Pallet racking systems are a key part of the set-up and operations of any warehouse – they make storing and accessing your goods as easy as possible and let you make the most of often limited space.
Buying industrial pallet racking systems can require a lengthy review process to get the right system for your space and operations. Among the very first decisions you will want to make, though, is between buying new or repurposing old. The choice between new and used pallet racking systems involves factors like technology, reliability, suitability to specific warehouse requirements, and budget (of course).
In this blog, we’ll look at the advantages and disadvantages of both new and used pallet racking systems, aiming to give you all the tools you need to make the right choice for your warehouse.
Advantages of New Pallet Racking Systems
Latest Technological Features
New pallet racking systems incorporate cutting-edge design and technological advancements. These features enhance performance, efficiency, and durability, presenting a long-term investment.
Warranty and Reliability
New warehouse racking systems will generally come with a manufacturer’s warranty, offering a safety net against defects and ensuring a smoother operation with fewer unexpected maintenance issues.
Tailoring to specific warehouse needs is a significant advantage. Whether it’s handling diverse product sizes or maximizing vertical space, new storage racking systems can be customized to optimize storage and streamline operations – for difficult spaces, the operational efficiencies may quickly provide a return on investment.
Integration with Advanced Management Systems
These systems can be integrated with modern warehouse management systems, enhancing tracking, inventory management, and overall control – as with the benefits of customisation, the return on investment due to better stock control and management can make the initial outlay more than worth it.
Disadvantages of New Pallet Racking Systems
Higher Initial Cost
The investment in new industrial racking systems can be substantial, impacting the financial planning of businesses, especially smaller ones. The price difference between a brand-new and a used system could be inhibitive if you are working with particularly tight budgets.
Longer Lead Times
Customized solutions will likely mean lengthy waiting periods before your units are delivered, installed and operational – if you need a rapid deployment for a new warehouse or an expansion, then this will likely be a dealbreaker.
Like most new purchases, warehouse racking systems lose much of their value over time, which can affect long-term financial planning.
Need for Specialized Training
Implementing new technology might require additional training for staff, adding to the overall cost and effort (as well as the time it takes to see a return on your investment).
Advantages of Used Pallet Racking Systems
Used systems are a lot more budget-friendly, making them suitable for businesses with limited financial resources.
These systems are typically ready for installation without the delays of manufacturing new units, which is ideal for urgent setup needs.
Opting for used systems supports recycling and reduces the environmental impact associated with new production – perfect for companies that want to establish their credentials as being green in business.
If well-maintained, used systems can offer reliable performance based on their track record in other operations – they’ve been a workhorse for many years, and they won’t let you down now.
Disadvantages of Used Pallet Racking Systems
Unknown History and Wear
The previous use of these systems can raise concerns about their structural integrity and safety – you can’t know how well they have been maintained or if the previous owner has covered up any issues to inflate the value, for example.
Used systems offer minimal (or, often, no) customization, potentially leading to space utilization inefficiencies or challenges in accommodating specific storage needs. Making the most out of every square foot of floor and air space is of the utmost importance in warehouse management – so this can be a deciding factor.
Absence of Warranty
Without manufacturer warranties, any system failures or maintenance fall on the business, potentially negating initial cost savings (if there is an issue).
These systems may require more frequent inspections and maintenance, adding to operational costs.
Integrating used pallet racking with existing systems can be challenging, potentially impacting warehouse efficiency. It can also mean there is a need for additional training for staff, and if there are variances in load capacities, there is a new potential for human error on both types of racking.
Making the Right Choice for Your Warehouse
Choosing between new and used pallet racking systems hinges on evaluating your warehouse’s specific requirements. Consider factors like budget, space configuration, and the nature of goods stored – balancing these elements will guide you toward a decision that best supports your operational efficiency and financial health.
Think of your racking system like buying a car: buying new is the best option if you want all the bells and whistles, the warranty, and the ability to customise – but you will pay a lot more for these privileges. Buying used can be a great opportunity to grab a bargain but at the expense of some of the newer technologies.
Whether you choose new or used, you will need to ensure your racking is assessed by SEMA-approved racking inspectors. Get in touch with the team at SEE Racking Inspections today to book your consultation.