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Understanding Drive-In / Drive-Through Pallet Rack Systems

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When it comes to setting up your storage facility, it can be difficult to determine what type of pallet rack system will work best for your application. The system that provides maximum efficiency for high-density storage is either drive-in or drive-through pallet racking. These two systems are similar in style, but they differ based on how pallets are loaded and unloaded. Learn more about the components of both drive-in and drive-through pallet racks as well as their benefits for your storage facility.

Components of the Systems

Drive-in and drive-through pallet racking systems are comprised of uprights and rail beams. The uprights provide vertical support, and the rail beams are used for pallet storage that is extremely dense. In this system, product is stored both back-to-back and floor-to-ceiling. This means that on average, you can store seven times more product when compared to another pallet rack system. Drive-in and drive-through pallet racks can also be connected to a standard pallet rack or customized design.

Drive-In vs. Drive-Through

The difference between drive-in and drive-through pallet rack systems lies in the way that pallets are stocked and picked. With the drive-in system, the forklift will only load and unload pallets on one side of the racks. It is referred to as “drive-in” because the truck drives into the system using only one side. Drive-in pallet racking is best suited to a last in, first out (LIFO) system and for products that do not need to be moved at a fast rate.

Drive-through pallet racking involves the forklift loading pallets on one side and unloading pallets on the opposite side. In this system, the truck uses rails to unload and load product after driving into the racks themselves. Drive-through pallet racking is best suited to first in, last out (FILO) systems because it is useful for products that move quickly.

Benefits of Drive-In/Drive-Through Pallet Racking

Both drive-in and drive-through pallet rack systems bring significant advantages to high-density storage applications. If you have a large inventory of products that have the same SKU, this style of pallet racking is the right choice. Drive-in and drive-through pallet rack systems are very simple to install, and they also do not require any overhead attachment when located in a standard warehouse. However, when they are supported by overhead attachments or ties, they are beneficial for use in a freezer.

In addition, drive-in and drive-through pallet racking is incredibly efficient and increases productivity by reducing the time spent on stocking and picking. These systems are also energy efficient – because the product is stored so densely, you will save on fuel costs for your lift trucks as well as heating and cooling for your warehouse.

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