How Much Does Mobile Shelving Cost?

By Stuffey | January 6, 2020

How much does mobile shelving cost? That’s a question we hear all the time from customers. Unfortunately, there’s no easy answer, but this article will help you understand why.

Mobile shelving can cost $5,000 or it can cost $5,000,000. We know that’s not a helpful answer, but it’s the correct one. There is no “one size fits all” option. Many different factors impact the cost of your mobile shelving. Here are the most common considerations influencing your price. This can help you understand what to look for when choosing the best options for you.

high-density office storage

System Size

The most obvious factor in pricing your shelving is the size of the installation. A larger size of installation will mean a higher cost.

Size can be measured by length, width, and height. That’s one reason you need a storage professional to come in and take the measurements and plan your project. They’ll also know about the multiple size configurations of movable shelving systems available to fit your space and business needs.

Type Of Drive

With mobile shelving, there are three types of systems. All three significantly reduce the amount of space you are using for storage. The difference is in how you move the shelving:

mechanical-assist mobile shelving
  • Manual glide shelving is ideal for lighter loads as you’ll be moving the carriages on their rails using a handle pull.
  • Mechanical assist sees you using a 3-spoke handle to open the system. The assistance lets you move 4,000-10,000 pounds of weight with just one pound of effort.
  • Electrical powered shelving opens with the press of a button or touch of an LCD touchscreen and comes with a range of standard and optional features to regulate access and ensure safety. The cost of the manual system is low compared to a more expensive mechanical assist or powered system.

System Quality/Durability

These two characteristics go hand in hand. Higher quality products typically have greater durability. With mobile systems, there are also a variety of engineering designs. Your shelving product will come with different types of warranty for the multiple parts, and these can affect the overall cost. If your system only needs to move three feet right and three feet left, an extended warranty might not be as important. For the higher-end and more complicated projects, an extended warranty and maintenance contract is critical.

Storage Contents


This may seem unusual, but what you store in your movable shelving system has as much to do with the cost as any other factor. Simple shelving installed on mobile carriages is a low-cost solution. However, hermetically sealed museum cabinets stored on mobile carriages can be quite expensive. If you’re storing high-value items, you’ll want to look at a higher quality storage solution to keep those items safe and secure. On the other hand, you don’t need to overspend on a mobile storage solutions for a straightforward, modern filing system.


The look you want for your mobile storage can factor into price as well. A “stripped-down version” can save you money if appearance doesn’t matter to you. Or, if the shelving is being installed in a public environment or having an attractive system is important, there are plenty of valuable options to choose from.

Consider the day-to-day use of the storage when deciding what finishes you want. For instance, a healthcare environment or an evidence room might want to upgrade to stainless steel or High Density Poly-Ethylene (HDPE) while an industrial setting with corrosive chemicals could benefit from chemical resistant laminate.

Safety Features

Mobile shelving comes with certain basic safety features. If you want to add more features you’ll drive up the cost. Of course, the more safety features your system has, the more you’re doing to avoid workplace injury and the resulting costs. Still, added safety features are not for everyone. Typically, it will depend on the location of your storage and how labor-intensive your processes are. If your people will move the shelving a lot and many people are going to be doing so, possibly simultaneously, increased safety precautions are smart.



Believe it or not, the geographical location of your mobile shelving system installation is a factor in determining the cost of a system. Any location in an earthquake zone requires additional engineering. Surprisingly, there are plenty of earthquake zones in the U.S. — it’s not just California! Planning for environmental hazards is essential for safety and durability.


The installation itself usually makes up 30 to 35% of the total cost of a mobile shelving system. Factors such as available installation times, access to a freight elevator, noise restrictions, and travel distance all factor into the shelving installation cost.

Manual Assist Mobile Shelving


Think about it as if buying a car. There are many of the same model on a car sales lot. Every car gets you from A to B, but the different engines, wheels, sound systems, and interior materials all change the pricing. Then, if you want a car from another lot, that adds to the price too.

Bells and Whistles

We sell storage. We know there’s a lot of cool things you can add to any mobile shelving system. Any special “add ons” to a mobile system can drive up the cost further. For instance, there’s great benefit from aisle lights, end panel display cases, and customized handles. But choosing these options is going to have an impact on your budget.


You might think of this as another bell or whistle, but technology innovation is changing the pricing of movable shelving systems as well. For instance, if you want to operate the shelving system with your phone or get reports on who is in each aisle and how long they are there, these features will add to the cost.

Electrical powered mobile shelving

Budgeting For Your Mobile Shelving System

When pricing a movable shelving systems, all of these factors can impact the cost. Our initial $5,000 to $5,000,000 range may be a little wide, but you can see why this is a difficult question to answer.

Patterson Pope sells all high-quality Spacesaver Systems. The majority of our projects range from $75,000 to $150,000. However, with the variables we just discussed, we also work on systems that are $500,000 and into the millions.

For our experts, the most important consideration is value. The shelving and other products we represent are top-line. Our customers, in most cases, could find something “cheaper,” but they’d sacrifice overall value.

Yes, mobile shelving costs more. If you wanted, Patterson Pope could provide a room full of high-quality stationary shelving that will last forever. Still, we like to remind customers of the value of installing a high-density mobile system that has the same storage capacity but takes half of the stationary footprint.

High-density mobile storage frees up the rest of that available space for other uses. It can also help employees save time and work more efficiently. Filling all of the available space with a mobile system also provides additional capacity for overflow and future growth.

We hope that this article has not only answered, “how much does mobile shelving cost?” but the unspoken question, “what is the value of mobile shelving?” If you have any questions, contact us today.



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About Stuffey

To say that Stuffey was made for this role would be an understatement. A life long hoarder, Stuffey understands how the Laws of Stuff can wreak havoc in the real world of an organization’s space. Now as part of his reformation, he is committed to passing on to you his secrets in our battle against the tyranny of STUFF.

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