What Is Drive-in Racking?

July 8, 2021 11:00 pm Published by Leave your thoughts

When you’re involved in warehousing or transportation, pallet racking is an important part of your job. There are several different ways to rack your pallets, which will make it easy for forklift operators to load and unload the goods. One of these methods is called “drive-in racking,” which utilizes a “first in, last out” system. The pallets loaded in the rack first are the last to be removed.

Drive-in racking is a helpful warehousing and loading tool. Here’s an overview of how and why you might use this type of system.


When a warehouse uses a drive-in racking system, they usually have racks placed against a wall. Forklift operators drive the pallets to the rack and place them using the first in, last out method. This requires a bit of planning ahead of time—you need to place the pallets according to when you want to be able to retrieve them.

When it comes time to remove the pallets, drivers simply drive to the rack’s bays and remove the pallets they need. The benefit of this system is that warehouse owners can store significantly more pallets in a dense, tightly packed space. The racks are constructed with side rails instead of crossbeams, which makes it easy to retrieve the pallets.

Compare this method to drive-through racking, which uses a “first in, first out” system. Drivers load the pallets on one side, and drive to the other side of the rack to retrieve them. Both methods are great when you need to use your space more efficiently. However, they have unique advantages and drawbacks. What’s right for one warehouse may not be right for another.

Benefits of drive-in racking

Here’s a closer look at some of the benefits associated with drive-in racking:

  • High-density storage: When you own a warehouse, every square foot counts. Stacking pallets using drive-in racking is a great way to maximize your storage space. You’ll be able to fit more product into a smaller area.
  • Unlimited storage depth: Drive-in racks are virtually unlimited in their storage depth. You could construct your rack to be three, four or even 20 pallets deep. As long as your warehouse can hold the rack, you’re free to customize it however you choose.
  • Saves time on stocking: Drive-in racking is a much faster way to stock your warehouse, since the forklift operators can drive right up to (and in) your racks. However, keep in mind that you will need to plan the storage properly—unless your pallets are well managed, you might find the one you need is stuck at the back behind 30 other pallets.

When you need smart warehousing solutions, the team at K-Way Express, Inc. can help. We offer warehousing services to our customers, including drive-in racking. Keep your product safe, climate controlled and easy to access when you work with us.

Not sure whether drive-in racking is right for your goods? Call us today to learn more about our warehousing services. We’ll be happy to help you find the right storage solution.

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