Tips for Redesigning a Warehouse Racking System during the Current Steel Crisis

Raw material prices have spiked significantly over the past year and a half. When asked why the price of items like wood and steel are increasing at such a rapid pace, most industry workers are likely to just shrug their shoulders and blame the pandemic. While that’s certainly a big part of it, there’s actually a lot more to it than that.

So why is the price of steel increasing so much? And what can warehouse management teams do to offset the cost? If you’re in the process of redesigning your warehouse racking system but are having a hard time securing a steady supply of steel and other materials, here are some tips to help you get the supplies you need.

Increase in Steel Pricing

It’s no secret that the price of steel has skyrocketed over the past year and a half. The question is why. Obviously, the pandemic is to blame, but the situation is a little more nuanced than that. It’s estimated that the cost of raw materials in general has increased about 60% since the pre-pandemic days. And it’s unlikely that the prices will drop any time soon, but there might be some hope for Q2 of 2021 as long as production lines and supply chains stay steady.

Supply Chain Interruptions Due to Changes in Production

Experts say that the main reason for the astronomical price increase for raw materials like steel is due to the fact that the pandemic has slowed down production lines in countries like China, which is a major player in international steel production and distribution. The on-again, off-again nature of the pandemic-related lockdowns makes it difficult to not only produce a steady supply of steel, but to also distribute and transport it locally, let alone on an international level.

Since China is the cheapest and largest steel supplier in the world, the challenge of meeting international demands has increased the need for other countries to produce their own steel domestically at a much higher cost. Many of these countries don’t have the same massive steel production infrastructure that China has and have had to make do given the current unstable supply chain situation, hence the spike in prices.

Revamp Your Warehouse Racking System

Supply and demand dictates product inventory levels in warehouses. Some products have been in higher demand than others during the pandemic. Based on your product inventory, you may want to consider redesigning your warehouse racking system to accommodate your current needs.

Use Very Narrow Aisle (VNA) Pallet Racks

VNA pallet racks take up less space but maximize picking convenience and maneuverability because the racks can be placed in close proximity to one another without obstructing access to certain products.

 Features and Benefits of VNA Pallet Racks:

  • Cuts down aisle space to maximize storage potential
  • Lift trucks can easily access all pallets
  • Bulk stacking allows for reduced risk of product damages and more accurate order picking
  • Utilizing full-scale vertical height of the building reduces wasted space

High-Quality Warehouse Racking in Toronto, Ontario

 Canadian Rack Technologies Inc. is your go-to professional warehouse equipment supplier in Toronto and near the GTA. We offer a variety of warehouse racking systems and services including VNA pallet racks that are sure to meet your needs at an affordable and fair price. 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.

    Request a Free Estimate!

    How did you hear about us: