Looking to Save Money on Your Pallet Rack System?

A Next Level load leaving our Byhalia Mississippi warehouse

Looking to save a buck on your pallet rack system? Like many small to medium warehouse/ distribution center owners, you have probably looked to second-hand rack as a cheaper alternative to new. And if you ran into the common problems of compromised quality or not being able to find exactly what you need on the used market, you may have explored Chinese export rack, or what is commonly called “China rack.” If you went so far as to receive a quote for this export rack, you may have thought Wow, these prices are great. I can get all new for about the same as used domestic rack. But before you go any further with this line of thinking, here’s what you should know about Chinese export rack.

What You Need To Know About “China Rack”

Your China rack could end up costing you tens of thousands of dollars more before it’s all said and done. Here’s the low-down on off-the-shelf China rack (and we know this for a fact because we actually manufacture our rack in China – more on that later in this article.)

Consistency Issues

Not all China rack is the same.There is no consistency in manufacturing from one facility to another. Not all columns are the same – the punching and stamping are usually off (by about 1/8”), creating an off “pitch” that causes problems with bracing alignment.

Packaging/Shipping Problems

After you have paid for your rack in full, it will take three to five weeks to get your product. The packaging is extremely poor and you will almost always have damage –generally about 1/2 the welds are  upon arrival. Try getting restitution or replacement for your damaged rack –it won’t likely happen. And good luck with finding replacement rack stateside that will match up with your China rack.

Powder Coating is Compromised

Expecting bright orange beams for your new pallet rack system? Your China rack beams will likely be orange, but with an odd, smoky cast. Why is this? The Chinese factories use compressed straw pellets (instead of gas) to stoke their ovens. Due to poor quality control, the heat exchangers are often cracked, allowing smoke to not only discolor the paint, but to also compromise the integrity of the powder coating. Poor steel prep and suet contamination from the smoke bleeding into the bake oven during the powder coating process result in beams that are easily chipped or scratched, as well as possible delamination of the steel (delamination is the loss of coating adhesion to a surface).

Permitting Problems

And if the reasons above aren’t enough to convince you that Chinese export rack is not the way to go, here is the number one reason you should avoid off-the-shelf China rack: You can NOT get permitting for the rack as is. Is it possible to get it permitted? Yes, after you spend literally tens of thousands of dollars having the rack tested, it’s possible you will get it permitted.

At the end of the day, “China rack” is quite possibly the most expensive rack on the planet.

How is Next Level Pallet Rack Different?

While we do manufacture our pallet rack in China, we are not producing anything even close to off-the-shelf China rack. Our universal teardrop rack is designed and engineered here in the USA by next Next Level. We maintain quality engineering, and we own the USA-designed equipment that produces our rack. Both Next Level FlexRack™ and EconoRack™ are manufactured under scrutinized production policies and then shipped to our nationwide warehouses here in the US, where the racks are then powder-coated for perfect color matching and sound polymer adhesion.

Next Level uses a high yield strength steel. Our frames start at 55,000 PSI, and our beams start at a minimum 60,000 Kpsi yield steel.  We can produce mill certificates for every piece of coil that we purchase. Producers of Chinese export rack will often tell you they can provide a certificate, but it’s highly unlikely you would ever get one.

Another important difference in ours and theirs: they have a 2-1/2″ wide beam and Next Level produces a 2–3/4” beam width, which is standard in the United States.

All Next Level pallet racks meet or exceed RMI/ANSI MH16.1-2012: Specification For The Design, Testing And Utilization Of Industrial Steel Cantilevered Storage Racks.

Ready for a Quote on Pallet Rack?

When you’re ready to talk about your storage needs, contact a Next Level Storage Solutions engineer. We’ll be happy to help you find the right solution for your warehouse or facility, even if it means not selling you our pallet rack. We’re committed to building strong relationships, not just making another sale. 

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