• 24th April 2024

The History of Cantilever Racking

Cantilever pallet racking has been in existence for as long as the modern warehouse, but the technology associated with cantilever systems dates back even longer. The science behind cantilever racking is basic, with a vertical support with arms protruding to carry a weight, with a kind of balance effect in action. You might be surprised to learn that the technology behind cantilever pallet racking hails from as early as the 17th century.

The Early Beginnings of Cantilever Pallet Racking 

The word cantilever was first used in 1667, according to the Merriam-Webster dictionary. There is no evidence to support the idea that this word has changed meaning, so it can be assumed that it notated the same kind of device now used in cantilever pallet racking

Cantilever technology was first used to create a bridge in Scotland in 1890. It was called The Forth Bridge, and it held the title of lengthiest cantilever bridge in the world for some time. The cantilever idea was employed by Benjamin Baker to demonstrate how it could support a bridge. 

In Later Years, Cantilever Pallet Racking Arises

The industrial revolution brought with it the appearance of more and more warehouses, and as this happened, needs for storage became more intricate and advanced, with more items of different shapes requiring storage. And so, the cantilever was resuscitated and put to work in the form of cantilever pallet racking. It soon became popular for its ability to store long and awkward materials. However, as cantilever pallet racking was increasingly used, interventions had to occur to ensure high levels of safety were maintained. 

Cantilever Pallet Racking Today

Cantilever pallet racking offers many advantages for business owners who operate out of warehouses with large inventories. There is simply no other kind of pallet racking that can store unusually shaped or long materials as well as cantilever pallet racking. It is also incredibly simple to set up, so much so that it can usually be done in-house, saving on external labour costs. Cantilever pallet racking has a very specific purpose, which is to store long or awkwardly shaped items and get them off the warehouse floor, where they can hinder efficiency. Sure, cantilever pallet racking may not be the cheapest option at your disposal, but it might just be the best. Consider how getting your stock off the ground might increase efficiency and productivity at your site. 


Cantilever technology has been around for a very long time – since the 17th century, in fact – and it was employed during the Victorian era to create the longest cantilever bridge in the world, situated in Scotland. Throughout the industrial era, storage became a more relevant issue as factories popped up and new industries were born. The idea of the cantilever found new relevance as cantilever pallet racking, and it continues to serve industry in warehouses all over the world today. You wouldn’t be the first business owner to consider cantilever pallet racking, and you won’t be the last either due to its remarkable ability to store strangely shaped and lengthy materials in a space efficient way.

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