Some of the most common types of pallet rack systems used:
Drive-in and drive-thru are storage rack configurations that allow the forklift to drive directly into the lane of stacked rows often referred to as a bay . The difference between a drive-in and a drive-thru pallet rack system is simply whether or nor the bays have an entry at one end, or at both ends. Drive-in rack systems use a common entry and exit, while drive-thru systems have entry points at either end of the bay. Because a drive-in racking system has only one entrance, it uses what is called a LIFO, last in, first out, product storage method. With only one entrance, the last pallet put into a row is necessarily the first one to be taken out. A drive-thru storage system, with two different entry points, can also use a FIFO, first in, first out product storage method. With a FIFO system, pallets are loaded in one end and are pushed back to the other end, where they are then at the front of the row on the opposite side. The first pallet put into such a row is the first one taken out at the other end. This system is advantageous for material with an expiration date or wherever shelf life is a major concern.
Push-back pallet rack systems are designed around the principle of organizing space by depth rather than width. This depth arrangement greatly reduces aisle space and increases storage density. The rails are slightly angled toward the load/unload side of the rack in order to take advantage of gravity, saving enormous amounts of energy for moving heavy pallets. When a forklift sets the pallet onto the cart, it drives forward and causes the pallet to bump the next pallet, causing the entire row of pallets to roll backwards. When removing a pallet from the front position the remaining pallets immediately stage themselves forward so that the next available pallet can be accessed. Push back rack is a LIFO (last in, first out) storage system.
- ^ "The Advantages Of Pallet Flow Racking". Southwest Material Handling, Inc.. http://www.californiapalletracking.com/the-advantages-of-pallet-flow-racking/. Retrieved 15 January 2012.