How to Determine the Best Type of Shelving System for Your Warehouse

The proper shelving system for your warehouse can work wonders to make your operations safer, more cost-effective, and efficient.

Every warehouse storage facility has unique needs, building code requirements, and structural capabilities. Various design elements including layout and square footage play a key role in determining what type of shelving system works best for your warehouse. Other important considerations include the number of employees working on the job at any given time, supply chain timelines, and the type of product inventory that’s being moved or stored on a short- or long-term basis.

Unfortunately, there’s no universal, one-size-fits-all warehouse storage solution. So it can be confusing and overwhelming to choose from the plethora of configuration options that are available.

But we’re here to help you with that: keep reading to learn about how to choose the right warehouse storage system for your facility.

Industrial Shelving

Choose the Right Shelving System for Your Warehouse

Organizing your warehouse to boost safety standards, employee productivity, and overall efficiency takes a great deal of planning. Working in a disorganized warehouse with no discernible organizational system is a logistical nightmare for everyone involved.

Automating your warehouse operations is one way to improve the situation. But in order to do that, you need a proper industrial shelving system for your warehouse that’ll help you keep your inventory, pallets, and equipment organized and within reach at all times. Here are a few tips on how you can do that.

Be Proactive

Take immediate action to improve your operations quickly. There’s no time like the present to make the necessary changes because, as the old adage goes, time is money.

Start by carefully assessing how your current operations are being managed. Make note of the operational, consistency, and efficiency flaws and then come up with a plan to correct these issues to improve the overall work conditions and operational flow for your employees. Take specific, actionable steps to make your warehouse operate at optimal efficiency.

Ensure Proper Safety Practices

Employee safety should be a top priority for every warehouse operation. Lack of employee safety practices can hinder performance and deter people from wanting to work for your organization.

Maintaining a clean, organized warehouse and work environment can help prevent slip-and-fall accidents, projectile items from falling overhead, and incidents related to material handling equipment, etc. In addition, employees should receive proper training to ensure that they know how to use heavy machinery and are familiar with the layout of the warehouse.


Warehouse design needs to be adaptable enough to change with the times. New demands are constantly being placed on the supply chain industry to accommodate various global developments.

Modular industrial shelving systems can be disassembled, moved around, and reassembled as your warehouse configurations change over time to accommodate incoming and outgoing inventory.

Types of Warehouse Material Handling Equipment

Another important factor to take into consideration when designing the layout of your warehouse and the type of shelving system you need is storage and moving space for your material handling equipment.

Forklifts, cherry pickers, pallet jacks, walkie stackers, platform trucks, order pickers, etc. all need to be safely and properly stored when not in use to prevent potential damages and injuries. Even when they are in use, you need to make sure that your aisles are wide or narrow enough to facilitate safe and efficient operations at all times.

Types of Industrial Warehouse Shelving Systems

A quick internet search would reveal that there are countless options when it comes to choosing industrial shelving units for your warehouse. Trying to determine which ones are the right choices for your facility can be tough or downright overwhelming. To help make the decision a little easier, here’s a list of our top picks.

Rivet Shelving

Rivet shelving is the most commonly used type of industrial shelving for warehouses. Composed of a solid steel frame, it uses a strong decking system for safe, secure load storage. Rivet shelving is fast and easy to install and has a very high load capacity, making it the ideal choice for large warehouses with large inventory levels.

Steel Shelving

Steel shelving uses a modular design that includes back and sway braces to secure the shelving unit in place. Available in open and closed designs on all sides, steel shelving is often used for a variety of industrial and commercial applications, including in warehouses and offices, for optimal storage. Despite being a little on the expensive side, steel shelving boasts high-density storage and a modern design that make it worth every penny.

Wire Shelving

Constructed of wire decking that’s reinforced by metal supports, wire shelving has an open-face design on all sides that allows easy access. Perfect for most commercial applications, wire shelving is one of the most affordable types of shelving to fulfill your heavy-duty inventory storage requirements. It’s also incredibly flexible, easy to install, and extremely low maintenance.

Bulk Rack Shelving

Bulk rack shelving is a lightweight yet durable style of shelving unit that’s versatile and flexible enough to fit in tight spaces. If you have a warehouse layout that has a lot of seemingly unusable dead space, then a bulk rack shelving unit can help you make the most of it. It consists of a boltless, modular design that’s easy to assemble and disassemble as needed or for one-time use.

Bulk rack shelving is also the ideal choice for manually stacking or picking inventory by hand.

You can opt for stationary or mobile bulk racking units that have wheels at the bottom for seamless maneuvering throughout your warehouse.

Clipless Shelving

Clipless shelving is usually made from particle board to hold materials and steel bracing to secure the unit in a straight upright position. This type of shelving unit is quite lightweight for easy movement from one area to another as needed. It’s also simple to assemble, install, and maintain. Clipless shelving is capable of holding an astonishing 500-700 pounds of material.

Get Advanced Warehouse Equipment Near the GTA

Canadian Rack Technologies Inc. is the leading provider of high-end new and used warehouse pallet racking and storage equipment across Toronto and the GTA. Our expert engineers and technicians can custom-fit durable and reliable warehouse storage equipment and shelving units for your warehouse. We also perform pre-start Health and Safety reviews to maximize your warehouse storage space and operations. Contact us today to learn more.


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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