Calculate the Warehouse Space Needed to Store a Specific Number of Pallets

warehouse with racking and pallets stored in shelving
How much space do you need to store all your pallets? Calculate online below.

If you have ever wondered how to estimate the warehouse space needed for a distribution operation, this calculator will help. Based on the number of pallets you need to store, this tool will calculate the amount of warehouse space (square feet) needed. With this estimator, you will be able to run different scenarios to see how a taller warehouse, a longer beam, or a narrower aisle, will impact the number of square feet needed. This will help you to compare two different warehouses with different costs per square foot, to see which meets your needs best.

HINT: Scroll down to the bottom of the page for the warehouse space calculator.

If you know basic information about your warehouse operation, you will be able to estimate the square footage of the warehouse you need. Scroll down past the instructions to the bottom to find the warehouse space calculator that will assist you to be able to estimate the warehouse space needed for your operation. Before you use it, please read the legal disclaimer below.

Warehouse space is made up of pallet storage space, intersecting aisles, dock space, and office space. Each of these has a calculation. You will need these data points to estimate the warehouse space you need for your operation.

Legal disclaimer: This information is for entertainment purposes. If you need help selecting warehouse space for your business, please fill out the contact form on the right-hand side. We will help you with a specific warehouse design using AutoCAD. Please use this warehouse space estimator at your own risk. We cannot take responsibility for the many variables that go into designing warehouse space without a full consultation.

Pallet Storage Space Estimator – Now you can estimate warehouse space needed

Pallet Dimensions

When you store pallets in pallet racking, you will need to know a number of dimensions. Pallet racking is designed to support a uniformly distributed load. That load dimension starts with the length of the pallet. 80% of pallets in use are 48″ long. Sometimes the product placed on the pallet overhangs the wooden pallet structure. In this case you would pick which ever dimension is greater, either the length of the wooden pallet or the length of the load.

Do the same with the width of the pallet. Measure the wooden pallet first. The one shown below is a grocery pallet and is 40″ wide. Then measure the product sitting on the pallet. If the product fits neatly on the pallet without overhang, then we say that the pallet load is 40″ wide. If there is product overhang, then we use the width of the product as the pallet load width, i.e. which ever measurement is greater of the two values.

A bay of racking in a warehouse with an explanation of how to measure a beam and pallet correctly in order to calculate the space needed in a warehouse.  estimate warehouse space needed
How to measure a beam correctly. How to measure a pallet load correctly.

Beam Length

Orange pallet rack beams
Beams bundled ready to be assembled in to a warehouse racking system

When measuring a beam, you will want measure inside the collar dimensions. Therefore, measure only the horizontal portion of the beam from where is joins the connector (which fits into the upright frame). This is often the following dimensions:

  • 96″
  • 108″
  • 120″
  • 144″

Looking for beams for your warehouse? Buy beams on-line here.

Flue Dimension

estimate warehouse space needed
The red circles indicate the spacers connecting the two upright back to back frames together.

The flue is by definition the space between back to back pallets. The flue is given by the length of the spacer (which ties two upright frames together) minus the pallet overhang.

If the upright frame is 42″ deep and the pallet is 48″ long and there is a 12″ spacer, then the flue would be 6″. If the spacer is 10″, then the flue would be 4″.

is 42″ deep and the pallet is 48″ long and there is a 12″ spacer, then the flue would be 6″. If the spacer is 10″, then the flue would be 4″.

Clear Aisle Dimension in a Warehouse

Warehouse racking aisle -how to measure the clear aisle
estimate warehouse space needed
Measure the aisle with a tape-measure across the aisle between the two pallets. In this example the rack to rack aisle dimension and pallet to pallet dimension is the same.

You can also calculate the clear aisle by measuring the rack to rack dimension and then subtracting the pallet overhang (usually 3″) per side. Therefore, if you have a rack to rack dimension of 120″ and your pallets are 48″ deep sitting in a 42″ deep frame, then you would subtract 6″ (3″+3″) from 120″ to get the clear aisle of 114″.

To measure the clear aisle dimension in your warehouse, take a tape measure and measure the distance between two pallets across the aisle.

We have pre-populated the clear aisle dimension to a standard Reach Truck aisle of 108″. Change this to the correct dimension for you facility.

Intersecting Aisle Dimensions

Fire code often requires the rack to be designed with an intersecting aisle every 150′ down aisle. To be sure, speak to a fire consultant in your area.

We have pre-populated the intersecting aisle distance to 150 feet. If you do not have an intersecting aisle, then change this value to “0”.

We have assumed your intersecting aisle is 144″ wide.

Dock and Staging Area

If you are calculating the space you need for your dock area, note the number of dock doors you need and the depth of the loading dock area needed. This will estimated the space needed based on the number of dock doors in a facility.

Office Space Required

If you need to calculate the total number of square feet you need to lease for your new warehouse and want to include office space, enter it here. If not, change the pre-populated value to “0”.

Warehouse Space Calculator (estimate only)

estimate warehouse space needed

Total Feet Per Pallet Stored Calculation

This value is to help show you how much more efficient it is to design your racking to go as many rack levels high as possible.

Change the number of pallet levels high you have in your racking. Add one or subtract one and notice that the amount of actual warehouse space needed per pallet stored changes.

Change also the aisle dimension. You will notice that with a narrower aisle your storage density increases and the amount of square footage to store a single pallet decreases.

Not sure what aisle dimensions to use? Here is a reference guide for warehouse aisle dimensions.


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