Longspan Racking

Longspan Racking

Longspan racking, also referred to as longspan shelving, is a highly versatile storage solution for warehouses, office buildings, archives, retail stores, and depositories. Essentially a scaled down version of pallet racking, this type of storage can fulfill many of the same functions for a more affordable cost.

If you are pressed for space and mainly deposit items individually or in boxes, then longspan racks are likely a viable investment for you. Below, you can find out more about their characteristics, advantages, and drawbacks for an informed choice.

Basic Characteristics of Longspan Racking

Basic Characteristics of Longspan Racking

There are three main components to a longspan shelving system – uprights, beams, and internal shelves. Uprights are vertical frames commonly made of metal that are placed at the ends of each shelving unit for support. Horizontal beams are connected to uprights in order to form several bays of various lengths and depths. Finally, internal shelves are panels of metal, wood, or plastic that sit on the horizontal beams and create the storage space proper.

Longspan racking is highly versatile in the sense that it can be configured to support most applications and anything from light- to heavy-duty loads. A basic longspan shelving unit can measure from 2m to 5m in height, but more complex systems with additional levels, corridors, and stairs are also common. Each shelf can extend up to 2.5m in width, depending on the items you intend to store, and can support up to 1000kg (or 2200lb) in weight.

Longspan racking is a storage system that is manually operated. Employees do not use forklifts or other vehicles to load and unload products, but rather pick them by hand. Furthermore, unlike in the case of pallet racking, items are not stored in pallets, but individually or in boxes. Anything from small parts to bulky and awkwardly shaped items can be deposited by taking advantage of the extensive, continuous surfaces of longspan racks.

Components of Longspan Racking

Upright Frame

The Upright frame of a longspan rack is similar to the frame of selective pallet racking, the only difference being that the former smaller and lighter. Such frames are usually not very high, but can reach anywhere from 2mr to 5m for a loading capacity of up to 2000 kg.


The cross beam of a longspan rack can assume two common shapes and is used to support shelves. One type of cross beam is the step beam, wherein the beam is formed to a step section view and the shelf easily clicks in the right position. The other shape is the Z beam, whose section looks like letter Z. The functions of these two beams are the same. While the Z beam is mainly used for light duty capacities (from 100kg to 300kg per level), the step beam can be used for heavy loading capacities of up to 1000kg.


You can place items either individually or in carton boxes on top of shelves. The latter can be made of solid wood, steel or wire mesh depending on the requirements of each customer.

How to Install Longspan Racks

How to Install Longspan Racks


Another essential characteristic of longspan shelving is that most units do not require the work or supervision of professionals to be installed. The installation process is facile and quick and can even be done alone, although two people are likely better suited for the job.


To install a basic longspan rack unit, separate the uprights, shelves, and two sets of beams into different groups. Position the uprights vertically and insert the first beam into the outer sections of both frames (usually designed with an inner lip). Once all of the beams are slotted, insert and fit in each shelf. With all shelves in their right socket, the longspan shelving unit is completed.


Bolts are usually not required to set up longspan racks and neither is any additional hardware. However, one can bolt down the shelves if increased stability is needed, especially in the case of shelves destined for heavy-duty loads.

Longspan Racks: Uses and Advantages

There are several advantages that recommend longspan racking over other storage solutions both in the warehouse and outside of it. These include:

Advantageous cost.

Longspan shelving is similar to selective pallet racking, but on a smaller scale. If you intend to store low to medium volumes of stock, then this is a more affordable alternative with many of the same benefits

Ease of installation

Unlike pallet racking, lonspan racks are easy and quick to set up. The installation process for most longspan racking units does not require the supervision of a professional, nor any additional hardware than what is already provided by the manufacturer.

Easily extensible and highly portable

If, at any point, you require additional storage space, you can order new modules and accessories that will fit in with the existing units. Longspan shelves can also be disassembled quickly and relocated to a different space when needed.

Flexible across multiple applications

You can use longspan racks in warehouses, but also in office buildings, retail stores, archives, and much more. They can be customized for a wide range of applications and for both light- and heavy-weights. They are also easily adaptable to products of varying sizes since shelves can be repositioned at any time.

Fully selective system with good visibility

With longspan shelving, you or your employees can have direct access to 100% of your stock. Furthermore, loading and unloading is done manually and stairs and corridors are provided for access at higher levels, which means your employees always have good visibility of all items.

As such, one big plus for longspan racks is their flexibility and versatility. Provided that you are able to store and remove your stock by hand, this type of storage is suitable for applications in the automotive industry, hardware and industrial supply, merchandising and supermarkets, retailing, pharmaceuticals, and more.

Longspan Shelving: Drawbacks

There are no obvious drawbacks to longspan shelving, provided that you implement this type of storage in the right circumstances. For instance, you should not employ longspan racks in order to deposit:

Palletized goods

Longspan shelves are designed to store individual or boxed items that are deposited and removed by hand. If the stock you handle is mostly palletized, then you should consider a pallet racking system as a viable alternative.

Medium to high volumes of stock

Longspan racking is appropriate for a variety of storage spaces, but this is not the case in warehouses that handle high volumes of stock. For the latter, a system of racks, rather than shelves is more suitable, particularly since items will likely be bound up in groups and on pallets.

Longspan racks from Kingmorack

Kingmorack builds and ships durable, highly customizable longspan shelves for clients throughout the world. Throughout our years of operation, we have accumulated valuable experience that has taught us what our customers need and how we might deliver on it.

If you’re not sure whether longspan racking is a good solution for your storage space or you simply want to find out more about the features at your disposal, contact Kingmorack today. We put our technology and our experience at your disposal.

Discuss your order

For more information, quotes, sample and orders, contact Kingmorack today.