When it comes to warehouse racking, no matter what stock you need to store, there’s a wide variety of industrial shelving unit layouts available to suit your needs.


You can choose from:

  • Wide aisle adjustable racking
  • Narrow aisle pallet racking
  • Double deep racking
  • Drive in racking

Each of which can help optimise your facility in different ways. These racking options may also require different equipment for access, so it’s important to consider what resources you have available before making a racking decision.

Below, we’ll take a look at the different racking options in more detail; we hope you’ll find this guide useful, but if you have any questions, please get in touch with our expert team, who will be more than happy to help! You can get in touch by calling 01933 228127, or by emailing info@askhitec.co.uk

Wide Aisle Adjustable Racking (APR)

Also known as ‘wide aisle pallet racking’, APR is the most widely utilised of industrial shelving unit layouts.

With wide aisles, there comes no need for specialist equipment for you to access your goods. As the name suggests, the width between racks is wider than usual (a minimum of 2.5 metres), so it’s far easier for a standard forklift to travel through your warehouse and to retrieve stock from either side of a pallet.

Using upright frames and adjustable horizontal beams for stability, your storage system can be built to your needs, to suit your space and goods. If you need to adjust the height of your racking to manage different sized pallets, it’s easy to do. Business models can frequently change, as well as the stock you handle; this makes APR a very attractive, affordable option for the modern business.

Benefits of APR

Potential Disadvantages

  • Flexible and adjustable to suit your stock sizes and types
  • Every pallet is supported individually and can be accessed independently of the other
  • Wide aisles mean no specialist equipment is needed
  • Easy and fast loading and picking for busy warehouses
  • Highly durable and long lasting
  • Aisles designed for reach truck or counterbalance truck operations
  • Easily installed and cost-effective
  • Low initial costs
  • Available in varying widths and depths to suit your warehouse size and shape
  • Can take up a large amount of your warehouse due to the space required between the racking (you may only use 40% of your warehouse capacity for actual storage)
  • You may need to compromise additional space to allow for free movement of your forklift (standard counterbalance trucks need between 3.5 – 4m to work freely)

Narrow Aisle Pallet Racking

Another popular option, narrow aisle pallet racking (also known as VNA, very narrow aisle) is a practical solution for a smaller warehouse, who wants to get as much storage space as possible out of their facility.

VNA racking utilises the height of a warehouse, and helps maximise your storage capacity by allowing more stock storage for every square foot. With far thinner aisles allowing for more storage space, you can store up to 50% more stock.

Often you may find that the money saved by using narrow aisle racking could cover for the hire/purchase of the equipment needed. Usage of this racking could also help prevent the need to move location or expenses such as expansion and additional storage.

If you’d like more information, or would like some expert advice on whether narrow aisle pallet racking is best for your business, why not get in touch? You can call on 01933 228127 or email us at info@askhitec.co.uk

Benefits of Narrow Aisle Pallet Racking

Potential Disadvantages

  • No need for an expensive expansion when you can double up your storage with VNA racking
  • Increase of storage capacity
  • Improve productivity, efficiency and pick rates
  • Reduce the storage cost per square metre or per pallet stored
  • Easy direct access to individual pallets
  • Specialist trucks will be required to allow for complete access to this kind of racking: reach trucks and VNA trucks are best suited but can be an additional cost if not already utilised
  • Additional training may be required for your staff to operate these trucks, again at an additional cost

Double Deep Pallet Racking

Another option which could help increase your storage space (without the need for expansion or uprooting) is double deep racking.

Similar to APR, this racking system uses adjustable steel beams and frames, however there is two rows of racking, one behind the other.

This allows pallets to be stored either 2 or 4 pallets deep between aisles.

By utilising this racking method, you can store up to 30% more pallets.

Benefits of Double Deep Pallet Racking

Potential Disadvantages

  • Increases storage
  • Low initial setup costs
  • Pallets are accessible, despite being stacked 2 or more deep
  • An ideal system for industrial goods, distribution and long life goods
  • Specialist trucks are required to access your goods, such as extended reach trucks, which will come at an additional cost if you don’t already own the equipment
  • Additional training maybe required for your operators (again at an additional cost)
  • A last in, first out (LIFO) system, which is not ideal for highly perishable goods

Drive In Racking

If your stock is both delivered and sent out in bulk, drive in racking could be the storage solution you’ve been looking for. It’s first in, last out (FILO) system makes it terrible for perishables, but for items without a quick use by date, drive in racking is very efficient.

Very different to the other racking options on this list, pallets are instead placed so that they can slide along on a rail, allowing them to be stored further back in your storage facility, in turn creating additional space. You can opt for:

  • Single entry racking: your forklift can access one side of the racking only
  • Or double entry racking: your forklift can access both sides

This type of racking is also particularly suited for frozen or cold storage items.

Benefits of Drive In Racking

Potential Disadvantages

  • Increased storage space (both horizontally and vertically)
  • Storage of frozen or cold storage goods
  • Reduce aisle space
  • Perfect for bulk goods
  • Strong and stable
  • No specialist equipment required
  • This type of racking is only really suited to large bulk goods
  • Can’t be used for perishables due to FILO system
  • Rotation of stock can be difficult


We hope that you’ve found this guide useful.

If you’d like to find out more about the different types of racking that are available and what would be best suited to your warehouse size, your stock, budget and resources, our expert team would be more than happy to help.

You can get in touch by calling 01933 228127, or by emailing us at info@askhitec.co.uk