How to Budget for a New Pallet Rack System for Your Warehouse or Distribution Center

There are a lot of important factors to consider when choosing the right warehouse pallet systems for your operation. The new pallet rack system you choose today greatly influences your operation’s efficiency and organizational process in the future. To maximize the safety and practicality of your warehouse’s pallet rack system, it’s important not to take this decision lightly.

Pallet racking system

Take a step back and evaluate the specific needs of your warehouse or distribution center. Carefully review all of your pallet rack system options and then make a decision based off of your observations. Pallet racking systems can vary greatly in price. Obviously, the higher end systems will cost more, but that doesn’t mean you have to spend your entire quarterly budget just to get your hands on a system that’s ideal for your business.

What Are the Different Types of Warehouse Pallet Rack Systems?

When it comes to choosing the appropriate pallet rack system for your warehouse or distribution center, cost shouldn’t be the most important factor. But it’s certainly a top contender. High-end pallet racks typically feature state-of-the-art engineering with excellent safety ratings that can help improve your operation’s workflow and, in turn, boost your bottom line by maximizing efficiency.

Basically, you get what you pay for and you definitely don’t want to skimp on cost if it means forgoing the opportunity to give your crew a top-of-the-line pallet racking system. Here are the different types of warehouse pallet systems you should consider.

Single-Deep Pallet Racks

This is one of the simplest and most common pallet racking systems on the market. It’s relatively lower in cost compared to the others that are mentioned here and it’s perfect for small- to medium-sized warehouses that are just getting footing in the industry.

Ideal for small storage spaces, single-deep pallet racks pack a serious punch when it comes to offering practical storage solutions. Single-deep pallet racks also offer excellent product visibility for forklift operators. This guarantees operational safety measures are met. And, their low density makes it easier for operators to access pallets and move product. Cost varies from about $75 to $120 per pallet position depending on your specifications.

Double-Deep Pallet Racks

Double-deep pallet racks are like an expansion of their single-deep counterparts. A second row of pallets is added to each bay to expand its load capacity. The one downfall is that adding more product storage can reduce the bay-to-bay visibility and accessibility.

On the plus side, increasing your storage capacity within your warehouse prevents you from having to rent or purchase additional storage space. Double-deep pallet racks have a slightly higher price range at about $80 to $200 per pallet position.

Gravity-Flow Pallet Racks

Warehouses that operate on a first-in first-out workflow can benefit greatly from gravity-flow pallet racks. Pallet racks with older products are pushed to the front of the line as pallet racks with newer products are added to the back of the bay. This is ideal for grocery stores and food distribution companies that store a great deal of perishable items and have a constant influx of new arrivals.

The great thing about the gravity-flow pallet rack system is that it offers a higher density storage solution for warehouses that are constantly moving product in and out. Plus, this system makes it easier to track the transportation of each product to ensure shipments are always on time and access to products is simplified. On average, gravity-flow pallet racks can range anywhere from $200 to $400 per pallet position.

What Factors Play into Pallet Rack Cost?

Specific warehouse storage capacities and requirements vary from one facility to another. So, the prices you see online and are initially quoted could change once your pallet rack provider completes a comprehensive evaluation of your pallet rack needs. Also, pallet position prices are based on roll formed racks. If structural steel racking is used, the costs could be doubled.

Here are some of the conditions that factor into the cost of a warehouse pallet rack system.

Size and Capacity of the Pallet Racks

The more products you have, the more storage space you’re going to need, which requires the integration of more heavy-duty materials. Hence, the size and capacity of your pallet racks can greatly influence the cost. As you already know, the type of pallet rack also makes a difference in cost, so be sure to prepare a detailed budget and nail down your exact specifications before even shopping around for a pallet rack system.

Quality of the Materials Used

Steel is the most commonly used material to manufacture pallet racks. It comes in a variety of grades, ranging from low- to high-quality. It’s important to check the alloy compounds of the steel you’re using. A combination of iron and carbon makes for a stronger, more flexible metal. Generally speaking, North American steel is highly regulated compared to other regions, so make sure you know where your steel is coming from.

Seismic Zones

Seismic zones are regions that are susceptible to natural disasters, most notably earthquakes, which can cause serious injury or fatalities. This is a huge liability for warehouse management. Warehouses that are located in areas that are classified as seismic zones must take special precautions to ensure the perpetual safety of their employees. That includes earthquake-proofing their pallet rack systems, which are technically classified as building elements.

Technically, you should be wall-mounting, stabilizing, and securing your pallet racks in place even if your warehouse is located in an area free of seismic hazards as this can improve safety standards and reduce the risk of on-the-job injuries. Customized pallet rack systems should comply with regional industrial building codes to minimize the risk of expensive lawsuits and workers’ compensation payouts.

At Canadian Rack Technologies Inc., we offer a wide range of advanced pallet racking systems for warehouses, distribution centers, manufacturing facilities, and other types of industrial complexes. Our experienced technicians are committed to helping you select top-of-the-line pallet racking and storage solutions to meet your product movement needs. Contact us today to learn more or to get a free quote.


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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