inspect racking - know your requirements

Your Guide to Different Types of Warehouse Pallet Racking

Do you know the difference from wide aisle to push-back? Confused about whether you need a multi-tier to drive-through racking? Let our guide to warehouse pallet racking help you find the right system for your business.

When it comes to the subject of creating a highly efficient space in your warehouse, it is your storage equipment that will deliver maximum impact. Yet, with so many different types of warehouse pallet racking on the market, choosing the best one for your operations can be overwhelming.

Established in 1987 and having a proven track record within the logistics industry, at Teepee we understand how getting the correct warehouse racking system in place will help you achieve optimum productivity. Here, we explain the different types of systems that we provide, covering what each system is for, how it works, and key advantages for your business.


Do I need racking or shelving? 

This is one of the most common questions we’re asked at Teepee. There is no right or wrong answer to this one and it is possible to have both in your warehouse. In most situations, making a choice over racking or shelving largely depends on your space and the type of products you store.

Pallet racking – although not always the case, you normally choose pallet racking if you store items that are larger and heavier. The increased depths of the shelves make them ideal for holding pallets which you access by fork-lift trucks or automated processes. You can adjust beam to accommodate changing stock levels and utilise the full height of your warehouse.

Shelving – with shelving, you will usually store smaller and lighter items which are loaded by hand. Shelving is smaller than racking providing a more efficient space-saving solution. Goods are much easier to store and access, and due to its design, it tends to be a more cost-effective option.


What warehouse pallet racking do I need?

In its simplest form, warehouse pallet racking consists of metal frames and beams which are designed to safely hold up tonnes of stock. Yet, the way you configure the structure can have a huge impact on how well your warehouse performs. There are several different solutions and, with the correct design, your warehouse pallet racking will maximise your storage and streamline how stock moves through your warehouse. Here are your options.


Wide Aisle Pallet Racking

warehouse pallet racking - wide aisle

This type of warehouse pallet racking is suitable for:

  • Warehouses with space
  • Warehouses that need lots of flexibility and adjustments

How does it work?

As the name suggests this system consists of single or double runs which are separated by wide aisles (normally 2500 – 4000mm in width). It is a very versatile storage option that gives forklift trucks direct access to the pallets. The flexibility of this system allows you to store an array of palletised goods, perfect for handling a variety of product ranges.

Wide aisle racking has the flexibility to support a mix of stock profiles at the same time, yet with the flexibility to easily adapt when needed. It also provides you with better control and management of your inventory.

You can fit wide aisle racking with an array of accessories such as pallet support bars, skids, weld mesh and timber shelves, enabling you to store a vast range of none palletised goods.


  • A very common and simple system to install and use
  • Quick access to stock
  • Immediate and unrestricted access to each pallet
  • High throughput speed
  • Adapted and utilised to suit your requirements and space e.g., adapt the height of the rack, the number of rows and much more
  • Standard forklift trucks


Very Narrow Aisle Pallet Racking (VNA)

warehouse pallet racking - VNA

This type of warehouse pallet racking is suitable for warehouses with:

  • Limited floor space
  • High and increasing stock

How does it work?

If warehouse space is a problem, this is the ideal solution for you. As with the wide aisle racking, the system consists of single or double runs, but the true benefit is in the aisle space. The clue is in the name because this racking has aisles that range from only 1.5m up to 2.0m in width.

With VNA racking the sky really is the limit (almost) and you can take advantage of the full height of your warehouse. This makes it an ideal option if your business is growing. The racking can be put in place and additional storage space released as and when you need without having to relocate to a bigger warehouse.

Safety is key with this type of racking. The aisle width is too narrow for a standard truck to operate and instead requires a specialist VNA forklift truck. A wired guidance system fits to the floor which guides the trucks down the centre of the aisle. Stability is key. To avoid the chance of the racks being knocked by trucks, the racking must sit on an even, preferably concrete, floor.


  • Efficient use of warehouse space
  • Minimises need to relocate
  • Immediate and unrestricted access to pallets
  • High speed

See an example > A. Perry & Co (Hinges) Ltd | Teepee Warehouse Solutions


Double Deep Pallet Racking

warehouse pallet racking - double deep

This type of warehouse pallet racking is suitable for warehouses with:

  • Long shelf life / non-perishable stock
  • More than one pallet per storage unit

How does it work?

This is essentially a standard pallet racking system. However, the main difference is that this system allows you to create a depth of two pallets that sit back-to-back.

Double deep racking solutions require a specialised truck having telescopic forks, which enables the operator to place the back pallet onto the system first, and then place another pallet in front.


  • Efficient stock control system
  • Maximises use of space
  • High density


Multi-tier Pallet Racking

warehouse pallet racking - multi tier

This type of warehouse pallet racking is suitable for warehouses with:

  • Limited floor space
  • Manual picking systems
  • Quantities of small products such as online retailers

How does it work?

Multi-tier racking essentially creates a series of usable walkways at different heights throughout the racking. This has the advantage of maximising your floor space by creating multiple hand-loaded picking zones throughout the racking. Walkways are fitted between the shelves with access via a staircase.


  • Optimises height
  • High speed
  • Accessible and adaptable
  • Removes the need to install mezzanine floors
  • Improves picking and packing process


Push Back / Pallet Live Racking

warehouse pallet racking - push back

This type of warehouse pallet racking is suitable for warehouses with:

  • High-density storage in a limited area
  • FIFO or FILO operations

How does it work?

There are two systems available:

  • Push back racking uses a First In Last Out (FILO) system. Pallets load onto a specially designed gravity roll track that pushes previously loaded pallets deep to the back. This system can store up to 10 pallets deep allowing efficient use of warehouse space. When you pick a pallet, the next one behind will move forward. Pallets load and unload from the same aisle picking space. You can store several SKUs without the need for moving large quantities of pallets to gain access.
  • Pallet live racking work on a First In First Out (FIFO) method. It is ideal for fast-paced environments such as food manufacturing. Pallets roll down specially designed lanes that are controlled by a series of inbuilt brake rollers. Each lane is loaded with pallets at the replenishment side and collected at the picking face on the opposite side to control stock rotation and levels.


  • 85% space utilisation
  • 4m – 4m aisle widths
  • Quick and easy access to pallets located at the picking face
  • High speed
  • Boost productivity
  • No need for specialist equipment


Drive-in, Drive-through Racking

warehouse pallet racking - drive in

This type of warehouse pallet racking is suitable for warehouses with:

  • High-density storage
  • Bulk storage systems
  • Limited stock rotation
  • Cold storage environments (e.g., refrigerated and frozen warehouses).
  • Seasonal products
  • Low turnover products

How does it work?

Drive in racking is a high-density storage system which is ideal for warehouses that stock a large number of pallets per SKU. The design of your drive-in racking will maximise your storage space by minimising the number of aisles needed for trucks. Multiple racks sit alongside each other with pallets loaded onto designated lanes and accessed by forklift trucks. Each pallet is supported by pallet rails which are attached to the uprights of the system. Pallets to be placed back-to-back within a compact structure to optimise both the vertical and horizontal space.

There are two ways the forklift truck can access the pallets:

Drive-in – this is designed on a last-in, first-out (LIFO) inventory management basis. The forklift truck loads and picks each pallet using the same aisle.

Drive-through – this is designed on a first-in, first-out (FIFO) inventory management basis. The forklift truck has access to both ends and therefore can load from one side and unload from the other.


  • 85% space optimisation
  • Low risk of damage
  • Maximum flexibility – expandable

See an example > Minor Weir & Willis (MWW) | Teepee Warehouse Solutions


Need help with your warehouse pallet racking?

We hope that this page has helped you to find the right system for you. If you’re looking to increase your storage space, why not get in touch and see how we at Teepee can help. We work closely with our customers to design bespoke storage systems that get to the heart of their business to maximise their storage and boost productivity.

If you have any questions, get in touch with one of our team who are on hand to help you out.

Contact us today.

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