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What are the advantages of the Pallet Shuttle system?


In today's industrial world, company storage centres are experiencing major changes caused by various factors, which is why the creation of automated warehouses requires adopting a type of automation adapted to the needs of the goods handling process and to the characteristics of the goods themselves. There is therefore a need in automated warehouses to adopt systems whose material transportation function is as productive as possible and adapted to the company's criteria.

What is the Shuttle system?

It is a high-density storage solution that uses motorised pallet shuttles that move around inside compact racking systems within which they transport the load autonomously. Its objective is the entry and removal of goods on the nearest empty racking.

Operation of the Shuttle system

The operation of the system is very simple and easy: the unit loads are placed in the first free position until filling the racking or, the opposite, they are collected from their position to be taken to the edge and transported by a forklift, until the racking is completely empty.

Using a forklift, the load is positioned on the required rail, where the pallets are loaded one by one from the start of the rail. The system raises the platform and moves along the rail until it reaches the first position where the load will be unloaded, and then reverses to the start of the rail to begin a new cycle. Before placing the last load in the desired position, it must be transported by forklift to the next lane.

The AR Shuttle system for pallets allows operating in a warehouse with both FIFO and LIFO management, the latter being the most common since it uses only one end of the aisle for loading and unloading pallets.

Main advantages of the Shuttle

Inventory handling efficiency

The Shuttle is an autonomous stacker crane that establishes a direct link with the warehouse management system and works directly in charge of storage and removal functions. Therefore, it is compatible with both the FIFO (First In, First Out) method and the LIFO (Last In, First Out) method. This provides great flexibility to adapt to each company’s specific inventory management needs. While the FIFO method is ideal for perishable products that require constant rotation, the LIFO method is perfect for non-perishable products where rotation is not as critical.

Similarly, one of the advantages of the Shuttle system is its ability to handle both light and heavy loads. Furthermore, it manages to meet both the demands of simple manual picking operations and more complex systems. It allows direct access to any reference and performs a warehouse loading or unloading control of the system.

Reduction in loading and unloading times

With the Shuttle system, pallets are loaded and unloaded in a semi-automated manner, which significantly reduces the time required for these operations. Motorised pallet shuttles can move the pallets quickly and precisely, which minimises downtime and speeds up logistics processes. It is therefore a system that significantly reduces supply times, since it reduces the handling of conventionally palletised products, the storage time of the products and the handling of their inflow and outflow. It also minimises the order preparation time for the end consumer. All this will result in cost savings, a reduced staff workload and increased real productivity.

Optimisation of warehouse space

The AR Racking Shuttle system enables optimum use of the available space in the warehouse. Thanks to the motorised pallet shuttles, the pallets can be stored deep in the racking without the need for access aisles, maximising storage capacity. Furthermore, pallet movement is semi-automatic, optimising the management of the available space and guaranteeing effective access and a more constant flow of movements, in order to facilitate the loading and unloading system and save time and costs.  This is especially beneficial for warehouses with high product turnover, where every square centimetre counts.

With this, it can be said that space optimisation is one of the keys to saving money and increasing productivity. This storage system is one of the best on the market to obtain these space benefits.

Flexibility and adaptability of the system

AR Racking’s Shuttle system is designed to be a versatile system that is easy to integrate with a wide variety of storage solutions. It is a highly adaptable and flexible system, making it ideal for growing companies. Likewise, its simple structure easily adapts to the multitude of storage systems, both in terms of dimensions, capacity and volume, functions or management systems, making it perfectly adaptable to the needs of the facility and the customer. This flexibility ensures that the system can remain efficient as the company's needs evolve.

This system allows the direct handling of pallets, thus avoiding the need for space for staff inside the aisles. In this way, this system provides a large capacity for the storage of fast-moving products, allowing the loading and automatic retrieval of pallets continuously through a remote-control system.

Improved work safety

The implementation of the Shuttle system increases warehouse safety by reducing the need for operators to work in congested areas with forklifts and unnecessary movements. By decreasing forklift traffic within the warehouse, the risk of accidents is reduced and a safer work environment is created for employees.

Manual handling of pallets with forklifts can therefore damage products and cause occupational accidents. AR Racking’s Shuttle system minimises these risks by automating a large part of the pallet handling process. Motorised pallet shuttles operate in a precise and controlled manner, reducing the possibility of human errors.

Therefore, this storage solution has a double safety system in order to provide safety to the process and, especially, to staff who are in the warehouse, work zone or area, with the aim of reducing injuries related to the manual handling of loads and accidental knocks with equipment or racking.

Operating Cost Savings

Although the initial investment in a Shuttle system can be significant, the long-term benefits far outweigh the costs. Reduced operating time, increased storage capacity and less product damage help significantly reduce overall warehouse operating costs.

Positive impact on sustainability and the environment

The use of the Shuttle storage system has significant sustainability and environmental benefits since the use of vertical and horizontal space in the warehouse can be maximised. Increasing storage capacity without expanding physical infrastructure reduces the need for new construction, which in turn reduces the environmental impact associated with urban development and land use.

Additionally, by reducing the need for constant forklift movements around the warehouse, internal traffic is reduced. Less traffic means less wear on warehouse services and less need for maintenance and repairs, which also contributes to sustainability.


AR Racking’s Shuttle system offers a semi-automated storage solution which maximises space, increases operational efficiency and improves warehouse safety. Its inventory management versatility, together with reduced operating costs and ability to adapt to changing needs, makes it a valuable investment for any company looking to optimise its logistics operations. Therefore, if you need advice or would like to request a quote on industrial racking for your warehouse, ask our experts who will advise you on the best storage solution.