Picking warehouse

What is a picking warehouse?

By 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 optimize 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 optimizing your warehouse.

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

Stored are: Pallets, boxes, cartons, bags, drums, equipment and machines. If the provision of the 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 picker in picking in his storage areas.

In an automated picking warehouse, machines are used that operate according to the "goods to man" principle. The storage system (e.g. paternoster from Hänel) automatically provides the items at the picking location. The goods are moved by internal transfer in the warehouse by means of conveyor technology. The investment involved is significantly greater than for manual picking methods.

Picking performance in a picking warehouse

A picking warehouse must provide picking orders for shipping or manufacturing quickly with the lowest possible error rate. For this purpose, a company uses equipment technology such as: Forklift trucks, flow racks, shelf racks, load units, bins, conveyor systems, etc. are used in order picking. All these solutions and systems serve to optimize 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 the picking performance in a picking warehouse is not possible and depends on many factors (article spectrum) in each area.

The entire process must be fast and ergonomic for the employee, from entry in the goods receiving area to removal, with minimal stocking, taking into account space requirements and the need for technology. Picking is fully automatic or manual. Depending on how the goods are stored. Stock transfers often help with optimization.

A picking warehouse often operates on a FIFO principle, with orders often being linked to further processing in a unit storage system. The fast movers in a picking warehouse have a great importance for the operators and the quality assurance. The 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 items for shipping, production or manufacturing. Pickers (pickers) work in the different warehouse 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 picker.

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