Structural Pallet Racking

Structural Pallet Racking

Structural pallet racks are the most solid, heavy-duty solution for warehouse storage currently on the market. They are suitable for several applications outside the warehouse, but they are particularly useful in deposits that see dense forklift traffic.

Structural racking is mainly distinguished from roll-formed pallet racks, which follow an alternative design, through characteristics such as load capacity, stability, and durability. Below, we explain the difference in detail with particular focus on the ideal uses of structural racks.

Structural Pallet Racks vs. Roll-Formed Pallet Racks

Structural Pallet Racks vs. Roll-Formed Pallet Racks

Pallet rack systems can be classified according to several features, but some of the most popular options include:

The differences between structural and roll-formed pallet racks come primarily from the way these two racking posts are constructed. On the one hand, roll-formed racks are built from multiple sheets of steel that are bent together several times until they acquire the desired upright shape. Depending on how many sheets of lengthwise steel are used in this process, a roll-formed rack can be more flexible or more rigid, with direct consequences on its ease-of-use, strength, and load capacity.

Structural racks, on the other hand, are made by melting steel and casting it into a mold with an upright form of various lengths. Some of the most common forms are I-Beams and C-Channels, which present various advantages from load support to hygiene. Once the frames are cooled, structural racks become their strongest and attempts to bend or modify them further are ill-advised. Overall, they are much stronger and sturdier than roll-formed pallet racks, often at the cost of reduced flexibility and higher prices.

The way horizontal support beams are connected to these two types of uprights is also different, which leads to additional distinctions between the latter. Rivet-style connectors are commonly used in roll-formed pallet racks, which further extends their flexibility, while structural racking is often held in place with bolts, which adds even more strength to an already capable system.

Structural Racks: Uses and Advantages
There are several reasons why one might prefer structural racking over its roll-formed counterpart. These include:
Greater strength

Structural racks are more suitable to support bulky, oversized, or ultra-heavy loads because of the way they are built. This is not to say that roll-formed racks are not strong enough for most warehouse applications, but only structural racks are designed to withstand heavy-duty inventory.

Rigidity and stability

A structural racking system is sturdier and more rigid than a roll-formed rack, not only because of its manufacture, but also because it is held together with bolts, rather than rivets. For this reason, structural pallet racks are a popular choice for heavy load industry applications and especially in regions with high seismic activity.

Lifespan and durability

Structural pallet racks are better equipped to withstand impact from forklifts and other warehouse vehicles, especially when they are installed with additional protectors. Long-term, this can significantly extend the lifespan of a racking system and contribute to a higher return on investment.


Structural racking is commonly built with an open, C-Channel construction, which means the entire system is easier to wash down and sterilize. For some industries, such as food and beverage distribution, this can be a significant advantage


Unlike their roll-formed counterparts, structural racks can be customized for numerous space requirements and applications. For instance, they are used in most selective, push back, drive in, and pallet flow storage systems. Due to their galvanized finish, they can also be used outdoors

Warehouses with a fast-paced schedule, including cold storage deposits, food and beverage distributors, or other high volume storage facilities with constant forklift traffic, benefit most from the implementation of structural pallet racks. Overall, the latter can withstand heavier loads per surface unit and are more likely to survive long-term if damaged by vehicles or employees.

Structural Racks: Drawbacks

The rigidity of a structural rack can be a benefit as much as it can be a disadvantage, depending on the particular application you have in mind. Other drawbacks to consider before implementing such a system include:


A structural pallet rack is installed using nuts and bolts, usually by a professional. The entire process can take longer than in the case of roll-formed racking, which requires no additional hardware.

Less flexibility

Once a structural racking system is put into place, it can be difficult and time-consuming to adjust its position or beams for different load sizes and weights. Roll-formed racks are much more adaptable in this respect because their boltless connections can be easily undone and repositioned.

Higher costs

The manufacturing process for structural racking is more expensive and so is the final product. A structural racking system is often heavier than a roll-formed alternative, which means transportation might also cost slightly more.

Structural Pallet Racking from Kingmorack

To make the most out of your new pallet racking system, you must balance the advantages and drawbacks of each option against the specific requirements of your space and business. At Kingmorack, we put our experience at your disposal for optimal decisions in terms of storage space.

To find out more about whether structural pallet racking is the right fit for your warehouse, contact Kingmorack today and give us the specifics.

Discuss your order

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