Any facility that needs to store large amounts of material knows that as time goes by and inventory grows, storage space becomes tighter and tighter. When storage space becomes limited in warehouses or other applications, organization suffers as racks become overcrowded. Employees have a harder time retrieving or storing items, and morale and productivity decrease. Faced with this situation, many facilities are forced to take the expensive route of expanding their space or seeking additional off-site storage. But there’s a better solution.

Solve your heavy-duty storage needs more efficiently and economically with industrial compact pallet racks, bulk racks, or high-density shelving from Spacesaver. These mobile storage systems store the same amount of inventory in 50% of the floor space consumed by traditional static shelving and pallet racks. Providing quicker access and better organization for stored materials, these industrial compact storage systems are an excellent choice for any application with extensive heavy-duty storage needs. Read on to learn about:compact pallet racks

Types of Industrial Compact Storage Systems

Heavy-duty compact storage systems mount your existing (or new) storage racks on industrial-grade carriages. These slide on floor tracks or rails which can be surface-mounted or embedded. By mobilizing your storage racks, the system eliminates open space between racks down to a single moving access aisle.

The industrial compact storage system accommodates three types of storage racks:

  • Heavy-duty shelving
  • Bulk racks
  • Pallet racks

Traditional shelving units, including cantilever shelving and drawer systems, mount easily onto the industrial high density shelvingmobile carriages for secure, versatile storage, great for smaller materials. (Read more about industrial high-density shelving here.) Bulk racks, a type of lighter-duty hand-loaded pallet rack, are an excellent option for storing large quantities of materials in this high-density system. (Read more about compact bulk racks here.) The compact storage system accommodates even heavy-duty pallet racks, making them ideal for the largest warehouse applications. (Watch videos about compact pallet racks and bulk racks here.)

The carriage systems are available in different models according to your storage needs. The storage capacity of a single carriage unit ranges from 7,000 to 30,000 pounds (up to 60,000 pounds for a back-to-back section).

How to Operate Industrial Compact Storage Systems

Operating the heavy-duty mobile storage shelving is easy and requires almost no training. Choose from manual or powered models based on your storage needs.

compact pallet rack storage systemMechanical-assist models are manually operated with an ergonomic three-spoke rotating handle. Using the handle, an employee can move up to 10,000 pounds of carriage weight with only one pound of effort. In lighter applications, an employee can move several shelving units at once with one rotating handle. This reliable mechanism is a sensible choice for lighter-duty storage applications.

Electrically powered models, available for all storage capacities, automate the process of moving the storage racks. Simply push a button to start the carriages moving, then step into the desired aisle, which will open thanks to an aisle entry sensor.  A more advanced option provides a touchscreen keypad that allows users to specify the desired aisle to open. In addition, radio frequency (RF) technology gives users the option to open an aisle remotely so that it’s ready for access by the time the user gets there. All powered models come with a rechargeable battery back-up power unit to ensure that the system still functions in the event of a power outage.

Benefits of Industrial Compact Storage Systems

Space Savings

The most obvious benefit of heavy-duty compact storage systems is the space you’ll save with them. Cut your existing storage space in half by implementing compact storage, which eliminates space wasted by stationary access aisles. This gives you the freedom to repurpose former storage space into a revenue-generating area. Or, double your storage capacity in your existing footprint, removing the need to expand your facility or turn to expensive off-site storage. By eliminating these extra expenses and increasing productivity in your warehouse, you’ll save money and get a quick ROI with industrial compact storage.


heavy duty compact rack systemThis versatile storage system is an excellent choice for a variety of applications because of the flexibility it affords the user. As mentioned above, the industrial compact storage system accommodates a variety of shelving types, from traditional shelving to pallet racks. This allows you to customize your storage system to fit your storage requirements, rather than letting a fixed storage configuration dictate your organization.

Moreover, larger facilities don’t have to feel limited by the idea of a single access aisle at a time, since the system is modular. Break up your storage into modular systems that can be placed at the most convenient locations around a production area so that various employees have ready access to the parts they need most often. Systems typically have one movable aisle for every six carriages, but don’t feel confined to one standard. Our team of sales engineers will do a free space analysis of your storage area to help you determine the best configuration for your facility.

Ease of Use

Your employees will appreciate an industrial compact storage system for how easy it is to operate and how it streamlines the process of storing and retrieving materials. Both the ergonomic rotating handle and the push-button controls allow quick and easy access to stored items. The ability to open the desired aisle at will allows direct access and selectivity when retrieving materials, increasing productivity and efficiency as well as saving time. Unlike alternative space-saving storage options that limit accessibility to FIFO (first-in, first-out) or LIFO (last in, first out), the industrial compact storage system provides full random access capabilities, including 100% forklift access.

Keeping all of your storage in a compact footprint, rather than spread out or even off-site, means that it takes employees less time to access materials. And with the improved organization the system affords, employees avoid the frustration of trying to locate haphazardly stored materials.


The industrial compact storage system is equipped with a number of safety features designed to protect those using it. Mechanical models come equipped with a safety lock mechanism designed to prevent stopped carriages from drifting while a user is accessing an aisle. There is also an option for a full carriage lock for increased security and peace of mind.

compact bulk storage racksPowered and mechanical units are equipped with a number of advanced safety features. For example, a photo sweep sensor comes standard with each powered model to ensure that no person or object risks getting crushed by the compacting carriages. The sensor shoots an infrared beam down the length of the carriage at its base and automatically stops the system movement if the beam is broken—say, by a person’s foot or an object left out in the aisle. The system will also sound an alarm when the carriages are moving.

Also, powered models use a similar infrared safety beam to monitor when a person enters or is present in an aisle, which deactivates the system. The system is reactivated when the person exits the aisle. This feature helps to prevent a user from accidentally putting the system into motion while another employee is in an access aisle.

Applications for Industrial Compact Storage Systems

Industrial compact storage systems are suitable for any application with extensive heavy-duty storage needs, especially if you’re frustrated by insufficient storage space or inefficient organization. Check out five savvy applications below.

Warehouse Storage

The most obvious application for industrial compact storage systems is the warehouse. This heavy-duty storage system is an excellent choice for any kind of warehouse facility, whether manufacturing, military, or more. Optimize your warehouse storage space to double your capacity or free up space for more productive activities. Industrial compact storage makes it easier to access and organize your stored materials, allowing you to operate more efficiently. Read more about how to save warehouse space here. 

Archival Storage

heavy duty high density mobile shelvingFor universities or other applications in need of storage for large and potentially heavy collections, consider an industrial compact storage system. Heavy-duty compact shelving or bulk racks are excellent for long-term storage of valuable collections or boxes of documents since they afford increased storage capacity and ease of access and organization. Choose a configuration best suited to the needs of your stored materials. Read about how a school utilized heavy-duty mobile shelving for their archival storage needs.

Law Enforcement

Industrial compact storage is a practical choice for law enforcement facilities storing evidence or inmate property. These facilities are typically limited in space, and these systems maximize the storage capacity within the existing space. One metropolitan police department implemented a heavy-duty compact storage system and was able to cut down their evidence processing and tracking time by over 80%. Compact shelving or bulk racks can help you organize and store evidence or inmate property in less space and with less time and effort. Read more about high-density storage solutions for law enforcement here.

Cold Storage or Cleanrooms

For warehouses with cold storage requirements or for cleanrooms in need of sanitary storage, Spacesaver offers a stainless steel compact storage option. Storage space in freezers, coolers, and cleanrooms is typically limited and costly to expand, so it’s essential to make the most of your existing space. Heavy-duty stainless steel compact storage provides the maximum storage capacity for your footprint. The stainless steel construction is mechanically operated, supports up to 7,000 pounds, and withstands harsh cleaning supplies, moisture buildup, and temperatures as cold as -20 degrees Fahrenheit. Read about more cold storage solutions here.

Cannabis Growth Rooms

compact racks cannabis growingAs manufacturers expand their cannabis cultivation to meet both medical and recreational demands, growing space comes at a premium. Maximize your growing space with an industrial compact storage system, using specialized bulk growing racks to convert wasted space into revenue production. These high-yield racks provide optimal light and airflow to stored marijuana plants, while the ease of aisle access allows staff to tend all the plants as needed. Read more about vertical growing racks for cannabis growth rooms here.

Contact Us for Industrial Compact Storage Systems

Southwest Solutions Group® provides design and installation services for Spacesaver industrial compact pallet racks and high-density shelving for a variety of applications. We will also provide you with a free consultation to determine your exact needs and specifications before the design process begins. To learn more or to speak with a specialist, call us at 1-800-803-1083 or send us a message today.


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