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A Guide to Pallet Rack Spacing

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a photo of empty warehouse aisles in a warehouse

Handling the optimum volume of products as safely and cost-effectively as possible is the ultimate storage goal and making the best use of the space available is the key to success.

A massive state-of-the-art warehouse with a huge capacity will not be at its most efficient unless the racking system and the workspace are right.

Planning and Design 

There are many factors to be considered in order to achieve this goal and the process starts at the planning and design stage. 

Pallet racking design will consider the shape, weight and fragility of the goods being handled along with the shelf life, accessibility and the rate required of storage and retrieval.

It will also consider the space needed around these systems and the mechanisms to be used for storage and retrieval. 

Types of Racking

Wide aisle pallet racking is the standard and most widely used system and is built for standard reach trucks.

Conversely, narrow aisle pallet racking is ideal for warehouses where floor space is more restricted, providing an optimal use of space.

Other types of racking include drive in and drive through pallet racking which handles storage of bulk items and date-sensitive products, with standard fork trucks able to drive through the lanes.

Pallet Racking Aisle Width

Clearly, the space around those racking systems – the aisles in particular – will need to accommodate the equipment you will use to load and retrieve products.

In addition to the standard counterbalance forklift truck, mobile equipment will include towers, order pickers, powered stackers and reach trucks.

Aisles should therefore be wide enough to ensure that mechanical handling equipment can be easily and safely manoeuvred while operator safety is maintained. 

Widths will depend very much on the type of equipment used. For example, a basic 1,000KG forklift will require an aisle width of 2888mm width for a crossways 1000x1200mm pallet and 3010mm for an 800x1200mm lengthways pallet.

Placement and Retrieval

Another consideration will be just how the placing and retrieving of stock takes place. Some handling equipment requires a 90° turn to load and offload, some remain parallel to the aisle and have forks at 90° to the direction of travel.

And rack spacing is not just about space between racks. Spacing must also consider features such as lighting, sprinkler systems and security cameras to enable them to function correctly while optimising safety and accessibility.

And any retrofitting on racking for protection purposes may have an impact on truck accessibility and its clearances for manoeuvrability.

Contact Us

Ultimately, you do not have to wait until the final bolt is inserted and the last nut is tightened on your new racking system to know whether the infrastructure will work.

At Quickline, we have the experience and know-how to provide those solutions and to help you get the optimum business return on your investment.

No matter the size of the project, from a small scheme to a major development, we can produce the right design for you and then show it to you in a 3D visual representation.

With more than 14 different types of racking and shelving options, our design specialists will be able to find the right storage answers for your business.

Contact us to discuss your requirements and Quickline will do the rest.


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Quickline Limited,
Unit 5,
Mariner Court,
Calder Park,
West Yorkshire

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