Choosing Industrial Shelving: Multipurpose vs Heavy Duty

Choosing Industrial Shelving: Multipurpose vs Heavy Duty

Choosing Industrial Shelving: Multipurpose vs Heavy Duty

In the world of manufacturing, warehousing, and logistics, having efficient storage systems is key for the smooth running of operations. Whether you use heavy-duty units for your manufacturing facility or are looking to upgrade your shelving for your retail storeroom, it’s important to assess your storage requirements so you can choose the right industrial shelving.

What Types of Industrial Shelving Are There?

Our Industrial Shelving options come in three main types to cater to various storage needs. Multipurpose Shelving is a versatile option that can be used in different settings, whilst our Heavy Duty range is a robust and reliable option for more demanding loading.

For bespoke requirements, our Modular Warehouse Racking is the strongest industrial racking system we offer and can be used to create continuous spans by combining Shelves and Shelving Frames. We recommend this option for those who have specific and unique storage needs.

In this article, we will be focusing specifically on and comparing Multipurpose Shelving and Heavy Duty Shelving.

Multipurpose Shelving

Our Multipurpose Industrial Shelving range is both durable and easy to construct, making it an ideal storage choice for a variety of working environments. The strong steel frame can handle heavy loading with ease, and the shelving is sturdy and long-lasting. Multipurpose Shelving is a versatile storage solution that can be relied upon to keep your items safe and secure.

Heavy Duty Shelving

Our Heavy Duty Industrial Shelving range is specifically designed for use in very heavy loading in challenging commercial environments where safety is of utmost importance. Manufactured from profiled, premium-grade steel, these units are made for intensive manual loading, as well as very heavy and bulky loads.

How Much Weight Can Industrial Shelves Hold?

When searching for Industrial Shelving, it is important to consider the maximum weight capacity. It is recommended that the dimensions and weights of the intended products to be stored are carefully reviewed beforehand, so required weight loading can be determined.

Our Industrial Shelving comes with a recommended maximum loading UDL (Uniformly Distributed Load) per shelf. This means when the load or force is applied evenly over the distance of support.

For standard loading requirements, Multipurpose Shelving is a fitting solution, with weight capacities ranging from 200kg/shelf UDL to 350kg/shelf UDL.

However, for more demanding storage needs, Heavy-Duty Shelving is better suited with weight capacities ranging from 330kg/shelf UDL to 800kg/shelf UDL.

Summary: If you have general storage needs, Multipurpose Shelving can meet your requirements, whilst Heavy Duty Shelving is recommended for storing very heavy products.

What Are the Dimensions of a Warehouse Shelving Unit?

Another factor that will impact your decision is your available space. Knowing the measurements of your storage space will help you choose the most effective size of Industrial Shelving.

What Are Industrial Shelving Units Made From?

All types of Industrial Shelving are made from durable materials. The Multipurpose Shelving frame is made from a high-strength steel frame and the Heavy Duty Shelving is manufactured from profiled, premium-grade steel, which allows it to stand up to intensive loading.

Shelves are available in either chipboard, melamine or galvanised steel. Chipboard is hard-wearing and can fit flush against the surrounding metal beams to prevent snagging. Melamine is a similar hard-wearing shelf material that also fits flush but has the added benefit of being easier to clean than chipboard. Galvanised Steel is an ideal choice for cold and damp environments, such as Chillers or Freezer Stores. It is scratch-resistant, tough, and corrosion-resistant, making it suitable for storing oily or liquid contents.

Summary: Chipboard and melamine are the most popular and widely used types of shelves, whilst galvanised steel shelves provide a tougher alternative for harsher environments.

How Do You Assemble an Industrial Shelving Unit?

Both Multipurpose and Heavy Duty Industrial Shelving are boltless. Assembling them is simple and requires just a rubber mallet to secure.

All our Industrial Shelving units have adjustable shelving, which can be shifted in small increments along the Uprights. This allows you to store products of various sizes and gives you the flexibility to adjust the storage space as per your needs in the future.

The rigid design of both types of shelving means no cross-bracing is required so they are suitable for double-sided access, and the slots are hidden from view to give them a sleek finish.

Summary: Assembly is straightforward and there are minimal differences in steps between Multipurpose or Heavy Duty Shelving, with a rubber mallet being the only tool required.

Where Can You Use Industrial Shelving?

Multipurpose Shelving is well-suited in a variety of settings and particularly for those that do not require heavy-duty needs, including Offices, Stockrooms, Workshops and Car Garages. They’re also useful for personal storage in the home, in Sheds and Garage Storage.

In contrast, Heavy Duty Industrial Shelving units are made for intensive manual loading and the storing of bulky and weight items. Ideal for WarehousesTrade Counters and Storerooms, and other commercial settings that require the storage of large volumes of goods. They are also commonly used in specialised environments such as Archiving and Document Storage facilities, Hospitals, Food Storage and Catering, Cold Rooms, and Refrigeration Storage.

Summary: Whilst there are some overlaps in application, Multipurpose Shelving generally has more varied usage, including Retail Storage, Stockrooms and Garage Shelving. In contrast, Heavy Duty Shelving is predominantly used for Factory and Warehouse Storage.


Our Multipurpose and Heavy Duty Shelving have a lot of similarities, from the material construction to the assembly process. However, the weight loadings vary by a significant amount between the two ranges and other details, such as shelving material and overall dimensions, need to be considered. By assessing your storage needs, understanding the different types of shelving available, reviewing how to best optimise your space, and considering factors like load capacities and materials, you can make an informed decision.

Ultimately, the right industrial shelving will not only enhance your operational efficiency but also contribute to a safer and more organised workspace.

View our full Industrial Shelving range.

Sign-up to receive offers, news & helpful articles

By signing-up you agree to our privacy policy and you can unsubscribe at any time