Pallet flow rack is a dynamic, FIFO (first-in, first-out), gravity flow pallet rack system ideal for perishable, high volume, and high-rotation goods. These high-density gravity flow pallet racking systems can store 2-20+ pallets per lane, increasing storage capacity by up to 50% compared to standard selective racking. 

Gravity flow racking uses wheels or rollers to roll pallets from the loading zone to the pick face, allowing fast-paced warehouses to optimize their material handling workflows while saving up to 75% in labor and equipment costs.

If you are interested in gravity flow racking systems, call 800-722-5908 or click the button below to get a quote!

Pallet Flow Rack System

How Pallet Flow Rack Works

Pallet flow rack systems have one dedicated aisle for loading and one aisle for unloading. Forklifts load pallets into the storage lane from the loading aisle and pick pallets from the picking aisle on the opposite side of the system. 

Pallets are placed onto angled wheel/roller conveyors (similar to carton flow), which easily flow pallets toward the front of the rack system. Roller type and speed controllers (brakes) engineered into the system prevent pallets from flowing too quickly.

Once they’ve glided to the front of the system, pallets rest on pallet stops until unloading. As a pallet is removed from the system, each subsequent pallet moves or “flows” into the next position via gravity. 

Pallet flow rack is a high-density storage system that maintains FIFO retrieval order and handling efficiency. Gravity flow pallet racking maximizes storage space by minimizing aisles. 

Pallet Flow System Testing

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

Pallet flow rack systems are highly customizable and tailor-made for each application. Manufacturers offer multiple wheel and roller styles to suit each customer’s unique pallet load. Extensive testing with a loaded pallet is required to ensure safety and determine the following:

  • Pallet flow rack style (structural or roll-formed)
  • Rack capacity
  • Storage lane depth
  • Roller/wheel style
  • Pallet flow rail style
  • Speed controller type and interval (brakes)
  • And more

Our pallet flow products are fully tested to meet the demands of your pallets and operations. We work with gravity flow rack system manufacturers to set up sample systems and test your pallets, ensuring a successful project. Consult a design specialist to learn more about customized pallet flow systems and pallet flow testing.

Pallet Flow Rack Components

Pallet Flow Rack Structure

Pallet flow racking can be engineered with either structural or roll-formed pallet rack, depending on your application environment, offering you the best storage solution to get your warehouse flowing. The rack structure consists of a series of upright frames and horizontal beams that support the pallet flow rails. Pallet flow racking can be configured at various heights as needed.

Pallet Flow Rails

Pallet flow rails are installed into the static pallet rack structure at an incline and support the dynamic rollers and brakes. Consult a warehouse design specialist to learn more about which pallet flow rails are best for your gravity flow system!

Pallet Flow Rollers

  1. Full-width rollers: Full-width pallet flow rollers are ideal for applications with multiple pallet sizes. Full-width rollers are also the most flexible pallet flow roller option available on the market.
  2. Magnum (Poly) Wheel Rollers: Magnum wheel rollers are the most durable pallet flow roller types. This roller style is ideal for pallet loads reaching over 3,000# and perfect for freezer storage applications.
  3. Skate Wheel Rollers: Skate wheel rollers are 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 Flow Safety Accessories

Pallet flow safety accessories prevent damage to loads and racking. We offer the safety components below to safeguard your pallet flow system and encourage safe loading and unloading practices:

  • Column protectors
  • Safety rails
  • Pallet flow rack entry guides
  • Speed Controllers
  • Pallet flow ramp stops
  • Pallet flow mounting brackets
  • Floor-mounted pallet flow supports

Pallet Flow Speed Controllers

Pallet flow speed controllers are installed at precise intervals along the pallet flow lane to control how fast pallets move through the system. Speed controllers are made of rubber and can either control the pallet directly or the rollers on which the pallets move. Here are the most common styles of pallet flow brakes:

  1. Direct Mount Speed Controllers: Direct mount speed controllers offer direct braking by coming into direct contact with the load.
  2. Indirect Mount Speed Controllers: Indirect mount speed controllers are suspended beneath the pallet flow rollers and only come in direct contact with the rollers, not the load.
  3. Drop-In Speed Controllers: Drop-in speed controllers are easy to install and replace.

Pallet Flow Applications

  • Food and beverage

  • Cold storage

  • Manufacturing

  • Distribution centers

  • Automotive industry

  • Pharmaceutical and chemical industry

  • Retail and e-commerce

  • Electronics industry

  • Aerospace industry

  • Bottling and packaging

Pallet Flow Rack Advantages and Disadvantages

Pallet Flow Advantages:

  • Space Utilization: High-density system that doubles storage capacity and eliminates unnecessary aisles (only one input and one output aisle)

  • Customizable: Many customizations are available, including roller/wheel type, storage depth, pallet rack style, color, and more.

  • Individualized: Pallet flow systems are tailor-made and tested for your unique application. Speak with a design and layout professional to learn more.

  • Inventory Control: Creates a dynamic “flowing” warehouse and fast inventory turnover

  • Accessible: Provides immediate access to every product

  • Safe: The safety of pallet flow reduces forklift damage and requires minimal maintenance

  • Versatile: Suitable for many industries, including cold or refrigerator storage

Pallet Flow Disadvantages:

  • Costly: Requires a higher capital investment compared to other rack systems

  • Pallet-Centric: Requires high-quality pallets to function properly, which can raise costs

  • Low Selectivity: Limited pallet selectivity compared to selective pallet racking

  • Limited SKUs: Can only store one SKU per lane

Pallet Flow Manufacturers

We partner with many pallet flow manufacturers. See our gravity flow pallet racking partners below and visit our pallet rack identifier to identify your brand of pallet racking.

Help Me Identify My Pallet Racking
  • Engineered Products
  • 3D Storage Systems
  • Advance
  • Bulldog Rack Co.
  • Frazier Industrial Company
  • Nucor (Hannibal)
  • Heartland Steel Products
  • Interlake Mecalux
  • Konstant
  • Mallard Manufacturing
  • Rack Builders Inc.
  • Ridg-U-Rak
  • Steel King
  • UNEX

Pallet Flow Rack Cost

Pallet flow is one of the most expensive engineered pallet rack systems, with prices ranging from $400-$800+ per pallet position. On average, for a larger pallet flow system, you can expect to pay $450-$500 per pallet position. 

Pallet Flow Pallet Racks Safety

Safe Loading

In pallet flow rack systems, pallets are loaded onto one side of the system and moved via roller track to the other end, where they’re unloaded. Custom-engineered brakes control the flow speed and prevent pallets from moving too quickly through the system, but proper loading techniques are vital. Forklift operators should take care not to collide with frames or damage products. If pallet flow is 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.


Proper maintenance is the key to keeping your warehouse safe and preventing your pallet rack from losing strength and stability. Like other pallet rack systems, it is advisable to perform routine safety checks on pallet flow rack systems to confirm the system’s structural integrity and the proper function of its various parts. Specifically, thoroughly inspect wheel beds or roller tracks to ensure pallets can 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 20 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 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 the order picking end. This slant allows the pallet to “flow” effortlessly from one end of the system to the other.

Pallet flow is suitable for industries and applications handling high-volume or perishable goods. The FIFO inventory management system ensures that expiration-sensitive products are consistently rotated, and one SKU is stored per lane.

  • Standard GMA (Grocery Manufacturers Association) pallets
  • Euro pallets
  • Custom-sized pallets
  • Plastic pallets
  • Non-standard pallets

Pallet flow rack systems can handle various product capacities, from light to heavy loads. A common pallet flow capacity range is 1,000 lbs per pallet position to 3,000 lbs or more per pallet position for heavy-duty.

Yes, but it will require some modifications and engineering. 

It is possible to find used pallet flow racks, but we do not recommend purchasing pallet flow used. Because there is so much testing and engineering involved with manufacturing pallet flow, finding a used system that works perfectly with your unique product is nearly impossible.

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

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