Carton and Case Flow Racking


Case flow, also known as carton flow, is a racking system designed for picking inventory efficiently and accurately. It uses an inclined conveyor of wheeled tracks to allow cases easily move along a sloped plane. Case and carton flow systems are driven by gravity and are often combined with push back systems for direct overhead replenishment.


Twinlode Automation’s case/carton flow converts static systems into dynamic, high-capacity gravity flow rack picking systems. This system enables items to be rotated on a first-in, first-out (FIFO) basis and keeps SKUs visible and within reach at all times. Carton and case flow racking can accommodate various depths and storage capacities.


Benefits of a Carton Flow Pallet Rack

Carton flow racking offers many advantages, including:


  • Enhances storage density: A carton flow rack is a high density storage system that stores more inventory in the space.


  • Organizes inventory: Inventory remains better organized and easier to find or pick, reducing order preparation time.


  • Maintains FIFO inventory flow: Carton flow racking automatically rotates products on a first-in, first-out basis. The FIFO system makes it easier to have high product turnover rates and ideal product rotation.


  • Reduces labor costs: Labor savings of up to 75% can be realized.


  • Minimizes maneuvering and displacement: Carton flow systems have more pick faces at the front of the racks, allowing workers to reduce their maneuvering and displacement times to take short, efficient routes through the racking.


  • Maximizes pick faces: In order pick areas, case flow racking increases the number of pick faces. SKU pick faces are maximized because only one case or carton of each SKU is presented to the picker per lane. Incorporating pallet racks and mezzanine racks further enhances pick faces.


  • Increases pick accuracy: Pick accuracy is enhanced when carton flow racks are combined with a pick to light (PTL) system that guides workers through the racking using lights. The product location reduces the extraction time required for loads.


  • Separates picking and stocking: Case flow racks avoid interference in material preparation and restocking tasks while ensuring FIFO order fulfillment is productive. This system minimizes operator and picking interference because picking is performed on one side of the rack system, while restocking is performed at the opposite end of the racking system. SKUs can be replenished without interfering with order picking operations.


Forklift operators can pick and stock items without interference and with minimized travel. They can pick the first item loaded to support the FIFO system, keeping reserve storage in the rear cases.


Applications for Carton Flow Racking Systems

Carton flow racking systems have many variable features that can be changed to meet the needs of the warehouse, making them versatile for many picking operations. Carton flow racks in warehouses can be adapted to accommodate the load’s size, shape, and weight. Twinlode can customize the following features of a case flow racking system to best suit the characteristics and needs of an operation:


  • The gradient and distance between wheels
  • The number of shelves
  • Shelf heights
  • Wheels per lane
  • Lanes per shelf
  • Lane widths


Case and carton flow racks can be implemented with new and existing pallet racks or pick modules, allowing both pallet flow and carton flow racks to be utilized in the same structural rack system. Carton flow racks can be installed at lower levels, leaving room for other racking systems — like push back racking — at higher levels. This system can also be a stand-alone rack.


Carton flow pallet racks are ideal for picking split cases and full cartons and applications with a high number of SKUs. Its picking access improves pick rates and productivity.


How to Operate a Case Flow Rack

A carton flow system has a base frame and uprights made from beams with several guide rails and entry, exit, and side profiles. Each load face has rollers to move the inventory and separators to keep like SKUs together. Braking systems can be implemented to control the speed.


With case flow, merchandise is stocked in the rear of the carton flow rack and moves toward the picking station in front on an inclined shelf equipped with a specially designed roller track. When a carton is removed from the picking station, the next one in line rolls to the front; also known as indexing. The load and pick aisles are separated on opposite sides of the racking system.

Case and Cartons on Flow Racking Utilizing Gravity to Multiple Pick Faces

Increase productivity and maximize pick faces with Carton Flow.

Other Racking Solutions

Contact Us About Flow Through Racking

Carton flow systems keep inventory organized and save on labor costs, and Twinlode Automation implements carton flow racking systems for warehouses in various industries. We have years of experience with pallet rack solutions. Twinlode Automation also offers professional services for assistance with consultation, design, and implementation.


For further information about carton and case flow racks for warehouses, contact us online.