Pallet flow racking

Pallet flow racking

High-density, space-maximising storage solution for pallets in which loads move by gravity.

The product

Pallet flow racking system: agile operations and perfect FIFO turnover

Pallet flow racking consists of high-density storage structures formed by slightly sloped channels with rollers that enable pallets to slide into place. Palletised loads are inserted in the highest part of the channel and move by gravity to the opposite end, where they are ready to be removed.

There are no intermediate aisles in a flow rack system, which increases storage capacity. In addition, the flow through racking can work in line with the FIFO (first in, first out) strategy, facilitating efficient inventory management.

The pallet flow rack is an agile and efficient high-density storage system

Advantages of pallet flow racking

  • Maximum utilisation of surface area: pallet flow racking is a high-density storage solution that significantly increases a warehouse’s capacity.
  • Flawless product turnover: its compatibility with the FIFO method fosters excellent inventory control.
  • Time savings: having all SKUs available in a single working aisle makes it easy to locate any product, reducing forklift manoeuvring time and speeding up pallet removal.
  • Separation of loading and unloading: pallet storage and retrieval are performed from separate aisles. This eliminates interference and enables forklifts to work without interruptions.
  • Multiple SKUs: although each channel houses a single SKU, these can vary between the different channels.
  • Better energy consumption: implementation of this system in facilities run at low temperatures reduces energy consumption since the volume to be cooled is smaller.
  • Safety and reliability: the different elements that make up Mecalux’s pallet flow racks are designed to ensure risk-free operation for operators and goods.
Pallet flow racking is a storage system with many advantages

With the pallet flow rack, we’ve shortened the time it takes to insert and remove pallets from the racks by 50%

Riccardo Monari Plant Manager
(Campogalliano, Italy)

Pallet flow racking system applications

Ideal solution for multiple industry and distribution sectors

Pallet flow rack systems are perfect for companies that need to make the most of their available storage space and streamline goods handling operations for efficient, error-free inventory turnover.

Pallet flow racks are very useful in facilities with many pallets per SKU

Large-scale storage of high-turnover SKUs

The pallet flow rack is ideal for housing many unit loads per SKU

Flow rack storage is common in businesses that deal with perishable products

Storage of perishable products

It facilitates the management of stock with expiry dates in sectors such as the food and pharmaceutical industries.

Pallet flow racks make it possible to link different working areas

Interim warehousing between two working zones

This racking can connect two working areas, generally production and dispatch.

Pallet flow racking streamlines buffer management

Buffer management

It speeds up the flow of goods in temporary storage areas, i.e., of picked orders.

The use of gravity flow racks in cold stores brings down energy consumption

Cold stores

This high-density system helps to reduce energy consumption in refrigerated warehouses.

How does a pallet flow racking system work?

Perfect stock control with minimal movements

Gravity flow racks are characterised by their extremely simple operation. Their structural configuration fosters remarkably agile management that shortens manoeuvring times and reduces the distances travelled by forklifts. The result? Fast storage and retrieval operations.

Case studies

Live pallet racking with 141 storage channels to manage more than 1,000 tonnes of rice

Dasca is internationally renowned as one of the most important food conglomerates which manufactures and supplies a wide range of corn and rice based products. They have entrusted Mecalux with the installation of live racking with rollers in their central warehouse in Spain. Read more

Live pallet racking with 141 storage channels to manage more than 1,000 tonnes of rice

Tosfrit stores more snacks

The Spanish snack manufacturer Tosfrit has expanded the capacity of its warehouse thanks to the Live Pallet Racking (FIFO) of Mecalux. Read more

Tosfrit stores more snacks

EcoWipes: automated logistics, 30% jump in productivity

Cosmetic and hygiene product manufacturer EcoWipes has connected its warehouse in Poland with its production lines automatically via conveyors. It has also installed live pallet racking with a stacker crane and Movirack mobile pallet racking to optimise its storage space. Read more

EcoWipes: automated logistics, 30% jump in productivity
See more case studies

Pallet flow racking configurations

Highly versatile storage solution adaptable to diverse needs

Gravity racking systems can be configured in several ways. This depends on the required goods management method and the type of operations to be performed, e.g., order picking from the racks themselves.

Pallet flow racking components

The manufacturing quality of the different components used in Mecalux’s pallet flow racking makes the system highly reliable, ensuring the correct operation of the system and a long service life.

Live racking is formed by elements common to all types of pallet racking (frames, beams, etc.) as well as components specific to gravity racking systems, e.g., roller tracks.

The gravity flow racks integrate a set of components that ensure the safe, speed-controlled movement of the pallets inside the storage channels.

The rollers enable the pallets to slide smoothly in the flow through racking


Made of electrowelded steel, these enable the pallets to slide smoothly through the channel. Their spacing and diameter will vary according to the type and weight of the pallet.

Frames are pallet flow rack components formed by uprights, cross-ties and diagonals


Vertical elements consisting of two vertical profiles (uprights) joined together by means of cross-ties and diagonals.

Flow rack beams support the roller tracks in gravity racking systems

Flow rack beams

Horizontal elements that support the roller tracks along which the pallets stored in the racking slide.

Exit beams signal the end of the channel in pallet flow racking

Exit beams

Beams located at the end of each channel and into which the flow rack channel’s profiles are fitted. They incorporate retaining stops.

End stops are positioned at the end of each pallet flow rack channel

End stops

These replace the exit beam when the channel protrudes past the supporting beam.

Brake rollers control the speed at which the pallet moves

Brake rollers

They control the speed at which the pallets move and act directly on them according to the force generated. The greater the speed or weight of the pallet, the greater the braking force.

Pallet centralisers prevent pallets from deviating from their path

Pallet centralisers

These centre the pallet at the entrance to the channel. Their purpose is to prevent the pallet inserted from diverging from its path.

Wire mesh side protection enhances safety in pallet flow racking

Wire mesh side protection

This restricts the access of persons to the flow rack channels. At the same, it time prevents goods from falling into passageways or work areas.

The safe load warning notice includes technical information on the pallet flow racking

Safe load warning notices

These contain the technical racking information as well as the label indicating the deadline for the next inspection. These notices are placed in easily visible areas at the ends of the racking system.

Gravity racking accessories

Set of elements used to adapt the system to specific needs.

Pallet retainers hold back or separate pallets in pallet flow racking

Pallet retainers

These parts old pallets back or separate them, making it easier to retrieve the first pallet and distribute the pressure exerted between them. Their installation is optional and depends on the features of the system.

Channels at floor level are commonly employed in production and dispatch zones

Channels at floor-level for pallet trucks

These combine long rollers with sets of short rollers to operate with pallet trucks or stackers. They are very common in production and dispatch areas.

Split rollers are recommended for operating with rigid non-oscillating forks

Split rollers

These components are placed at channel entry and exit points when operating with handling equipment with rigid non-oscillating forks. They facilitate pallet storage and retrieval.

Hinged channels make it possible to carry out maintenance tasks at floor level on pallet flow racking

Hinged channels

They can be incorporated on the lower level of the racking to perform maintenance tasks at floor level and facilitate cleaning work.


Catalog - 7 - Live-pallet-racking - en_UN

Pallet flow racking (catalogue)

Perfect turnover rotation thanks to the movement of pallets by gravity

MS Dinamica_ENG

Warehouse safety manual

Operation, use, inspection and maintenance of the pallet flow rack

Storage Solutions for Pallets_UN

Storage solutions for pallets (catalogue)

Storage systems for palletised goods

Catalog - 2 - Easy-wms - en_NU

Warehouse management software

Technological innovation for efficient warehousing



Pallet flow racking — also known as pallet live storage, gravity racking, and FIFO racking system — is the most agile high-density pallet storage system on the market. It comprises racks containing sloped rails with rollers upon which the loads slide. Its structure leverages gravity to streamline loading and unloading operations. In addition, the absence of interior work aisles increases the utilisation of the available storage space.

Pallet flow racks have multiple benefits. First of all, they are the most agile high-density storage system with the best operational performance, making them an ideal solution for different types of warehouses. Likewise, their implementation ensures excellent inventory control. Moreover, the separation of the loading and unloading aisles eliminates interference, and the existence of a single SKU per storage channel facilitates product location and reduces extraction times. The pallet flow rack also guarantees maximum use of the available surface area, although the installation of deep channels could entail a certain loss of capacity in height (a slope of approximately 4% is required for the system to function correctly).

One of the main differences between the two systems lies in the characteristics of their respective loading and unloading operations. In a drive-in/drive-through racking system, the forklift enters the storage lanes to deposit the pallets. With pallet flow racking, on the other hand, the forklift does not drive into the structure. Instead, it places the pallets at the entrance to the selected storage channel, and they slide into their locations in a completely autonomous way. Therefore, in pallet flow racking, storing and retrieving loads is significantly safer and more agile. Another notable difference is the variety of SKUs that can be stored. The number is substantially higher in gravity racking, as each channel can store a different SKU. In drive-in racking, however, all channels of a single storage lane must house the same SKU.

The main difference between these two types of racking systems is related to the inventory management method associated with each one. The pallet flow rack has two working aisles (one for loading and the other for unloading) and operates according to the FIFO (first in, first out) principle. Thus, the first pallet deposited in a channel is also the first to be removed. Push-back pallet racking, on the other hand, works in line with the LIFO (last in, first out) method. With only one working aisle, the last pallet stored in a channel is the first to be retrieved. In warehouses that manage perishable goods (e.g., food or pharmaceuticals), the pallet flow rack is the ideal alternative, as it prioritises the removal of products with the closest expiry dates.

In pallet flow racking, storage channels can accommodate up to 30 pallets in depth. Nevertheless, it is important to note that implementing very deep channels could reduce storage capacity in height. This is due to the angle of inclination required for the system to work properly.

Each storage channel is sloped at an angle of approximately 4% to guarantee that the pallets slide smoothly and safely.

The spacing between uprights — in other words, the length of the beam — should be equal to the front dimension of the pallet including the load plus 160 mm of space (i.e., 80 mm on either side). Otherwise, the pallet or goods could hit the rack frame.

No. Mecalux pallet flow racking leverages the force of gravity to enable pallets to move inside the slightly inclined storage channels.

This simple system includes a pedal that moves rods that lower or lift the retainer to hold back the second pallet. When the first pallet reaches the exit point, its weight presses against the pedal, which drives the movement of the rods. The rods activate the retainer, which prevents the second pallet from continuing to advance toward the end of the channel, avoiding contact between pallets.

Pallets are usually handled from the narrower side and move inside the channels with their bottom deckboards perpendicular to the rollers. In shallow channels, pallets can be handled from the wider side. That is, they move along with their bottom deckboards parallel to the rollers. In this case, as the rollers occupy the entire width of the channel, they can be replaced with three sets of short rollers.

With pallet flow racking, it is possible to work with any type of forklift (counterbalanced, reach trucks, VNA trucks, etc.).

Yes, the pallet flow rack can be served by stacker cranes for pallets that fully automate storage and retrieval operations. This automation can also be partial, affecting only one operation. In fact, many times, a single stacker crane is installed to store pallets, while operators remove pallets in the opposite aisle using forklifts.

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