Warehouse Catwalk Racking Systems

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Warehouse catwalk systems are engineered, multi-level systems that offer high density storage and allow for many personnel to be involved in the picking process at all levels.

Read below to learn how catwalk racking systems work, key features, advantages, and if it's right for your operation.

How It Works

Warehouse catwalk systems integrate pallet rack with decking, bar grating, stairs, and other components to help expedite the picking process.

Employees access the upper levels of the system via stairs. Cartons are stored on the upper levels typically on either selective rack or carton flow rack and are picked by hand.

There are a few material handling component options available for getting cartons to the ground level for distribution.

Catwalk Racking System with a VRC

Vertical reciprocating conveyor (VRC): VRCs are ‘elevator-like’ systems designed specifically to bring pallets or cartons of material to and from the upper levels of the catwalk system.

Catwalk Racking Pallet Drop System

Pallet drops: pallet drops are platforms located on each level of the catwalk system. Pallets are placed on this platform by a lift truck so that employees can load products on that level of the system from the pallet. The picking process works the same: products are loaded onto a pallet from the upper levels of the system and then retrieved by a forklift for distribution. The pallet drop typically has a safety gate to ensure employees can’t fall from the pallet drop area.

Catwalk Racking Conveyor System

Conveyor system: a conveyor system can be integrated into the catwalk system to transport products to and from the upper levels of the system.

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Key Features

Typical Plan and Elevation

Typical specifications of a catwalk system are shown below. Keep in mind that systems can also be designed so that it's initially one level but can be expanded vertically in the future.

  • Minimum service aisle widths can vary by local building authorities, typically 30” or 36”.
  • Egress aisles are 44”.
  • Pallet aisles vary based on customer needs, typically between 60” and 96”.
  • Number of catwalk levels varies, can be up to 5 or 6 levels.

Integrated Components

Products can be integrated into a catwalk system for transportation and safety of employees and products. These can include:

  • Handrail
  • Safety Netting
  • Pallet Drop Areas
  • FlueKeepers
  • Vertical Reciprocating Conveyor
  • Stairs
  • Chutes
  • Kickplates

Additionally, it should be considered that catwalk systems will require lighting and in-rack sprinklers.

Advantages of a Warehouse Catwalk System

A warehouse catwalk system offers many important advantages to a distribution center’s operation, including:

  • High selectivity. Can be accessed by multiple employees at once. This can often eliminate ‘downtime’ during the picking process.
  • High density. Utilizes the full vertical storage space of your facility.
  • High throughput. A catwalk system can be integrated with conveyors
  • Reduces lift equipment costs. Lift equipment is often not needed, or not needed to the extent of an operation using a one-level rack system.

Is a Warehouse Catwalk System Right For Your Operation?

A warehouse catwalk system is typically a good solution for operation that:

  • Have unused vertical warehouse space.
  • Stores cartons.
  • Have bottlenecks in the picking process where pickers are waiting on other pickers to pick from certain locations.

Your Next Step for a Warehouse Catwalk System

Whether your next step is to gather more information or request a quote, consider REB Storage Systems. REB is a highly experienced systems integrator, in business since 1962. REB has 17 in-house project managers and engineers, all highly experienced in the material handling industry. These people know this industry inside and out.

REB is highly knowledgeable and experienced in designing, engineering, and installing warehouse catwalk systems and will make sure your system is the best fit for your space. We work with you to provide a turnkey system. From engineering, design, products procurement, subcontractor management, install, and permitting support, REB handles it all for you.

We’d appreciate the opportunity to help you further, whether that be more information or a quote. Fill in the contact form on this page or call us at (800) 252-5955 to get in touch with a REB representative.

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If you need a complete catwalk rack system, we can help.
We've been creating high density catwalk storage systems for more than 50 years.  
Whether your project is large or small, we have the expertise to ensure your next project is a success.


Brian Dubin

All Products Automotive, Inc.

“We have been a customer for over 15 years. REB offers a good selection of products at great prices. They are an excellent source of materials along with suggestions and information on a variety of storage issues."

Bruce Moulton

Harrington Industrial Plastics

“REB is by far my favorite vendor, the customer service and dedication to making sure every order is complete and on time. Fantastic communication, and an absolute pleasure to work with.”

Gary Rothschild

Epko Industries

“First time customer and REB provided excellent service and competitive pricing. Would use them again.”

Elliot Sneen

Cabernet Corporation

“Great customer service with an accurate storage system!”

Richard Steed

Pacific Storage Company

“We have used REB Storage Systems for a number of years and will continue to do so in the years to come. Their entire staff are wonderful to work with and provide a seamless installation from beginning to end. Their focus to detail and quality installation has been a valuable resource to our company.”

Tom Beckermann

Felling Trailers Inc.

“REB Storage Systems provides a high quality product with the best customer service in the industry, no matter the volume of products we buy.”

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