What is Pallet Rack?

Pallet racking is a warehouse storage system designed to hold palletized items on horizontal shelves on multiple levels. Pallet racks are notably more efficient than other forms of warehouse storage because they utilize more vertical space, and forklifts load and unload the materials to save time.

There are many kinds of pallet racking for various warehouse operations and industry needs, but the basic components of pallet racks included the upright frames, also known as pallet rack uprights, and the shelf beams.


Pallet Rack Components

Upright Frames are made up of two metal columns held together by bracing that runs diagonally or across the two posts. The columns have holes punched into the metal, typically in a teardrop, keyhole, or T shape, for the horizontal beams to connect and lock in. They are also available in a variety of heights, widths, and post sizes to accommodate different weights and dimensions of the stored items.

Cross Beams are made of heavy duty, weight-supporting rails that attach to the upright frames and create the actual pallet shelves. These horizontal beams support the pallets themselves, and are also available in different lengths and heights to support a variety of weight and capacity requirements. Pallet rack beams also come in two main styles, step beams and box beams, which allow for additional support or wire decking.

Reminder: to determine the length of beam needed, measure between uprights (uprights add additional length to rack).

Supporting Components are a necessity since pallet racks often hold a lot of heavy materials, there are several safeguards in place to increase weight capacity and provide additional strength. The main forms of support come from the anchor bolts, which anchor the racks to the warehouse floor, wood deckers or stickers for more support to the pallets, and row spacers between back-to-back rows of pallet racks to add integrity to the pallet racking system.

Wire Decking is often used as a safety measure for the pallets being stored in the pallet rack system. Decking not only creates a safety measure for the rack system by preventing products falling, but also allows for better air circulation and water flow from sprinkler systems.

Styles of Wire Decking


Used on pallet rack box beams (beams with no inside step), structural rack and selective systems. As its name suggests, universal/flare channel decks can be used on almost any type of pallet rack cross beam.

U Channel Standard

U Channel Standard decks are used on standard pallet rack beams that have a traditional step measuring 1 5/8” U Channel decks are stronger than flare channel decks, but cannot be used on beams that don’t have an inside step for the support channel.

Inside Waterfall

Used on pallet rack in applications where the beam face needs to be open for barcoding or capacity labels. As seen in the image, the waterfall extends down the inside of the beam as opposed to the outer beam face.

Types of Pallet Racking