Top Pallet Tips to Optimize Warehouse Storage


A common scenario faced by people that manage a warehouse or storage facility face is a lack of storage space. This article will help you optimize your warehouse storage area for space, speed, cost, safety and efficiency.

Pallets are a staple of any warehouse around the world and using a pallet rack is one of the best ways you can maximize warehouse storage. It gives you the option of storing multiple items in horizontal rows that are also stacked one on top of the other.  It is important to know and follow the weight limits for the racks and distribute the weight of palettized products evenly along the rack.

Using pallets can help in maximizing storage space enormously – you can store so much more in a smaller area. This alone can pay for itself very quickly since you can store  more per square foot of warehouse space. The total amount of storage you can save in your warehouse depends on the type of pallet racking system you set up. There are numerous  different types of pallet racking systems. One of the more common ones is selective pallet racking, but others include Drive-In, Drive-through, Push-back pallet rack and Pallet Flow systems.  You can find out more about the various types of systems here. (link to  Each  has their own advantages and disadvantages.

The Top Pallet Tips For Optimizing Warehouse Storage

If you use a pallet racking system for your warehouse or are planning to do so in the near future, here are a few useful tips for you to help utilize your warehouse storage potential to its fullest.

1. Remember to check specifics of your rack

Before you select a rack, pay special attention to the size and weight restrictions the rack has. If there is any possibility that the weight of your palletized products will increase, you should ensure that the rack you are using accommodates that weight.  Otherwise, you should consider upgrading the rack.

Having a rack that can  easily support your product weight will help prevent unnecessary safety issues. Rack overloading is one of the most common problems of rack related accidents.  Even if you are lucky and nobody gets hurt, the accident is likely to cost you both time and money.   Not to mention you may have an irate customer waiting for a shipment.

2. Maintain your racks

Ensure that you do regular check-ups on your racks to make sure that they are sturdy and doing their job properly. If there are loose screws or bolts, or whether any side is damaged or looks worn-out, you should attend to it as soon as possible.

Employees who will be responsible for handling or transporting these pallet racks should be properly trained, so that they have proper knowledge on every aspect of pallet storage systems. Also determine whether additional decks such as wood decks are needed to stabilize your racks.

3. Determine how you transport your products

Whether the products that come in first go out first (FIF0), or whether the products that come in last go out first (LIFO) should determine what sort of storage rack you are using. (For example, if you are using a FIFO technique for your products, using a flow pellet rack might be ideal)

4. Access through forklift

The type of truck you use for transporting your products will determine how wide your aisles should be. Aisles usually have a width of between 8 and 13 feet, but this can change if you have unique or custom pallet sizes.

There are generally two types of trucks, namely the reach trucks and the order pickers.

Reach trucks are used to reach products stored high above the ground. Order pickers on the other hand come with a harness and lift up the operator who in turn lifts the required materials. For counterbalance lift trucks an aisle width of 12 ft. is ideal, and general aisle width differs from 8 ft. to 13 ft.

5. Arrangement of your racks

Once you have determined the type of rack you need, you should pay attention to the arrangement of the racks to help maximize storage space. Long rows of racks along the walls are the best option.  Additional racks should be installed parallel to the walls  in long rows as well; making sure to keep your required aisle width between each row.  Avoid short clusters of racks as this will complicate navigation.

Plan and research your pallet storage system options to determine what is best within your budget. Its best not to skimp on your pallet system, since it is a one time cost that can have a big effect on the safety, efficiency and cost of your operation.  With careful planning and the above tips, your warehouse storage will be utilized to its fullest.

9 Tips to Protect your Wood Pallets

pallets to make money

Pallets are vital component of any retail, warehouse or shipping operation.  Purchasing, maintaining, replacing and disposing of pallets can represent a sizable investment of both time and money. By following the below 8 tips for protecting wooden palllets you can save yourself a significant amount of both time and money.

1. Keep pallets from direct exposure to weather. 

Wind, rain, snow and sun can wear away at a pallet in a matter of months.   It is important to protect your pallets from mother nature whenever possible.  If your pallets are going to be stored outside it is best to keep them covered by a tarp or even an overhead shelter of some sort.

2. Protection from Moisture:

Moisture can have many negative effects on wood.  Mold, warping of the wood and decreased structure integrity can all be caused by water and moisture damage.  It is best to keep your pallets in a dry indoor environment. For pallets kept outdoors or subject to wet or moist conditions a wood sealant or varnish to applied directly to the pallets can help repel rain water and humidity.

3. Prevent Mold:

Whenever pallets get wet or are subject to high humidity the conditions for mold to form are significantly increased.  Mold requires water, oxygen, ideal temperatures and a source of food to grow.  Since the pallet is the food source, mold can attack and weaken the structural integrity of the pallet as it spreads.   Once a pallet is contaminated with mold, it can be difficult to remove and the structural integrity of the pallet might already be compromised.

For this reason it is best to take preventative action to prevent mold in the first place.  Access to oxygen can be difficult to control, but limiting access to water, controlling the temperature and starving the mold spores are the best way to prevent mold.   By treating the wood with chemical compounds it can prevent mold from using your pallets as a food source.  There are also natural and eco friendly options that will inhibit mold growth.  Keep your pallets dry and preferably in a moisture free environment.  Heat Treatments can also ensure your pallets don’t retain too much moisture.

4. Heat Treatment: 

Heat Treating your pallets can have several benefits.  Not only will it keep your pallets dry and help prevent mold, but it will also kill insects or pests that have chosen to make your pallets a home.  Sometimes these pests are too small to see by the naked eye and can even borough in to the wood.  They can make pallets unfit for the transport of many different goods and can quickly damage the structural integrity of the pallets.  International shipments in particular require pallets to meet ISPM-15 standards which requires heat treatment.

5. Invest in quality pallets. 

Cheap or improperly made pallets will end up costing you a lot more in the long run since you will need to continually replace them.  Pallets should be made with a quality grade of lumber that will easily handle the load you intend to place on them.  Your pallet company should be able to tell you the maximum load the pallets can safely handle.  Choose a company that has a solid reputation and is experienced in all facets of pallet manufacturing and distribution.

6. Repair or Recycle damaged pallets promptly: 

Broken or damaged pallets should be repaired promptly.  Any weak or damaged parts of the pallet are likely to increase the chances of further damage to the pallet due to uneven weight distribution of heavy loads and/or will make it harder for lift trucks to handle the pallet without damaging it.  Since it is more costly to replace pallets rather than repair them, keeping pallets well maintained will save you money.

7. Don’t overload pallets: 

Pallets can hold a lot of weight, but they will still have a maximum load they can support before they are likely to fail.  It is important to know the load bearing capacity of your pallets to avoid potential damage to the good they are carrying but also for the safety of  anybody working with the pallets.

8. Handle and store pallets with care: 

It goes without saying that handling your pallets carefully will extend their life.  A rushed or improperly trained forklift driver can damage pallets resulting in pallets that need to be repaired or replaced too soon.  Consider giving your forklift drivers a refresher lesson in handling pallets safely and carefully.

9. Use properly sized pallets:

Pallets come in a variety of sizes.  Make sure you choose the right size for the products they will hold. Overly large pallets can increase your shipping costs, while pallets that are too small can result in damage to your products.

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