What is the difference between shelving and racking?

Do you ever get confused when you are looking for the right storage for your goods and you find that you have two options: shelving or racking, but what exactly is the difference in use and function between the two? At first glance, you may not see much difference between these two options. However, if you choose a system that does not adequately serve your purpose, you may end up limiting the efficiency potential of your team. With that in mind, here’s a guide to understanding the differences between shelving and racking.


What is the main difference between shelving and racking?

For people who are new to the world of industrial storage, they are under the impression that both shelving and racking are either shelves supported by upright frames and beams, or posts and shelves. Understanding the differences between the two and having a clear understanding of the function of both options will give consumers and businesses a clearer picture of what is best for the products they need to store.

In layman’s terms, the main difference between shelving and racking is the difference in the size and type of products they can hold.

Typically, shelving stores smaller items that are easier to pick up and carry. Shelving systems are suitable for materials that almost always require manual access, such as books, small boxes of medications and auto parts. Shelving usually provides a sturdy counter-like surface to support items. It usually does not have the appearance of mesh platforms, open or scaffold-like shelving. Products are usually stored individually (rather than on pallets) to group similar goods together. Shelving units are usually made of metal and located on the floor. However, some warehouse spaces contain mechanized shelving systems or racking systems with wheels.

Instead, racking is a key piece of equipment for storing heavy goods in warehouses. Racking usually spans wider spaces, is deeper, and stacks higher than shelving. It is built and installed in such a way that materials can be accessed using cherry pickers, forklifts or mechanized systems to move materials down to the floor – such as large boxes or entire pallets of goods.

In most cases, racking utilizes vertical height to increase cube density. Loading and unloading requires forklifts or other equipment, as pallets are usually involved. Racks are arranged in individual sections and racking systems are built in several pallets to support heavier loads. Due to the increased need for stability, most racking systems are anchored to the ground. Pallet racking shelving tends to use wire mesh decks as shelving. It is also common practice to omit shelving altogether depending on what is being stored.


What kind of shelf or rack is more suitable for me?

Now you may have the answer to the difference between shelving and racking. Whichever storage system a business chooses to invest in, it’s important to understand the capabilities of each system. Are you looking for an industry vendor that can provide the best storage solution for your facility?

If so, then Aceally Storage Solutions is the one-stop solution for you. We offer unique and performance driven durable storage solutions. These storage solutions are made of stainless steel. Due to the beneficial features of these storage solutions, they help increase overall warehouse productivity.

If you are not sure which storage solution to choose for your facility, contact our experts who will help you throughout the process by understanding your application requirements.


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Learn More:

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Post time: Oct-19-2022