Logistics & Materials Handling Blog

LIFO (Last In First Out) - Warehouse Racking Basics

by Paul Hinz
Filed under: Warehousing

Last In First Out (LIFO) means that the last goods to be stocked are the first goods to be removed.

LIFO Drive in racking example

For example: Stocking Supermarket Milk; If a staff member at a supermarket stocks fresh milk into a refrigerator by simply placing the new stock of milk in front of the older stock they would be using LIFO. This would mean the older stock would not get purchased and would go off.

Instead supermarkets place milk in LILO by taking all milk out and placing the milk in order putting the oldest in the front and the newest at the back.

The same basic principle must be taken into account when choosing warehouse racking either LIFO or LILO. How perishable your stock keeping units (SKU’s) are (ie. food or clothing SKU’s) defines which type of racking system you can implement.

Racking types that use: Last In First Out (LIFO)

  • Push Back or Gravity Flow
  • Double-Deep
  • Triple-Deep
  • Drive-In
  • Gravity Racking (normally LIFO but can be FIFO with some set ups)


  • Last In First Out (LIFO) = First In Last Out (FILO)
  • Last In Last Out (LILO) = First in First Out (FIFO)