Pallet Flow vs Push Back Racking: Which Is Best?

Pallet Flow vs Push Back Racking: Which Is Best?

There’s a greater and greater need for the engineered design of warehouses. There’s been a nearly 20% increase in warehouses of all sizes in the USA in only the past 10 years.

There are new technologies, new pallet racking systems, and even warehouse automation. There are many questions about which warehouse storage system will be one of the best racking systems for the future.

Among those newer systems are push-back racking and pallet flow racking. Keep reading to learn about both of these pallet storage systems!

Pallet Flow or Push Back Racking?

A push back rack is a type of pallet racking system that has a density virtually equal to drive-in racks. For overall space, push-back racking systems give greater density than pallet flow systems.

Only one aisle is required for picking and loading push-back racks because it’s a last-in-first-out (LIFO) system. so you can put it against a wall and have a compact system. This also means to get the first pallet you load you have to pick out all the others.

Pallet flow racking needs two aisles to work. One is for picking, the other for loading. This kind of racking is a first-in-first-out (FIFO) system.

Pallet flow racking accommodates long bays of up to 12 or even 25 pallets deep. For larger warehouses, the higher density per bay can be a heavy advantage. Both systems are gravity-feed systems.

In the case of push-back racks, the first pallet sits on a top cart. The next pallet pushes this cart back and is lowered onto the rack. Pallet flow systems have tracks with rollers that gently guide pallets to the picking end.

Which Is the Best Racking System?

Like most things in life, the answer to this question is situational.

A pushback system can only accommodate six pallets per bay, but you have space savings on a per-aisle basis. You only have one loading and unloading aisle.

If you have small areas and your product isn’t time-sensitive or fragile, a push-back rack could be your favored system. Freezers are a great example area for a push-back system, with a smaller area and non-perishable items.

A pallet flow rack is best for perishable or time-sensitive products. Product rotation is built into the system by default.

Pallet flow racks travel on a gravity-fed system with speed controllers and braking systems designed in. This makes it ideal for carbonated beverages, fragile glass items, and more.

In the real world, one single pallet racking system may not be the best solution. There are times when both systems can work in a complimentary way.

Loaded: Your New Pallet Storage System

Push back racking and pallet flow racking each has their use-case. There’s likely no one-size-fits-all solution for warehouse racking. Every SKU and every warehouse have different needs.

Did this article help you to understand the differences between each of these systems? Keep browsing our articles for the best and latest advice for your business!