Cantilever racking systems provide an effective method of storing warehouse items that are particularly long or cumbersome, such as light poles, pre-fab uprights, posts and more. A dynamic storage solution, they can be modified to accommodate light or heavyweight inventory and can drastically improve warehouse productivity while maximising storage space. This guide seeks to explain and the types of items that the storage system is best suited for.

What is Cantilever Racking?

Cantilever racking is a powerful warehouse storage system that enables the efficient storage of bulky items that cannot be safely stored using traditional pallet based systems. that allows inventory to be stockpiled in a horizontal fashion on purpose-built cantilever arms, which are then accessed by forklifts or manually by warehouse personnel. It’s available in two variants; either single-sided where the racking system is positioned in front of a wall, or double-sided, which enables the system to be accessed from the front and back. 

The dynamic nature of the system enables the cantilever arms to be readily modified to adapt to a range of different item types. For example, if you find that you have additional room to spare on the back of a single-sided system, you can quickly alter it by adding cantilever arms and equipment to make it a double-sided system. This falls perfectly within the parameters of the cantilever system and will not jeopardise performance in any way.

Important Facts About Cantilever Racking

Cantilever racking systems are comprised of four major elements; the uprights (posts), supports, base and arms. The base is typically made from a heavy steel, allowing it to stabilise the racking structure and support the weights of the stored products. The cantilever racking arms constitute the storage system’s shelving and are capable of supporting very high loads, up to several metric tonnes per arm and can be quickly modified to store a full range of goods with maximum efficiency.

The systems can be safely erected up to 10 metres in height and all racking elements can be powder coated in accordance with warehouse guidelines or zinc coated to provide added protection in outdoor environments.  

Advantages of Cantilever Racking

  • Dynamic storage system that allows warehouses to make quick adjustments to cater for different storage requirements as required, optimising storage space and increasing warehouse productivity
  • Installation and alterations are straightforward
  • Efficiently stores lengthier items, unlike which are restricted by vertical uprights and saves far more warehouse space than floor-stacking
  • Single or double-sided variants available, which can easily be switched back and forth as necessary
  • Can safely be constructed to securely hold inventory at a height of up to 10 metres

Disadvantages of Cantilever Racking

  • Initial setup costs are relatively expensive when compared to other racking systems
  • Significant space is required between aisles to accommodate forklifts or other materials handling devices
  • Handling ideally requires side loader or multi-directional forklifts to maximise floor space, which can be expensive. Front loading forklifts require even more room, resulting wasted floor space and decreased productivity
  • Not effective for storing large items and palletised items together
  • Not effective for storing large items and palletised items together. Whilst it can still be done, it means that items can only be stored one row deep

Does Your Warehouse Need Cantilever Racking?

Cantilever racking systems are adept at storing large, burdensome items. If your warehouse has a sizeable amount of goods that are floor-stacked and occupying an unnecessary amount of space, then cantilever racking can be just what you’re after. If on the other hand you primarily store smaller items, then a pallet-based system may be better a better option for you. A pallet storage system will be more economical and make better use of your warehouse space.