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Advantages and disadvantages of using cantilever racking

By July 30, 2015May 2nd, 2022Cantilever, Pallet Rack Systems

In this article we will briefly discuss the advantages and disadvantages of using cantilever racking in your business warehouse.

Cantilever racks are used for storing long, awkward loads that cannot be stored on traditional racking. Storage for long loads, such as timber, trusses, pipes or plywood, is a tricky business. There are not many available options to keep those kinds of items secure and accessible. The best options are floor stacking or cantilever racking.

Floor stacking takes up a significant footprint. You can only stack it so high so before you know it, you have piles littering your storage space yet no way to take advantage of the height of your warehouse or facility. Floor stacking is the lower cost option and requires less of an initial capital investment. But is the wasted space worth the saved money?

Cantilever racking uses uprights secured into strong bases with arms and braces to store long load items. The arms extend from the braces forming open shelves that can accommodate large, bulky, long or oddly-shaped loads that are otherwise difficult to store.  This allows you to make use of all three dimensions of the available storage space by being able to stack long loads up to the ceiling or as high as your material handling equipment can safely maneuver them.

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Cantilever racking is rather easy to install and reconfigure. With the absence of actual shelves, adjusting the height and angle of the arms is simple and quick to do. Such flexibility in the shelving allows you to store a wide variety of loads. The configuration reduces handling time for long loads, increasing the productivity of your warehouse staff through making the stock more accessible.  Additional arms can be purchased, varying the length, and allowing added storage possibilities for loads of all sizes and shapes.


On the other side of the equation, cantilever racking requires a much more significant financial investment to get started than that of floor stacking. Racking must be designed and installed to fit your warehouse space.  The design must include aisle space between each rack large enough for forklifts or other material handling equipment to maneuver. If you store both traditional pallets and long loads, cantilever racking is not efficient for storing pallets. This could mean separation of compatible or partnering parts.

Be wary when designing that in the pursuit of maximizing storage capability that you do not lose productivity. Labor costs are a large, ongoing expense that can be controlled through a comprehensive storage design that finds a balance between the two requirements.

Cantilever racking can increase your storage capacity significantly while making it easier for you and your workforce to handle awkwardly sized materials. With easy to adjust arms, proper design and rack placement, cantilever racking provides your organization with several benefits as you look to grow and build your business.

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