Optimize your pallet racking with gravity flow racks. These efficient pallet flow racking systems maximize storage density, reduce labor costs, and promote first-in, first-out (FIFO) product rotation. Gravity flow racks are an excellent solution for distributors of perishable products such as food and pharmaceuticals and any distribution facility with a high inventory turnover. (Check out more of our industrial storage solutions here.)

This article will discuss the following:

  • What are gravity flow racks?
  • How gravity flow pallet racks work
  • Benefits of gravity flow pallet racking systems

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What are Gravity Flow Racks?

what are gravity flow racksGravity flow racks (also called roller racking, gravity feed racks, flow racks, FIFO racks, and live pallet racking systems) are a gravity-driven high-density storage system consisting of racks with tilted shelving levels. Goods are loaded from the back of the rack and slide to the front for retrieval to facilitate first-in, first-out (FIFO) product rotation.

With their FIFO design, gravity flow racks are often used in Kanban systems and lean manufacturing since the roller racks can keep production flowing smoothly without restocking delays. Gravity racks come in various sizes depending on the application, from hand-loaded shelving to pallet racks.

Gravity flow pallet racks are designed for use with pallets and forklifts. They can be multiple levels high and are suited for distribution warehouses. This FIFO pallet racking system is an excellent solution for any distribution center storing products with expiration dates, such as food or medicine, since the FIFO rotation ensures that the oldest products are distributed first. The gravity flow racking system also works well for any facility storing large volumes of a limited number of SKUs with high throughput.

How Gravity Flow Pallet Racks Work

how gravity flow pallet racks work

Gravity flow pallet racks feature angled flow lanes lined with wheeled or roller rails. The racks are slightly pitched, so pallets automatically flow downward from the loading side to the picking side. For optimal use of the system, store a unique SKU in each lane.

The roller pallet racking follows a simple process:

  1. First, a forklift loads pallets at the higher back end of the gravity flow rack.
  2. The pallets slide at a controlled speed to the front of the storage lane for retrieval.
  3. A forklift removes pallets at the lower front end of the gravity flow rack.

The process repeats automatically. Whenever a pallet is retrieved from the front of the rack, the pallets stored behind it flow forward to replenish the empty position. The pallet flow racks improve operations’ efficiency by keeping the system flowing smoothly and maintaining FIFO rotation without additional effort from personnel.

Benefits of Gravity Flow Pallet Racking Systems

Space Savings

fifo pallet racking systemsThe high-density design of a gravity flow racking system makes it an excellent solution for warehouses looking to save floor space. The gravity flow pallet racks create a storage cube of sorts; rather than having access aisles between each rack, only two aisles are needed: one in the back for loading and one in the front for retrieval. A pallet racking system maximizes your storage density by cutting out unnecessary aisles. The racking can double your storage capacity in the same floor space as conventional pallet racks. (Learn about more space-saving pallet rack solutions here.)

FIFO Product Rotation

A gravity flow pallet racking system can help your warehouse achieve FIFO stock rotation. FIFO ensures that the oldest products are used first; this is especially critical for perishable goods such as food and medication, which might otherwise be more likely to expire on your warehouse shelves and go to waste. The pallet gravity racks naturally facilitate FIFO rotation without any extra effort from your personnel.


Gravity flow pallet racks improve the efficiency of warehouse operations. The gravity-fed racking systems create a more efficient workflow by utilizing separate loading and retrieval aisles. Forklifts have easy access to all pallets from the retrieval aisle, as the pallets automatically slide to the front of the storage lane. Additionally, with a dedicated lane for each SKU, products stay organized and easily accessible.

Reduced Costs

pallet flow racking system rollersAlong with the benefits of greater picking efficiency, gravity flow racks reduce operating costs. By minimizing travel times for storage and retrieval of products, the gravity flow racking system reduces labor and equipment costs. And since the pallets move automatically from the back of the rack to the front, handling costs are reduced; less handling also lowers the risk of damage to the stored products. Plus, the system is energy-efficient. The gravity flow pallet racks maximize your storage density to save on energy costs, and since the system is powered by gravity, no electricity is required. Visit our online store to see our industrial storage products.

Custom Design

Gravity pallet racking systems can be custom-designed to meet your unique requirements. These heavy-duty storage systems have several adjustable features, including pitch, flow speed, height, lane depth, types of wheels or rollers, and braking systems.

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

Contact Us for Gravity Flow Pallet Racks

Southwest Solutions Group® provides design and installation services for pallet flow racking systems. We will also provide a free consultation to determine your exact 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.”

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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.”
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