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Push Back Racking Solutions

Warehouse and distribution center managers are feeling the demands of handling high volumes of stock with the added pressure that’s resulted from the e-commerce boom. The availability of warehouse space for the logistics sector in the US stood at 5.6 percent in the fourth quarter of 2021. So, it’s no surprise operators are struggling to find more storage space that will fully utilize their warehouse capacity.

Push back pallet racking systems may be an ideal and affordable solution to help you make room for increasing inventory in a fixed amount of space. These innovative racks can double or even triple storage capacity. Read on to learn more about push back racking, how and when it should be used, and the advantages to incorporating it into your warehouse storage solutions.

What is Push Back Racking?

Push back racking is a high-density pallet storage solution that provides easy access to inventory and is ideal for warehouses that are tight on space. It allows you to store two to six pallets deep in the same bay, and each level or lane is independently accessible. You get up to 90% more storage density than standard selective racking. Plus, it offers similar space savings as drive-in racking but with typically three to five times more selectivity. 

Features & components

The push back racking system is made up of structural or roll formed uprights and beams. It’s built on an inclined rail section that extends the full depth of the storage lane. These heavy-duty rails are permanently installed to the racking beams, which helps to prevent misalignment and costly maintenance and repairs. 

The pallets sit on top of a series of nested carts that roll along the railing system. These carts have a standard capacity of up to 3,000 lbs, but heavier loads can be accommodated if needed.

How Does it Work?

Push back racking uses a Last In/First Out (LIFO) system and is loaded and unloaded with a forklift. 

When the forklift operator is loading, they will place the first pallet on top of the cart at the front of the bay. Next, they load the second pallet, which pushes the first pallet and cart along the rail, exposing the next nested cart in a 3 – 6 deep system. This process continues, and the last pallet will be loaded directly onto the bed rails. If it is a 2 deep system, the second pallet will simply be placed directly on the rail.

When unloading, the forklift operator lifts the pallet off and reverses slowly, allowing the next pallet to slide forward along the railing into position. The process is repeated until the lane is empty.

Pallets are rested on wheeled carts that roll on a predetermined track.

Who Should Use Push Back Racking?

Any warehouses with high pallet counts and/or mid-level SKU counts that need to increase storage capacity can use push back racking. There are a wide range of industries that use this type of racking system, but the ones that are best suited for it are:

  • Cold storage/Refrigeration 
  • Food and beverage 
  • Grocery 
  • Consumer packaged goods 
  • Manufacturing plants 
  • Aerospace 
  • Heavy duty equipment dealers 
  • Automotive car and truck dealers 
  • High seismic areas

What Are the Advantages of Push Back Racking?

With the ability to offer high-density storage, a push back pallet racking system can significantly increase your warehouse capacity. It ensures optimal use of both vertical and floor space. You can gain up to 2 to 3 times more storage space compared to a standard selective rack and gain up to 25% – 55% more space overall. 

Selectivity is improved with this system as well. It allows storage for a greater number of SKUs, and the single-aisle design makes room for more storage racks to be added on both sides without decreasing access to the pallets. Push back racking improves stock rotation and occupancy because each level can store a different product. Plus, this system can be customized and configured to your specific throughput patterns, storage space, and density needs.

The heavy-duty design requires little to no maintenance, and since forklifts don’t have to drive into the system, it helps prevent rack or product damage. The system provides support for weak pallets, accommodates non-standard pallet sizes, and is generally much more efficient, which saves on labor costs. 

Interested in Learning More About our Push Back Racking Systems?

Contact ISS Material Handling for a free consultation.

Contact ISS Material Handling for a Free Consultation 

Do you think a push back racking system could benefit your operations? Contact us and we can merge our experience and expertise to come up with a solution together. Tell us about your potential project and submit the form below or give us a call at 833-754-2164.

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