Drive-In Pallet Racking

Drive-in pallet racking is a storage solution used in warehouses to maximise space efficiency by minimising the number of aisles between racks. It’s designed for high-density storage and is particularly suited for storing large quantities of similar products.

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Drive-In Pallet Racking

What Are Drive-In Pallet Racking Systems?

A drive-in pallet racking system is a high-density storage solution which can utilise up to 85% of available storage space for inventory as it eliminates aisles from the racking structure. Pallets are stored on rails and can be accessed from one end, which means this system operates on a First-In, Last-Out (FILO) basis and can also operate on a First-In, First-Out (FIFO) basis.


  • Efficient Storage Option: Much greater volume for storage than other pallet racking solutions.
  • Reduced Risk of Product Damage: With all pallets separately stored and stored independently there’s minimal chance for damage or crushing of the products.
  • Ideal for Chilled or Frozen Storage: With goods stored close together, chilled or frozen products help to maintain cool temperatures – creating savings on operational costs.
  • Low Maintenance and Assembly Costs: Built from durable and robust materials they are relatively simple to build and maintain, while still offering maximum use for years to come.
  • Enhanced Safety: With the ability for forklifts to drive directly into lanes to load and unload there is a reduced risk of potential accidents and collisions. The stability of the racking and the products stored on them reduces the risk of falling products.
  • High Storage Capacity: With pallets stored in great density, with fewer aisles, this allows for more pallet positions within the same footprint – maximising available space for storage.

Drive-in pallet racking is a high-density storage method that does away with aisles from the racking structure which allows product storage to occupy the majority of the available space. The system best suits a LIFO system with pallets fixed on rails and accessible from one end. If the system is configured for drive-through, pallets can be accessed from both ends for a First-In, First-Out (FIFO) stock rotation. When it comes to retrieving items, drive-through and drive-in pallet racking systems are not very quick and don’t have as much configuration flexibility as other systems, they work better for storing large quantities of similar items and it is perfect for storing uniform, fragile items as each pallet is supported independently meaning minimal chance of damage or crushing. Standard forklifts can be driven in and out of lanes to select and organise palletised goods effectively.

Drive-in pallet racking systems will vary depending on the requirements of the warehouse and the products being stored although some of the common specifications include:

  • Dimensions and Weight Capacity – drive-in pallet racking is usually designed to accommodate standard pallet sizes but can be customised to other dimensions if needed. The weight capacity per pallet position is a critical specification and can vary significantly – your unique requirements need to be taken into consideration with the initial design stage.
  • Height and Depth – the height and depth will depend on the size of the available area within the warehouse – although they can be up to ten pallets deep and some systems can reach over nine metres high.
  • Materials – most drive-in pallet racking systems are made from high-strength steel to be capable of withstanding heavy product loads as well as the wear and tear of forklift traffic.
  • Rail Design – the rails are typically adjustable to accommodate different pallet weights and can be reinforced for additional strength.
  • Forklift Access – the design needs to allow for the turning radius and lifting capacity of the forklifts used – including the height and width of the entry points into the racking system.

A variety of drive-in pallet racking system accessories are available to help organisations optimise the system for their specific needs and uses and to ensure a safer, more organised and efficient warehouse. Some accessories include:

  • Guide Rails – installed on the floor along drive-in lanes will help direct forklifts as they enter and exit racking lanes.
  • Column Protectors – installed at the base of the rack uprights to protect against potential forklift impacts.
  • Guards and Bumpers – able to help protect the racking from forklift impacts.
  • Wall or Back-to-Back Ties – to anchor racks to each other or the wall for additional stability.
  • Safety Netting – attached to the sides or back of racks to prevent pallets or products from falling and enhance safety in the warehouse.
  • Safety Signs and Labelling – clear labels and signs are crucial for safe and efficient operation including load capacity, operating instructions and safety warnings.
  • Back Stops – placed at the rear of each lane to prevent pallets or products from falling through when loaded.
  • Entry Guides at the Front of Rails – used to help guide the pallet into the bay without causing damage to either side.

Drive-In Pallet Racking System Benefits

Efficient Storage Solutions

Drive-in pallet racking systems offer exceptional efficiency in space utilisation making them a perfect choice for warehouses where floor space is a premium. They can minimise the need for multiple aisles and allow forklifts to enter the racking system to load or unload pallets increasing storage density within a smaller footprint. Drive-in pallet racking is ideal for businesses looking for a more bulk based and streamlined warehouse operation.

Reduced Risk of Product Damage

With drive-in pallet racking being designed for pallets stored in a continuous block and handled less frequently, there’s a lower chance of damage during handling. The design minimises the risk for forklifts to manoeuvre between racks – reducing the likelihood of accidental bumps or jostles that can occur in more open racking systems. Additionally, as pallets are supported along their length the risk of pallets or products shifting is greatly reduced, protecting products and maintaining quality whilst also minimising losses due to damage.

Chilled and Frozen Storage

Chilled and frozen storage environments have high costs associated with cooling and drive-in pallet racking is advantageous in these situations thanks to their dense storage capabilities. The dense storage possible with a drive-in racking system reduces the volume of air that needs chilling which lowers energy consumption and costs. This is particularly beneficial for storing large quantities of perishable goods, which require specific temperature conditions. The reduced need for forklift traffic in and out of the cold area minimises temperature fluctuations and helps maintain a consistent storage condition which preserves product quality.

Low Maintenance and Assembly Costs

With a simple design, fewer moving parts and a straightforward structural layout, there’s less wear and tear and a reduced need for ongoing maintenance with a drive-in pallet racking system. The robust construction is generally made from high-strength steel components, which are durable and resist damage – lowering maintenance requirements further. When it comes to assembly, these systems are relatively easy to install compared to other racking systems thanks to their modular design and it is also simple to create extensions or reconfigurations without massive extra costs or downtime.

Enhanced Safety

Drive-in pallet racking systems are designed with safety as a paramount concern. They reduce the need for forklifts to drive into the racking areas, minimising the risk of accidents and damage to the racks. The structure of drive-in racks is robust and stable, offering a secure environment for storing heavy and bulky items. The design limits the number of aisles needed which reduces forklift traffic and associated risks and the layout also ensures pallets are stored in a way that prevents them from falling – all of which features contribute to a safer workplace and reduce the likelihood of workplace injuries or damage to goods.

High Storage Capacity

Optimised for space efficiency, drive-in pallet racking offers high storage capacity in a dense configuration which maximises the footprint of the warehouse. This is particularly beneficial for warehouses with limited floor space but a high volume of stock. Drive-in racks enable more pallets to be stored per cubic metre than other conventional pallet racking systems. For organisations who need to maximise their storage capabilities, without expanding their physical footprint by extending or relocating, a drive-in pallet racking system is the most cost-effective solution for the highest possible storage capacity.

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Vadmin Anhimov

3 weeks ago

Quickline Ltd have delivered exceptional service in supplying and installing storage racking. From the initial contact, their team has been professional and…

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Mark Dunne

3 weeks ago

We have worked with Quickline for over 10 years, they are excellent at what they do. The price is competitive and they deliver what they promise.

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David Gutfreund

3 weeks ago

We’ve used Adam and his team on several projects. Most recently installing a 25,000 high bay racking system. Can’t fault them. Competitively priced and delivered on time.

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Ben Rawson

3 weeks ago

Adam and his team of experts have assisted in design and build for 3 of our Distribution Warehouses now. Each time providing an expert service in…

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