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We are often asked about our selection of Mobile Shelving products, so here we offer a brief introduction to the cutting-edge storage solutions we provide and a glossary of key terms for the mobile shelving options available.

Rackline guide to mobile shelving


Also known as roller racking systems or mobile aisle shelving, mobile shelving systems have been popularised by their use in environments such as archives, stockrooms and educational facilities. High density shelving is housed by large mobile carriages that slide aside to create more space and offer a cost-effective alternative to increasing floor space.

Available in a large range of shapes and sizes, mobile shelving systems are widely used for the storage of files, stock and other administrative products in environments such as schools and libraries. The height and width of these installations are easily customisable, allowing for high volume storage even when floor space is at a premium.

Benefits of mobile shelving

The key benefit of mobile shelving is that it requires far less floor space than traditional systems but still offers a superior volume of storage space.

Because static storage systems cannot function without aisle space between each row of shelving, they take up a significant amount of room in commercial and office spaces where space can be at a real premium.

Mobile storage systems eliminate this requirement as they operate on an inbuilt trackway, meaning the space required for aisle access is created when the containers are moved, vastly reducing the amount of space required.

As an example of the space saving qualities of mobile shelving; 132 linear meters of traditional storage (four draw filing) would occupy 35sqm of space, but replace this with mobile racking, and it occupies just 10sqm!

How does mobile shelving work?

Mobile shelving units are mounted on level trackways that offer a flat supporting platform on which the shelving can operate, this makes it possible to move heavy units with minimal effort and a high level of usability.

Trackways can be installed either on top of an existing floor or be integrated into raised access flooring, allowing for a smooth transition between each unit on surrounding floor levels. Most modern mobile shelving systems are built for manual operation or by remote controlled electrical motors.

What are Mobile Shelving systems made of?

Mobile shelving and racking is manufactured using light-weight and hard-wearing steel.

Should you choose manual or powered mobile shelving?

Both manual and powered mobile shelving systems function in the same way, the only difference being that the working mechanism for powered systems is moved electronically. This can be useful for workplaces where speedy access to storage is required and where employees struggle with the manual operation or shelving systems.

Glossary of Terms

Mobile shelving systems are often referred to in a number of different ways, so to help avoid confusion we have listed below some of the most popular terms you may have come across and explained the differences between them.

Bespoke mobile shelving

Bespoke mobile shelving is designed and manufactured to the exact specifications of a customer, offering a tailor-made solution for offices and commercial premises with particular storage and spacing requirements. Bespoke shelving can also be re-designed and modified if you find you are running out of storage space and need to increase your storage capacity. Here at Rackline, we specialise in the creation of bespoke storage systems and can tailor our designs to meet your exact needs.

Heavy-duty mobile racking storage systems

Heavy-duty systems are traditionally popularised by commercial premises such as warehouses where storage is required for a high volume of heavy or bulky goods. But because these systems can be manufactured in very tall or long dimensions and can take heavy loads, they are also used for archive, museum and library storage.

These systems are reinforced to provide solid and stable structures that can withstand the heavy demands of regular use and can be built into large-scale commercial or industrial storage systems.

Mobile aisle shelving

Mobile aisle shelving is the term used for shelving or storage units fitted with wheeled traction systems. This creates highly condensed, space-saving storage systems where each unit is lined up in a row and can be moved along an extended trackway mechanism, allowing the users to access different storage sections by creating aisle access when the units move.

Mobile racking systems

Mobile racking (also known as high density storage) is the term used for any storage system where the mobile carriages run on a trackway mechanism. These systems can operate with manual and electronic mechanisms and allow for greater storage capacity as well as offering a high level of security, protection and ease of access.

Mobile roller racking

Roller racking offers an inventive solution for environments such as warehouses, where heavy goods can be difficult to manoeuvre across within shelving compartments. To address this problem standard flat shelving is replaced by a platform of rollers that allow the easy movement of goods but are more than capable of withstanding heavy-duty storage needs.

Roller aisle racking

Roller aisle racking is popular in commercial properties and warehouses where quick and effective access to stock is required. Roller racking systems operative on a trackway mechanism that allows speed of access to storage sections and offers a marked increase in storage capacity and efficiency when compared to traditional static shelving.

Is there anything else you would like to know?

The team at Rackline are mobile shelving specialists so if you have any questions about these systems such as ‘how they work?’, ‘how they can be moved?’, ‘how static shelving can be converted to mobile?’ or even how it will look in your workplace, please get in touch!

Contact our friendly and knowledgeable customer services today on 01782 770144.