JIT Toyota-Lift Blog

The Information You Need to Have Before Making a Warehouse Racking Decision

  • February 15, 2019
  • Joyce Schwob

Deciding on racking is a crucial decision that often becomes a lot more complicated then it initially seems. This is the information you’ll need to consider before making a decision. We highly recommend consulting an expert [contact us]. You can prepare this information in advance of such a meeting.

Load Size

Knowing load size is critical. Take note of all 3 dimensions: height, width, and length. If you have more than one load size or weight, complete this exercise for each individually.

Load Weight

How much does one load weigh?

Pallet Size or Non-Pallet

There are multiple sizes of pallets, so make sure the size of the ones you actually use correspond to your racking plan. If you don’t use pallets in your application, account for any additional space needed to handle the load.

Load Count

How much needs to be stored? Does this reflect average or peak amounts? Do you have a plan if this amount is exceeded? How will this number change over time?

Warehouse Measurements

You should have a very solid familiarity with the measurements of your warehouse. Don’t forget the clear height of the facility. The clear height is the measurement from the floor to the lowest overhead object. Things like sprinklers and beams are lower than the ceiling and would obstruct materials. It’s important to account for this and know the clear height rather than just the ceiling height.


FIFO is an abbreviation for First In First Out. This is incredibly important for perishable items, as you’ll want to move older product before new product. Several racking solutions were created just for this, so don’t forget to decide if it’s something you need.

Forklift Info

The equipment you are using is also very important. You don’t want to buy drive in racking that your forklifts can’t drive into; for example. Forklifts’ capacities decrease as they extend. Make sure they can reach the heights you are considering and that they will be safe to operate at that height with your product.

Aisle Requirements

Rack to rack distance is important, but if product has the potential to overhang racking, clear aisle space is more important. Clear isle space is the distance between the products on each side. If you expect other equipment or pedestrians to use an aisle at the same time, you should account for space for them too.