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Pallet racking dimensions explained

Frame height and depth, pallet racking dimensions

To make the most of warehouse storage, your pallet racking system should be custom-designed for your facility and goods. More specifically, confirming your pallet racking dimensions is key.

That’s because selecting the right size of pallet racking can ensure sufficient aisle space for forklifts and trucks, support workplace safety and enhance the efficiency of your operations.

But determining the perfect dimensions for your pallet racking system isn’t as simple as a single figure.

You’ll need to factor in the frame height and depth, beam length, and weight capacity, plus the amount of clearance needed between the racks and various building elements.

While this might seem like a daunting task, our pallet racking experts are here to help. Below, we explain pallet racking dimensions and how to use these metrics to work out the optimal solution for your warehouse. Read on to learn more about pallet racking measurements and their key considerations.

Calculating the right pallet racking dimensions for your facility: 4 key factors to consider

1. Pallet size and weight


The first step in finding the perfect pallet racking dimensions is to consider the pallets themselves.

There is no one-size-fits-all answer when it comes to pallet measurements, which differ depending on where they are made.

For example, a standard Australian pallet measures 1165mm x 1165mm. This square pallet can typically hold a 2,000kg load while stored in pallet racking that is manufactured to AS 4084-2012 Steel Storage Racking.

That said, pallets come in all shapes and sizes.

If goods are imported on a pallet from another country, this pallet could have different dimensions and may not comply with Australian Standards, such as AS 4068-1993 Flat pallets for materials handling.

For example, US pallets tend to measure 1219mm x 1016mm, while standard European pallets are 800mm x 1200mm.

So, the first thing you need to do is measure and weigh your pallets.

How long and wide is your average pallet?

How long and wide is your heaviest pallet?

How much do each of these pallets weigh?

Jot all of these numbers down for future reference – you’ll need them later.

The weights of your average and heaviest pallets are particularly important, as they’ll help to determine the right load capacity for your racking. Exceeding the load capacity limit is a serious safety risk, so accuracy is key.

2. Frame height and depth

Frame height and depth

Once you know the size of your pallets, you can work out the most suitable depth and height of your pallet racking frame.

Frame depth determines the spacing between your load beams.

Common pallet-racking frame depths include:

  • 600mm
  • 840mm
  • 1067mm
  • 1219mm

However, it’s important to note that a pallet should hang over the racking beam on both sides by at least 76mm so that the beam can carry its full weight. Therefore, to get the correct frame depth, minus approximately 152mm from the depth of your pallet.

Then it’s time to consider frame height. Selecting the right height pallet racking for your inventory and facility can boost storage capacity while making the most of available floor space.

Pallet racking frame heights available in Australia include:

  • 915mm
  • 1219mm
  • 1829mm
  • 2438mm
  • 3048mm
  • 3658mm
  • 4267mm
  • 4877mm
  • 5486mm
  • 6096mm

To calculate the most appropriate frame height for your space and storage needs, consider how tall your ceiling is.

To comply with safety regulations and allow enough clearance, there should be at least 460mm to 610mm of space left between the ceiling and your inventory. That includes any sprinklers, pipes and trusses.

Finally, don’t forget to consider how high your forklift can reach before choosing your frame height.

3. Beam length and weight carrying capacity

A load beam carries the weight of a pallet. Importantly, the length of this beam influences its load capacity.

Firstly, the beam length determines the number of pallets you can store on each beam level. Therefore, this length should be based on the size of your pallet, how tightly you intend to pack them and the degree of available space.

Some common beam lengths include:

  • 900mm
  • 1100mm
  • 1372mm
  • 1829mm
  • 2591mm
  • 2743mm
  • 3048mm
  • 3658mm
  • 3810mm
  • 4300mm

Longer beams are able to store several pallets between frames, which can lower your costs by minimising the number of frames required.

That said, this is only an appropriate approach for light pallets, as fewer frames result in a lower weight-carrying capacity.

If you need to store heavy pallets, shorter beams may be a better option. This will increase the amount of frames used and, in turn, the overall weight-carrying capacity.

Storing pallets of different sizes and weights? Consider using a combination of various beam lengths to create a custom pallet racking system for your inventory.

4. Minimum clearances required between racks

Pallet Clearance

When determining the ideal pallet racking dimensions for your warehouse, you’ll need to factor in the minimum clearances (200mm under AS 4084:2012) required between racks and surrounding structures like walls and columns.

Clearance around the pallet itself is also essential. Below are the following guidelines:

  • For beams under 6m, clearance from the top of the pallet to the bottom of the load beam above must be at least 75mm
  • For beams over 6m, this clearance increases to 100mm
  • Back-to-back rows must retain a minimum of 430mm clearance in between

Why is adequate clearance so important?

This safety measure helps to prevent racks from colliding with building components if a forklift accident, earthquake or some other unforeseen event occurs.

Otherwise, contact could cause damage to your pallets and inventory, and potentially even harm the load-bearing capacity of your pallet racking and the building it’s in.

Standard pallet racking dimensions by type

Selective pallet racking

With reach trucks (wide aisles)

  • Volume: Medium volumes
  • Aisle width: 2.8 to 3.2m
  • Storage area: 45%
  • Operating aisle area: 55%
  • Lift height: Up to 10.5m
  • Through-put rate: 16-20 pallets per hour

With counterbalanced trucks (wide aisles)

  • Volume: Low volumes
  • Aisle width: 3.8 to 5.5m
  • Storage area: 35%
  • Operating aisle area: 65%
  • Lift height: Up to 8m
  • Through-put rate: 20-24 pallets per hour

Narrow-aisle pallet racking

With narrow-aisle trucks

  • Aisle width: 1.6 to 2m
  • Storage area: Up to 49%
  • Operating aisle area: 51%
  • Lift height: 13-14m
  • Through-put rate: 16-24 pallets per hour

Double deep pallet racking

With double-deep trucks (medium aisles)

  • Aisle width: 3 to 3.5m
  • Storage area: Up to 55%
  • Operating aisle area: 45%
  • Lift height: 9.5m
  • Through-put rate: 12-18 pallets per hour

Drive-in pallet racking

With reach trucks (medium aisles)

  • Volume: Medium volumes
  • Aisle width: 2.8 to 3.2m
  • Lift height: Up to 8.5m

With counterbalanced trucks (medium aisles)

  • Volume: Low volumes
  • Aisle width: 3.8 to 5.5m
  • Lift height: Up to 8.5m

Powered pallet racks

With reach trucks (medium aisles)

  • Aisle width: 2.8 to 3.2m
  • Storage area: Up to 95%
  • Operating aisle area: 5%
  • Lift height: Up to 10.5m
  • Through-put rate: 14-18 pallets per hour

With counterbalanced trucks (wide aisles)

  • Aisle width: 3.8 to 5.5m
  • Storage area: Up to 90%
  • Operating aisle area: 10%
  • Lift height: Up to 8m
  • Through-put rate: 18-22 pallets per hour

Find the optimal pallet racking dimensions in Sydney

Now that you know your ideal pallet racking dimensions, including the height, depth, and beam size required for your facility, you can explore your options.

Make the most of your warehouse space with smart storage solutions from Pallet Racking Sydney. We offer affordable, durable and customisable pallet racking systems for all facilities, and can help you to pinpoint the most suitable size for your business.

Explore our wide range today, which includes Schaefer selective racking, cantilever racking, longspan shelving and racking accessories.

Shop online or contact Pallet Racking Sydney now.

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