We often get questions on the differences between pallet flow and push back pallet rack, and which system would work best. The answer is, while they are similar concepts, it depends on your individual circumstances. In this post, I’m going to compare and contrast pallet flow and push back rack to see which would work best in different applications.
Push Back Pallet Rack
First, your inventory control is very important to this decision. Push back pallet rack is LIFO (last in first out), and pallet flow rack is FIFO (first in first out). Therefore, if you have date sensitive inventory or you are storing perishable items, you would probably not choose push back rack. With pallet flow, you would be able to pick the items that you stored in the system first before the items you stored after.
Pallet Flow Rack
How many different products you store in your facility plays a large role in choosing your pallet racking system. If you store a variety of SKUs but you need high density storage, push back would be ideal. While with push back you typically only store one single product per lane, you can store different SKUs in different lanes. It is very easy for the forklift to access all of the lanes and pick the different products.
Both push back rack and pallet flow rack minimize the amount of aisles you need, and with push back, one lane for the forklifts can be eliminated completely, since the pallets are both deposited and picked from the same aisle. Because of this, push back rack is often placed against a wall. However, push back rack generally only goes up to six pallets deep. Pallet flow can go up to 25 pallets deep, but that system needs an aisle at each end since the pallets are deposited at one side and then flow down to the other end to be picked.
If you’re looking for high density storage but you don’t know what system is the best for you, hopefully this post helped you out. Contact us, we can help determine what kind of pallet rack you need in your facility.