Pallet flow pallet rack, also known as gravity flow is a FIFO (first in, first out) dynamic storage system. Pallet flow rack makes it possible to achieve high density storage while maintaining FIFO retrieval order and handling efficiency. Gravity flow pallet racking maximizes storage space by minimizing aisles. Gravity pallet flow systems can be designed to hold up to 20 pallets deep in one lane, and allow for quick and efficient inventory turnover.

Customization is key in pallet flow rack systems, and manufacturers offer multiple types of rollers to meet the demands of individual users’ pallets and products. Some manufacturers can even customize their pallet flow racks with speed controller capacities that are uniquely designed for users’ product weight ranges.

A set of gravity flow pallet racks stand empty ready for inventory on a polished cement floor.
How the gravity flow racks look with pallets on them.

Advantages of Pallet Flow

  • Space-saving, high-density storage

  • Customized, tailor-made design and layout

  • Dynamic “flowing” warehousing

  • Fast — Immediate access to every product

  • Versatile — well-suited to refrigerator or freezer storage applications
  • Practical and efficient
  • Operation- friendly

  • Tested for your unique application

  • Time-saving — only one input and one output aisle

  • Minimal maintenance and reliable

  • References from all types of industries

How Pallet Flow Rack Works

Pallets are loaded into the storage lane from the loading aisle and gravity fed, in order, to the discharge aisle. The pallets are first placed onto rollers upon which the pallets easily flow towards the front of the rack system. Once they’ve glided to the front of the system, pallets rest on pallet stops until they’re unloaded. As pallets are removed or unloaded from the system, each of the pallets that were behind them “flow” into the next position via gravity. Pallet speed is controlled by the type of rollers and brakes engineered into the system.

A close-up view of the rollers used to make inventory flow to the edge of the racks.

Types of Pallet Flow Rack Lanes

Full-width rollers: because of their width of support, these are ideal for applications with multiple pallet sizes for products. Full-width rollers are also the most flexible pallet flow roller option available on the market.

Magnum (Poly) Wheel Rollers: these are the most durable type of pallet flow roller available. Magnum wheel rollers are ideal for pallet loads reaching over 3,000# and perfect for freezer storage applications.

Skate Wheel Rollers: typically used with standard wood pallets in pallet flow systems with short lanes. Skate wheel rollers are the most cost-effective pallet flow roller option.

Pallet Gravity Flow Rack System Components

Gravity flow rack systems are made up of two main parts:
The rack structure: depending on your application environment, pallet flow racking can be engineered with either structural or roll formed pallet rack, offering you the best solution for your operations.

Pallet flow wheels, rails and brakes: these components are all selected based on the individual application.

Pallet Flow Roller Product Testing

Our pallet flow products are fully tested to meet the demands of your pallets and operations. We work with the manufacturers to set up a sample systems to test your pallets ensuring a successful project.

Pallet Flow Rack
Pallet Flow Rack System

Pallet Flow Pallet Rack Limitations

  • High capital investment compared to other rack systems
  • High pallet quality required
  • Limited selectivity

  • Limited number of SKU’s

Pallet Flow Pallet Racks Safety

Safe Loading

In pallet flow rack systems, pallets are loaded onto one side of the system and move via roller track to the other end where they’re unloaded. Therefore, it’s important to properly place pallets onto the loading end of the rack system as the operator takes care not to collide with frames or to damage product. If pallet flow is being used for a push-back application, operators should be careful when pushing the pallets already on the roller track backward.

Safe Unloading

Once pallets have been carried via gravity to the unloading end of the rack system, they will sit at the pick face until unloaded. The pallet being unloaded is the only barrier between the next pallet in line and the front of the system, so it should be unloaded slowly to encourage a smooth transition.

Maintenance

Proper maintenance is the key to keeping your warehouse safe and preventing your pallet rack from losing its strength and stability. Like other pallet rack systems, it is advisable to perform routine safety checks on pallet flow rack systems in order to confirm the system’s structural integrity and the proper function of its various parts. Specifically, wheel beds or roller tracks should be thoroughly inspected to ensure pallets will properly flow and remain on the track when moving through the system.

Frequently Asked Questions

Most pallet flow rack systems can hold anywhere from 2 to 25 pallets per lane.  However, custom engineered pallet flow systems can be designed to store an even greater number of pallets per lane if necessary.

Lead times for pallet flow projects are similar to other engineered rack systems, with lead time periods generally hovering in the 8 to 12 week range.  Lead times can be influenced by the approval process, but otherwise remain fairly static.

The pitch of a pallet flow lane can vary from system to system.  That being said, the most common pitch given to pallet flow lanes is 1/2” per linear foot.  To illustrate this, imagine a pallet flow lane that is 20’ long.  If the pitch is 1/2” per linear foot, the loading end of the lane will be 10” taller than picking end.  This slant allows the pallet to “flow” effortlessly from one end of the system to the other.

Know What You Need?

Shop In Stock and Quick Ship Systems at Pallet Rack Now

Want to View Our Catalog?

Shop Our Material Handling & Industrial Supplies Catalog

Let’s Talk

Ready to get started?
Or have questions about any of our products or services?

Fill out the form and a representative will contact you promptly.

* required information