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. In addition, we give you some tips on the subject of 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), various picking devices and picking systems with a database are used. The investments pay off quickly with large assortments of goods and partial quantities.

Stored are: Pallets, boxes, cartons, bags, trays, 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 work 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 internally in the warehouse by means of conveyor technology. The investments involved are significantly greater than with manual picking methods.

Picking performance in a picking warehouse

A picking warehouse must provide picking orders for shipping or manufacturing quickly with as low an error rate as possible. For this purpose, a company uses equipment such as: Forklift trucks, flow racks, shelf racks, loading units, bins, conveyor technology, 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 aim 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 with minimum 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 optimisation.

A picking warehouse often works according to a FIFO principle, whereby the orders are often in connection with further processing in a unit storage system. The fast-moving items in a picking warehouse play an important role for the operators and quality assurance. The excessive reserves in a picking warehouse bring more disadvantages than advantages. The tasks of the picking warehouse do not include return deliveries or returns processing. 


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

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