For the agricultural industry, storage and warehousing is essential to hold and preserve goods from the time they are produced until they shipped to distribution centers and eventually to retailers for consumption.

This includes a wide variety of fresh produce, grains and meat products whether in an ambient environment, refrigerated or frozen state. The right storage environment protects the quality of perishable and semi-perishable inventory until it reaches the market. Steel King Industries, Stevens Point, Wisconsin, is at the center of the work.

“Ordering quick-ship pallet racks is convenient, but should be limited to use with non-flammable, non-hazardous product stored inside buildings in low-risk seismic regions,” says Arlin Keck, an engineer at Steel King Industries, a designer and manufacturer of warehouse storage racks, pallet racks and material handling/safety products since 1970.

“Usually, with quick-ship racks, there is a maximum pallet load limit that the racking can handle and a maximum bay load limit that the racking and the existing warehouse floor can handle. There is also usually a six-to-one height-to-depth ratio placed on the racking,” adds Keck. “Any rack outside of these parameters typically requires a qualified design professional's review.”

Even when the quick-ship rack is appropriate for an ag warehouse or distribution center, there may be a need for expert input if there are special circumstances–for example, if rack installation occurs on a sloping floor.

Despite greater warehouse complexity and evolving regulations, understanding a few key distinctions about racking will help ag warehouse managers to keep their facilities cost effectively safe, compliant, and productive.

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