Picking warehouse

What is a picking warehouse?

According to the definition, a picking warehouse is a warehouse where picking of partial quantities of the assortment of goods from the storage bins takes place. Picking devices or picking systems optimise the picking time of the activity. The goods are divided into storage areas and assigned to a storage bin. The assortment is replenished from the supply warehouse.

Which picking methods support a picking warehouse?

  • Pick-to-Light
  • Voice Picking
  • Pick-by-Point®
  • Pick-by-Cart
  • Pick-by-Frame®
  • Pick-by-Watch
  • Pick-by-Point®
  • etc.

In this article we explain exactly what a picking warehouse is. We also give you some tips on picking and the supporting picking systems for optimising your warehouse.

In order to optimise picking times, process orders quickly and support the employee(picker) ergonomically (travel times, walking distances), various picking devices and picking systems with a database are used. The investments pay off quickly with a large assortment of goods and partial quantities.

Stored are: Pallets, boxes, cartons, sacks, barrels, equipment and machines. If the provision of goods in the picking warehouse is not sufficient, they are replenished from the supply warehouse, replenishment warehouse or high-bay warehouse via loading aids.

The best manual picking methods ("man to goods") in a picking warehouse include: Pick-to-Light, Voice Picking, Pick-by-Point, Pick-by-Frame, Pick-by-Cart, etc. This is to optimally support the order picker in picking in his storage areas.

In an automated picking warehouse, machines are used that work according to the "goods to man" principle. The storage system (e.g. paternoster from Hänel) automatically provides the articles at the picking location. The goods are moved internally in the warehouse by means of conveyor technology. The investments are significantly greater than with manual picking methods.

Picking performance in a picking warehouse

A picking warehouse must provide the picking orders for dispatch or production quickly with the lowest possible error rate. For this purpose, a company uses equipment such as: Forklift trucks, flow racks, shelf racks, loading units, containers, conveyor technology, etc. are used in order picking. All these solutions and systems serve to optimise the performance and quality of the employees in the warehouse (picking warehouse) and in the entire intralogistics. The shortfall should be kept as small as possible. The goal is to process the picking list quickly. The global definition of picking performance in a picking warehouse is not possible and depends on many factors (item spectrum) in each area.

The entire process must run quickly and ergonomically for the employee from the entry of the goods in the goods receiving area to their removal, with minimal stockpiling, taking into account space requirements and the need for technology. Order picking is fully automatic or manual. Depending on how the goods are stored. Stock transfers often help with optimisation.

A picking warehouse often works according to a FIFO principle, whereby orders are often linked to further processing in a unit store. The fast-moving items in a picking warehouse are of great importance for the operators and quality assurance. Excessive reserves in a picking warehouse bring more disadvantages than advantages. The task of the picking warehouse does not include return deliveries or returns processing. 


A picking warehouse is used for direct picking of articles for dispatch, production or manufacturing. Pickers work in the different storage areas and pick the assortment. Each area often processes incoming orders (as serial picking or parallel picking). The picking warehouse is supplied with partial quantities from other warehouses. Various systems are used to support the pickers.

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