Creating the best picking and packing system

It is vital for a business that processes many orders each day to have the best picking and packing system. This means finding the best equipment, as well as a logistics system to handle orders.

Identify the outcomes

Before deciding on a picking and packing system, you first need to identify outcomes, and what you want your system to achieve. You want the system to be fast so that orders can be located and picked quickly, then dispatched without delay. You must have very few or no errors.

Above all, your customers, whether they be individuals or businesses, need to be happy with your service. The wrong system will be slow and subject to errors, resulting in disappointed customers who may take their future business elsewhere.


Research by software company Veeqo found that in most picking and packing systems, 70% of order processing labour time is spent picking items. This is the first area to concentrate on.

Items need to be easily located. This starts by clearly labelling locations. A simple system has the warehouse name, row name, row area and shelf name clearly labelled. Every item needs a dedicated bin name. Items should never be mixed up with different items.

Arrange items so that high-volume goods are located near packing stations.

Automated systems can use lights or sound to direct pickers to locations. Some companies have apps that act like vehicle GPS systems to guide pickers to the correct shelves. Mobile scanners can be used that provide audio signals when near items.

Walking time should be kept to a minimum. Picking routes need planning so that optimal routes are walked between each item location. Conveyor system can transport items from warehouse locations to packing stations.

Packing and dispatching

To save time, some warehouse systems combine picking and packing. Packaging materials are carried on wheeled picking and packing tables that are moved to the item locations. Once an item or items have been picked, they are immediately packed, labelled and the table wheeled to the dispatch area.

Other systems use separate picking and packing processes. A worker locates items and brings them to a packing station, which has one or more packing tables. Packers pack items ready for dispatch.

The importance of high-quality equipment

A good picking and packing system can be let down by inferior equipment, so it is important to purchase high-quality equipment. Picking trolleys made from tubular steel are best. They need quality swivel casters that enable them to be easily moved and steered. A picking trolley will handle many goods each day, some heavy, so needs to be durable and reliable.

Picking and packing table must be premium quality, with strong tops and shelves. If standard size picking and packing trolleys do not exactly fit in your packing area, order ones made in bespoke sizes to fit your space.

Customers, especially those ordering online, expect accuracy and quick dispatch. This is why it is important to have the best picking and packing system and equipment.

Posted by Katrina
4th November 2018

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