Cantilever racking and pallet racking are two of the most popular storage solutions in warehouses and industrial settings. But with both systems having their own unique advantages and limitations, it’s important for every business or warehouse manager that employs a racking system to understand the differences before choosing the best system for their needs. This article will compare cantilever racking and pallet racking, discussing their unique features and benefits.

What is Cantilever Racking?

Cantilever racking is a storage system specifically designed for long, bulky or irregularly shaped items. This type of racking has no front columns, allowing for easy access to stored items. Cantilever racking comprises vertical columns, horizontal arms and bracing for stability. The arms can be adjusted to accommodate different load heights, making it a highly versatile storage solution that can allow warehouses to take full advantage of all available space.

What is Pallet Racking?

Pallet racking, on the other hand, is a more traditional storage system used in warehouses. It’s designed to store palletised goods and typically consists of upright frames and horizontal beams. Pallet racking comes in various styles and configurations, such as selective, drive-in, push-back and more, making it suitable for a wide range of storage needs.

The Key Differences Between Cantilever Racking & Pallet Racking

  • Storage Capacity – Cantilever racking is best suited for storing long, bulky items such as timber, pipes or steel bars. Its open design allows for easy access and makes it an ideal solution for handling large, unwieldy items. Pallet racking is designed to store palletised goods and isn’t suitable for storing long, irregularly shaped items.
  • Load Capacity – Cantilever racking typically has a higher load capacity than pallet racking. The absence of front columns enables the storage of much heavier items, while the adjustable arms can be tailored to suit the specific weight requirements of your goods.
  • Flexibility – Cantilever racking offers more flexibility in terms of adjustability and configuration. The arms can be easily adjusted to accommodate different load heights, and the system can be configured to suit various storage needs. Pallet racking, although available in multiple styles, may not offer the same level of adaptability.
  • Accessibility – Cantilever racking provides better access to stored items due to its open design. There are no front columns to obstruct access, making it easier for forklifts and other machinery to manoeuvre and retrieve items. Pallet racking may require additional space for machinery to access and navigate the aisles.

Choosing the Right Storage Solution for Your Business

The choice between cantilever and pallet racking ultimately depends on your specific storage requirements. If your business deals with long, bulky or irregularly shaped items, cantilever racking is likely the better option due to its flexibility, accessibility and load capacity. However, if your warehouse primarily stores palletised goods, pallet racking may be a more suitable and cost-effective solution.


Both cantilever racking and pallet racking are effective storage solutions that cater to different storage needs. Understanding the key differences between the two systems is crucial in order to make the right decision for your business. By carefully considering your unique requirements and weighing up the advantages and drawbacks of each system, you can choose the most appropriate storage solution for your warehouse or industrial space.