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New vs Used Pallet Racking

In this world of increasingly scarce resources, where we are encouraged to reuse and recycle, it makes sense to apply this philosophy to pallet racking. Or does it?

If you need pallet racking, or are looking to replace what you currently have, investing in pre-owned products may be an option.

However, before you jump in and hand over your cash for a pre-owned solution, you should take a moment to weigh up the advantages and disadvantages of used pallet racking versus new. Otherwise, you may find the lower cost option of reusing redundant and unwanted pallet racking ends up costing you more.

SafetySafety first

Safety is paramount for any warehouse operation. So if you are considering investing in old pallet racking, make sure it is of a very high quality and ask for an independent survey to be carried out, to check it is still fit for purpose. Pallets are heavy items, so the racking needs to be robust enough to bear a full load. If you are uncertain about the quality of the racking, then we would advise you to opt for new instead of used.


One disadvantage of investing in used pallet racking is that you may not know its history. New pallet racking will come straight from the manufacturer, with all the expected guarantees and at the same time meeting the manufacturer’s specifications. It will also come with all the correct fixings. This will give you complete peace of mind.

Pre-owned pallet racking, however, is unlikely to carry such a guarantee or warranty. Further, the vendor may not be the first person to have owned it – it may have been passed between several sites and so be reaching the end of its lifespan.

QualityIt is possible it has been damaged and repaired. The fixings may not be original or of the recommended standard. There may even by slight damage, which is hard to spot but which could compromise the racking’s quality.

Quality guaranteed

All new pallet racking will come with a guarantee from the manufacturer. This means, should any issues arise you are protected. For example, if the racking is faulty or develops a fault, you will be entitled to replacement or repair. With used pallet racking, you may not have the same peace of mind. If faults develop, the cost of repair or replacement will likely fall to you.

How versatile is used pallet racking?

Another disadvantage of buying used is that, should you need to extend your warehouse storage, you may not be able to find pallet racking to match. This could mean either starting all over again with another pallet racking system, or struggling with the one you have.

Availability of replacement parts

This needs careful thought. If the used pallet racking you are considering investing in is obsolete, you may struggle to find replacement parts.

Rack InspectionInspection

Before you make any purchase of used pallet racking, look out for any signs of wear and tear. If you see any of the following, you might want to reconsider making a purchase: loose parts, broken planks, missing support blocks, rusted parts, damaged parts, poor welding, a mix of parts from different manufacturers.

We would advise asking an independent, qualified inspector to give you a full report on any used pallet racking before you go ahead with the purchase. Some faults may be easily remedied, but others will act as a warning that you should walk away.

Is used pallet racking value for money?

While it makes sense to try to avoid unnecessary expenditure, can you be sure that the used pallet racking you are planning to buy is value for money? You may be spending less money now, but if you end up with a costly repair bill, or having to replace it entirely then in the long-term it will have cost you more.

New pallet racking may not be as expensive as you think, especially when you factor in the manufacturer’s guarantees and how long it will last compared to used pallet racking.

Pallet Racking ValueThere may be a further cost too: if your used pallet racking fails, there is a threat to the smooth running of your warehouse, the products you are storing and, worse, the safety of your personnel.

We are not trying to deter you from investing in used pallet racking altogether; it is worth considering. However, before you go ahead be sure that what you are buying is fit for purpose, suitable for your operation now and in the future, and that the safety of your personnel is not compromised.

For more information about pallet racking and options available for your business, please get in touch with the team.

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