your requirements. Get in touch today.

Contact a member of our expert team to discuss your needs.
Request a callback