What is Pallet Flow Rack?
Pallet flow, commonly known as “gravity flow” racking, is a popular FIFO (first in first out) pallet storage system. In a pallet flow system, pallets are placed on wheel tracks or rollers that are set on an inclined rack. A pallet is loaded onto the system from one end and moves at a controlled pace until it reaches the other end. When the front pallet is unloaded from the system, the next pallet moves forward. All of this happens in a single pallet flow “lane,” or wheeled track.
Pallet flow systems are well-suited for applications with a high volume of inventory turnover and products that are time-sensitive. The depth of pallet positions varies by pallet flow system, but most hold between two and twenty pallets per lane.
Pallet Flow Advantages
What makes pallet flow such a popular storage system? One major advantage is that it helps utilize warehouse floor space more efficiently. By storing pallets back-to-back, pallet flow effectively minimizes the need for additional aisles. Also, pallet flow offers a smooth, FIFO inventory rotation. Pallets can be loaded into the back of the system and unloaded from the front at the same time, meaning inventory is always moving and always accessible.
Quoting Pallet Flow/Gravity Flow Racking: What You Need to Know
Pallet flow systems should meet the needs and specifications of the end user. If you’re the person quoting the system, this often comes down to asking right questions. It may sound obvious, but asking questions is how we come to understand the application, the end user’s goals, and any other relevant information we’ll need when drafting a quote.
Below we’ve listed some of the standard questions we ask when we quote pallet flow systems. This list is by no means exhaustive but is meant as a basic list with which to start and build upon.
Standard Questions We Ask our Customers when Quoting Pallet Flow
“What will the layout of the system look like? How many pallets deep by how many pallets wide by how many pallets high?”
“What will the minimum and maximum pallet weights be? What will the standard pallet dimensions be (depth x width x height) and what will they be after adding in any overhanging product?” The pallet height should always include the load and the pallet.
“What type of pallets is the customer using and are they in good condition?” We ask this because there are many different pallet styles. The preferred pallet for a pallet flow rack system is the standard 48” deep x 40” wide GMA (Grocery Manufacturers Association) pallet.
“What is the building clear height?”
“What type of warehouse environment will this be used in? Freezer, cooler or ambient temperature? Will it be outdoors or in a wet area?” This will tell us if we need to quote galvanized material or standard painted material.
Need Help Quoting a Pallet Flow System?
At WPRP our goal is to help you, and that includes quoting engineered pallet rack systems. If you’re interested in quoting a pallet rack system for your customers, please contact us at 888-578-1579 and we’ll help you every step of the way.