What is the Difference Between Racking and Shelving?

February 14, 2022

Deciding between racking and shelving for your industrial storage needs can be tricky. Both of the storage units have differences that all business owners should know about before they purchase, as these differences will impact how well the shelf or rack works for storing parts and other items. One of the best ways to improve storage in warehouses and commercial spaces is to buy frames and shelves that have been made specifically for your project. When you need to store different sized or shaped items, racks and shelves which are best suited for your commercial use can be the best options.

This blog will discuss some of the major differences between racking storage systems and shelving to help you decide which method will give your products the protection they need.

Racking Vs. Shelving

Shelving and racking are both storage units often used in warehouses and supermarkets. Both of them come in a wide variety of designs so that you can find the right one for your business. However, they are not the same: they have different functions and thus can be used separately or together to build an extensive, efficient storage system. Let’s take a closer look at both of these products and see what makes them so unique.


Racking is a storage system used in warehouses and retail environments. It is considered higher, broader and deeper than shelving. This racking system is ideal for storing and accessing products such as boxes or large containers. As they have a large volume and weight, machines can quickly move around them. For this reason, we can expect racks to be more durable due to their ability to provide a way for the use of heavy machines. In addition, frames are designed and constructed to store materials at the required height for easy access by designated employees with cherry pickers or forklifts. And this allows the racking to optimise the vertical space, which increases the cubed mass and adds to the racking advantages.


On the other hand, shelving is used to store products accessed by hand. Shelving is commonly made from solid materials such as wood, metal and glass. Shelving in supermarkets, for example, provides easy access to customers while being stocked by employees. Shelving doesn’t require special machinery to stock its items—one person can perform the task alone. It also serves double-duty; as a place to put things and a display platform. Shelving units store files, tools, products and accessories used in vehicles. Another major difference between racks and shelves is in their structure: shelving is solid, while racks are made of interconnected, scaffold-like platforms.

Also, learn about the best shelving options for retail.

Get Premium Quality Storage Units at SpeedRack

SpeedRack offers a vast selection of shelving and storage options, so you’re bound to find something that meets your needs. Our premium quality storage equipment make it easy to organise your industrial space. At just the push of a button, we can provide you with shelving and racking units that can be used for all your business storage needs. In addition, SpeedRack is known for unsurpassed customer service, so if you need help finding what you need, simply browse through the products and get the best racking services now!