Carton flow racks are an excellent storage solution for businesses that want to optimize their space and increase efficiency in their supply chain. These gravity feed shelving systems provide organized storage that allows easy access and quick retrieval of products. By implementing carton flow rack systems, businesses can improve their operational efficiency, reduce waste, and ultimately increase their bottom line. (Check out more of our industrial storage solutions here.)

This article will discuss the following:

  • What are carton flow racks?
  • How to use carton flow rack systems
  • Benefits of carton flow racking
  • Carton flow rack features

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What are Carton Flow Racks?

carton flow rackCarton flow racking is a gravity-based storage solution that stores products on inclined shelves. The shelves have rollers or wheels that allow products to flow smoothly from loading to picking. This system ensures that products are easily accessible and employees can retrieve items quickly, reducing the time spent searching for products. It also promotes first-in, first-out (FIFO) product rotation.

Flow racks are also called gravity shelves, carton live storage, gravity feed shelving, gravity flow racks, roller racking, and more. Some gravity flow racks are for pallet storage and forklift access, but these racks are for hand-loaded cartons and totes.

How to Use Carton Flow Rack Systems

Carton flow rack systems are versatile and are used in various applications such as production lines and pick zones. They commonly store small to medium-sized products such as boxes, cartons, and totes. Some industries that benefit from carton flow racking include food and beverage distribution, parts suppliers, retail businesses, and other manufacturing and distribution applications.

The process of using flow racks is simple. Employees load cartons into the rack’s storage lane from the rear loading end. The cartons slide gently on roller tracks or wheels to the picking opening at the front of the shelf. Whenever a product is unloaded, the carton behind it automatically slides to the front, ensuring easy access to all products.

Benefits of Carton Flow Racking

Space Savings

carton flow rack benefitsOne of the main advantages of flow shelving is that they maximize storage space. The high-density design allows facilities to store a wide variety of inventory in half the space required when using traditional racking. Flow racks can add up to 40 more pick locations per bay than conventional shelving. More storage locations are especially beneficial for businesses that have limited warehouse space.

Additionally, carton flow racking is customizable to fit specific product dimensions, ensuring an optimized product storage system. Handloaded gravity flow shelving combined with pallet racking (racks of pallet storage atop carton flow shelving) make the best use of a facility’s vertical space.

FIFO Product Rotation

Another benefit of flow racks is that they improve inventory rotation. The gravity feed shelving system ensures that products are rotated on a first-in, first-out (FIFO) basis, which is crucial for businesses that deal with perishable items or have products with expiration dates. This system ensures that older products are used first, reducing the risk of spoilage or waste.


carton flow rackingCarton flow racks make order fulfillment more efficient. The flow shelving reduces search time and eliminates the need for manual product rotation, as the angled roller racks automatically replenish the pick openings. Pickers have easy access to all products, and the separate loading and picking aisles make the workflow safer and more efficient. With gravity feed shelving, businesses can achieve increased productivity and labor savings of up to 50%.


Carton flow racks are a highly adaptable storage solution that can accommodate fast-moving and slow-moving inventory and items of various sizes. Flow racking is available in standard and custom sizes and configurations. Custom configurations include integrating pallet racks or other systems, such as conveyors, to create a pick module.

Carton Flow Rack Features

carton flow racks increase productivty

Carton flow rack features vary depending on the model of rack you choose. Features of three different rack designs offered in our store are listed below.

Gravity shelving features:

  • Heavy-duty 12-gauge steel construction
  • Galvanized steel roller shelves
  • Nine sets of rollers per shelf
  • Optional laminate work shelf
  • Powder-coated finish
  • Custom colors available

Gravity shelving features:

  • All-welded heavy-duty 13-gauge steel uprights
  • Adjustable slanted shelves
  • Roller shelves feature 1.9″ diameter high-density polyethylene wheels staggered for gravity flow
  • Accommodates any size carton with no lane dividers needed
  • Weight load capacity up to 50 lbs. per foot
  • Optional casters: two swivel with brakes and two rigid
  • Powder-coated finish for uprights and beams

gravity feed shelving

Gravity shelving features:

  • Steel construction
  • Adjustable shelf levels
  • Four pairs of roller tracks and five adjustable guide rails per level
  • Top shelf: 5/8″ thick particle board with 1000-lb. capacity
  • Roller tracks: U-shaped galvanized steel channel sides with plastic wheels
  • Each roller track holds 50 lbs. per foot of track
  • Gray baked enamel finish

shopping cart iconPrices for Industrial Products

See specifications and pricing for open & closed shelving, sliding bin shelving, shelving with drawers, and bulk rack.

Contact Us for Carton Flow Racks

Southwest Solutions Group® provides design and installation services for carton flow racking systems. We will also provide a free consultation to determine your needs and specifications before the design begins. To learn more or to speak with a specialist, call us at 1-800-803-1083 or send us a message today.



Industrial Testimonials


“Working with Southwest Solutions including Matt, Susan, and especially Brad was great. They provide amazing customer service. Brad and the install team were especially great. Very professional, easy to work with, and did the work quickly and very well with very little input from us. If we need help with carousel storage moves, parts, or new equipment we will start with Southwest Solutions. ”

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“The team at Southwest Solutions were nothing short of fantastic. First meeting with Craig, I received a customized design, in person, based on my office needs while still maintaining an efficient layout and being cost effective. Craig explained everything clearly, allowing me to understand that as modular mill-work, I would be able to move it if I ever changed offices, but without the added sales pressure to immediately make a decision. Once I had decided, I worked with Chris who assisted in picking out the finishes and scheduling the delivery and installation. The professionalism of Craig and Chris spoke volumes and I would highly recommend anyone looking to transform or fit-out an office to contact Southwest Solutions.”

Etihad Airways
Harvey-Cleary Builders

“I want to let you know that we all really appreciated your team mentality, professionalism and dedication shown on this project. It was a pleasure working with you and your office and we look forward to many more. Please pass along my gratitude to everyone who worked on this project. Thanks! ”

Harvey-Cleary Builders
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“I just want to take a minute to let you know how good of a job your install crew did yesterday. They were quick, fast, courteous and very consensus during the install. They were awesome to say the least. Being in the service business ourselves, we know that you can never hear the words “Good Job” often enough. Please pass this along to your crew.”
Crain Buick GMC

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