Maximizing Space and Productivity: Why Distribution Centers Choose Cantilever Racks

One of the major challenges warehouses and distribution centers face is how to maximize their 

storage space, which could affect speed, efficiency, and productivity. While pallet racks generally help optimize storage space, they are not a one-size-fits-all solution, which means that a racking system that works for one warehouse might not work for another. The product type is a huge factor in determining the right racking type. 

Cantilever racking systems are an efficient racking solution for businesses that store long, heavy, bulky, or odd-shaped items such as building materials. 


Understanding Cantilever Racks

Cantilever racks have different parts and components that help warehouses and distribution centers maximize their storage space.

  • Base: The base is the foundation of the cantilever. It attaches the racking system to the floor. It stabilizes the rack by evenly distributing the weight of the stored inventory. 
  • Uprights: Cantilever uprights connect the base of the system. They also have holes that allow the cantilever arms to connect to the system. Uprights can be single-sided or double-sided. Double-sided racks can store products both on the front and back of the structure, while single-sided can only store goods on the front. 
  • Arms: The cantilever arms attach to compatible cantilever rack uprights to hold the long and heavy items. 
  • Braces: Braces connect the upright columns on one side of the rack to those on the opposite side, forming a diagonal shape between them. This ensures that the items on the arms have the support they need. Without braces, the weight of the stored items could cause the rack to sway. 

How Cantilever Racks Can Help Distribution Centers Maximize Their Space?

  • Allows for the Storage of Long, Bulky Items: Cantilever racks are designed with upright columns with horizontal arms extending outward, which provides unobstructed access to the storage space. This allows for easy loading and unloading of lengthy or oversized items such as lumber, pipes, or metal sheets which are difficult to store using traditional shelving systems. The arms and upright columns can also be customized to accommodate items of varying lengths.
  • Optimized Item Density: Since cantilever racks utilize horizontal and vertical space, more items can be stored in a given space, enhancing overall storage efficiency.
  • Vertical Space Utilization: Cantilever racks maximizes vertical storage, allowing items to extend upward without limitations. The height of cantilever racks can span from six to 30 feet. This creates more floor space and thus eliminates the need for additional space and prevents wasted overhead space.

How Cantilever Racks Can Improve Productivity in Distribution Centers

Here is how cantilever racks play a pivotal role in enhancing productivity.

  • Speed Up the Picking and Loading Process: Cantilever racks are designed with open shelves, which provides easy access to stored goods. Workers can quickly locate and retrieve specific products. They can also categorize and load the items according to size and weight, saving time and effort. 
  • Reduce the Risk of Damage to Products: Cantilever racks have an open layout that allows warehouse workers and warehouse material handling equipment such as forklifts to easily pick and transport items efficiently and safely and reduce the risk of product damage. 
  • Improve Safety for Employees: Items on cantilever racks are securely held on the arms, and the braces ensure the items have the needed support required. This reduces the likelihood of items falling or shifting during storage or retrieval and the chances of collisions or accidents while the workers navigate the storage area. 

Other Benefits of Cantilever Racks for Distribution Centers

  • Efficient storage of long, heavy, and bulky items
  • Customizability and adaptability to accommodate various product types
  • Easy accessibility and retrieval of stored items for order fulfillment

Factors to Consider when Choosing Cantilever Racks

It is crucial to consider the following factors before choosing a cantilever racking system.

  • Evaluate Storage Needs and Inventory Characteristics: Consider the length, width, height, size, shape, weight, and how frequently you need to access each item. Knowing these will help determine the specific features and components your cantilever racks should have to accommodate your inventory efficiently.
  • Determine the Required Dimensions and Load Capacity: Cantilever racks are available in various load-bearing capacities. The weight of your product will determine if heavy-duty, standard, or medium-duty cantilever racks are ideal.
  • Consider Future Growth and Scalability Requirements: You should also consider potential expansion or changes in your inventory over time. Choose cantilever racks that can be easily expanded or reconfigured to accommodate changing storage needs.

Choose Canadian Rack Technologies for Cantilever Racks for Your Distribution Center

Are you ready to maximize space and productivity in your distribution center? Contact Canadian Rack Technologies today, we offer the right cantilever racks you need to store your inventory.  


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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