Cantilever Racking or Pallet Racking: What’s the Best Option for Your Warehouse?

As a warehouse owner, you have the difficult task of choosing the type of racking system that will work best for your business. Do you choose cantilever racks or pallet racks? Both are very common options for industrial storage systems and they each have their own advantages and disadvantages.

In this blog post, we will compare and contrast cantilever racking and pallet racking to help you make the best decision for your business.

What Is a Cantilever Racking System & How Does It Work?

Cantilever Racking

A cantilever rack is a type of racking system that has uprights with arms that extend out from the uprights. These arms support the load, and the uprights are typically connected to the building’s structure. Cantilever racks do not have vertical columns on the front. 

Cantilever racks are most commonly used to store long, bulky, or irregularly shaped items such as lumber, pipes, or steel beams. For keeping things that need a secure foundation, such as wood or plastics, you can build a deck. 

What Is a Pallet Racking System & How Does It Work?

Pallet Rack

A pallet rack is a type of racking system that stores goods on pallets (wooden platforms) that are supported by beams. Pallet racks are tiered horizontal racks that are stacked one on top of the other to create tall, vertical structures. A pallet rack system has upright columns on all four corners and a base, with horizontal racks in between to create shelves

Pallet racks are the most common type of industrial storage system, and they can be used to store a wide variety of goods. Pallet racks are made from steel, and they are very strong and durable. You can need to use a forklift to stack or remove the goods from the shelves. 

Differences between Cantilever Racking and Pallet Racking

Cantilever Racking  Pallet Rack







Now that you know a little bit about cantilever racks and pallet racks, let’s compare and contrast these two types of racking systems.

  • Capacity: Cantilever racks can typically hold more weight than pallet racks.
  • Size: Cantilever racks are typically larger than pallet racks.
  • Flexibility: Pallet racks are not designed to be flexible. Their goal is to hold stacks and stacks of regular-sized items. Cantilever racks are more flexible than pallet racks because they can be reconfigured to accommodate changes in your warehouse.
  • Types: Cantilever racks are available in single-sided and double-sided varieties, while pallet racks are available in selective, drive-in, and push-back varieties.
  • Space Saving/Storage Requirements: Cantilever racks can be more space-efficient than pallet racks because they don’t require aisles.
  • Strength and Durability: Pallet racks are typically stronger and more durable than cantilever racks.
  • Cost: Cantilever racks are typically more expensive than pallet racks. Pallet racks are the most cost-effective space savers for any given amount of storage and area.
  • Safety: Pallet racking systems are secure structures that can support significant weights without endangering the workers. Cantilever racks are generally considered to be safer than pallet racks because they don’t have beams that protrude from the uprights. Heavy-duty cantilever shelving, on the other hand, must satisfy stringent safety guidelines during installation and usage.

How to Choose between Cantilever Racking and Pallet Racking

Cantilever Racking

Pallet Rack










The type of business you have will play a big role in deciding which type of racking system is right for you. For example, if you have a business that sells lumber, pipes, or steel beams, cantilever racking would be the best choice. Cantilever racking is best for storing long, bulky, or irregularly shaped items. 

On the other hand, if you have a business that sells a wide variety of goods, pallet racking would be the better choice because it is more versatile. 

Contact Canadian Rack Technologies Inc. for Pallet Racking & Cantilever Racking Systems

If you’re in need of a cantilever racking or pallet racking system for your business, Canadian Rack Technologies Inc. can help. With over 25 years of experience in the racking industry, we have gained a wealth of knowledge and insight when it comes to providing ideal warehouse storage solutions to our customers across North America. Our areas of expertise include providing warehouse safety inspection services, pallet racking storage products, cantilever racking, performing PSRs, and so much more.

We offer a wide variety of racking systems that are sure to meet the needs of your business. Contact us today to learn more or to book a pallet rack inspection. 


Kevin Ausman is the founder of Canadian Rack Technologies. He has over 30 years of experience in providing safe and efficient turn-key storage solutions and he specializes in pallet racking, pick systems, industrial shelving, mezzanines, cantilever racks, and more. Kevin is dedicated to providing great customer service, listening to client’s needs, and supplying the best products available.

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