May Blog – Vertical Racking

Demand for prime logistics assets has soared in Australia since the pandemic, pushing up warehouse rents and meaning every square metre of floorspace adds to a lessee’s overheads. Businesses looking to better manage their warehouse facilities are increasing efficiency by utilising the floorspace they already have with vertical storage solutions.


What do I need to consider for vertical storage?

Getting the maximum functionality out of your warehouse space calls for a warehouse designer or planner, someone with industry knowledge to improve efficiency and ensure all safety precautions are taken into account. 

Smaller businesses may prefer to DIY their plan, using a tool such as SmartDraw to get a 2D mudmap of what is going to fit and where. However, this process should be used only as a guide, and be approved by a person with racking expertise to help finalise your plan and components.

The Global Industrial team can also work with you or your designer to plan out the best layout for a warehouse, recommending products to fit your specific needs.

To develop your plan, this is a shortlist of things that need consideration:

  1. Type of products to be stored
  2. Whether it’s for mixed stock or single lines
  3. Storage only, or other functions such as manufacturing 
  4. First-in First-out, or First-in Last-out
  5. Loading bays, entry and exit points for vehicles
  6. Emergency exits for personnel
  7. Proximity to cold storage (if required)
  8. Desks/workspaces for staff
  9. Forklift and/or scissor lift access (and charging) 
  10. Adequate space for receiving goods and outbound good

Once your layout meets your satisfaction, additional considerations include:

  1. Lighting placement – do you need to adjust overhead lighting?
  2. Safety line marking in specific areas
  3. Convenient storage spaces for PPE and personal effects
  4. Fire & hazard safety allowances


Vertical Expansion Strategies

Pallet Racking

APEX Racking’s pallet racking frames are available in heights up to 7.3 metres, standing taller than the world’s tallest giraffe at a comparably tiny 5.7m!

Need to go even higher? Don’t worry, there’s other options such as splicing together posts and depending on the job size, we can import a custom size. 

When properly designed, pallet racking allows for efficient access to stored goods. Your choice of pallet racking design will be based on inventory characteristics and accessibility needs. Different frame grades (post sections and footplates) will be required based on the maximum load expectations, and possible beam lengths and sections will also vary based on total weight required per pallet position.


Double Deep Racking 

Double deep racking is a warehouse storage system that enables pallets to be stored in two rows behind each other, rather than the usual single row. This setup effectively doubles the storage density within the same floor space. 

By utilising forklifts with extended reach capabilities, operators can access items stored in the rear row without disturbing those in the front. Double deep racking is a preferred type for logistics firms handling various products for multiple clients as well as manufacturing and retail businesses with large inventories or seasonal fluctuations.


Cantilever Racking

Cantilever racking is a versatile storage solution designed for long, bulky items like pipes, lumber, and furniture. Its open-fronted design and adjustable arms make it easy to store and retrieve these items, providing flexibility in warehouse organisation. C200 light duty cantilever ranges from 2m to 4.2m high and the C305 medium duty cantilever racking is available in heights up to 6m.

With no front column to obstruct access, forklifts can manoeuvre easily, facilitating efficient loading and unloading processes. Cantilever racking is particularly useful for businesses dealing with irregularly shaped or lengthy inventory, offering a practical and space-saving solution for storing these items securely. 


Drive-in racking 

Drive-in racking is a storage system where pallets are stored on continuous rails, allowing forklifts to drive directly into the racking to access pallets. This design maximises storage density by eliminating aisles between racks, making it ideal for products with low turnover rates or bulk storage. 

Some businesses that benefit from drive-in racking include cold storage facilities, wholesale distributors, and businesses with high-volume but low-variety inventory, such as beverage manufacturers.


Vertical Racking

Vertical racking systems are designed for long items such as PVC conduit, timber trims, steel, aluminium, and moulding. Anything that comes in unwieldy lengths and may risk deformation can stand vertically — significantly reducing the floor space required. 

With APEX vertical racking available up to 6 metres high, it allows you to really use vertical space more effectively. In single-sided configurations, vertical racks can be tailored to fit along walls. Double-sided racks can be used in open spaces such as a warehouse aisle.

In vertical racking, bays are fitted with vertical divider arms for easy stock separation (to a maximum 500kg between each divider arm section). The cross beams at the top prevent stock from falling forward, and at the bottom prevent slipping, making your timber, pipes or other material easily accessible — while keeping people and equipment safe in your warehouse.


Warehouse Mezzanine

Racking isn’t your only option for going vertical. Add up to 75% more floorspace by building another level in your warehouse using a mezzanine. A racking type mezzanine floor gives ample storage and picking levels on the lower deck with the option for shelving on upper deck. Opting for a structural mezzanine gives you the ability to create spaces for an office, assembly benches or other strategic elements.

Load capacities per square metre are evaluated and provided with all mezzanine floors purchased through Global Industrial, and additional safety requirements will need to be included in your designs, such as stairs designed to meet Australian building codes, plus stanchions and guardrails for the upper deck.


Important notes:

All pallet racking and cantilever racking must be anchored to the ground. Longspan shelving over 3 metres in height must also be anchored, and with anything shorter, anchoring is recommended. Most often, Dynabolts are anchored into the concrete slab, which needs to be of adequate density.

Ensure your Pallet Racking meets the latest Australian Standards for design and installation. You can read more about AS 4084-2023 here.

Want to utilise the height of your building in other areas of your business? Read about the six types of shelving  perfect for maximising your warehouse space.


It’s always best to consult with a professional at Global Industrial to ensure you have the most efficient, effective and safe pallet racking system for your warehouse.