Pallet Flow: 7 Things To Consider

Pallet flow systems are one of the most efficient ways to cube a warehouse.  The pallets are loaded first in – first out, can vary from 2 deep to 35 deep, and can go 2 to 5 high (in most cases).  A loading aisle and a discharge aisle are required for a pallet flow system.  Each aisle will need to be approximately 12 feet deep depending on the lift truck being used.  Here are 7 considerations when designing pallet flow systems.


  1. Loading Systems (Brake) – The pallets are loaded from an entry end and will generally have pallet guides that will center the loads exactly between the pallet flow rails.  A 40″ pallet will have a 41″ wedged opening to straighten and center the load.  All pallet fow lanes 5 deep or deeper require pallet flow entry guides.  To use standard pallet flow guides, all single wide bays should be 10″ wider than the pallet width.
  2. Speed Control – For systems deeper than 3 pallets deep, a speed control every pallet will allow the pallet to ride over the speed control and maintain a safe travel speed he entire length of the system.  These speed controls are normally mounted in the center rails.
  3. System Length – To get the proper system length you will need to take the product depth plus 2″, multiply by the number of pallets deep, and then add 4″.
  4. Beam Width – To calculate your beam width take the pallet width plus 5″ for the right plus 5″ for the left times 1 or 2 based on 1 wide or 2 wide application respectively.  All pallet flow systems are to be single wide bays if more than 5 deep.  Two wide bays are only to be used for 2 through 5 deep systems.
  5. System Rail Levels – When figuring levels for a pallet flow system work from the exit level to figure out levels, then add pitch to exit levels to calculate entry levels.
  6. Seismic Calculations – Normal preliminary calculations can be run on the Preliminary Seismic program as if the system were a pushback system using the entry end as the worst case.
  7. Installation – Before rack can be stood up, the floor where the rack is to be laid out needs to be laser leveled.  All post locations are to be marked for the proper shim size.  Make sure to over quote the number of shims required assuming worst condition.

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