5 Useful Hints for Making the Best Warehouse Layout

Find out how to create an optimum warehouse layout.

One of the most significant factors in the efficiency of a warehouse is the physical layout of the premises itself. A poorly laid out warehouse may lead to hours of backtracking and downtime.

It's not enough just to have the best picking inventory, like gravity roller conveyor for example. You have to know where to put it and why.

Warehouse also requires forklifts, hence the plan of the layouts should be undertaken with this in mind.

The improvement of the layout of a warehouse is a complex undertaking that can be approached from diverse angles. Here are 5 useful hints for making the best warehouse layout.

1) Designate receiving and processing area

Receiving is the first procedure within a warehouse and the most important. Therefore, the receiving and processing area needs to be allotted so as to improve the efficiency of the warehouse work flow.

2) Alphabetizing locations

Alphabetizing the location of the products may be undertaken in order to improve the speed and the quality of pick times.

This should be undertaken in combination with the warehouse management systems which will help in the scanning of the inventory in and out of their designated locations.

The warehouse management system easily identifies where the product is located and the workers will find it easy to stock product wherever there is space available.

This improves pick speed and streamlines the path the workers are picking - it gives them a direct and efficient pick path all over the warehouse.

3) Designate an efficient shipping center location

The shipping center should be located in a location that is closest to where the warehouse workers finish with their picks.

If the workers finish at the north end, for example, the shipping center will not be ideal if it's placed at the southern end of the warehouse; this will make the workers move all the way to the southern end to pack and ship their cargo.

Placing the shipping process next to where the employees finish their picks streamlines it.

4) Construction of cross aisles

cross aisles

When the warehouse has long and endless rows of inventory that have no cross aisles, it makes it very inefficient for workers to navigate through the warehouse.

Therefore, the construction of inventory aisles that resemble a city block and incorporate aisles for the workers will ultimately improve efficiency.

5) Designate an area for assembled products

Assembled products refer to a group of individual items that sell well into 'ready to ship' sets.

Products that have been assembled and located in one area are one of the best layouts for a warehouse - it improves picking time.

Apart from designating a wide area for receiving and processing station, it's also important to allocate space for the returns, so as to avoid them getting caught up in the day to day inventory procedures.


The day to day running of a warehouse can be fast paced and hectic. This may lead to the operations being chaotic, with confusion reigning if things are not well organized.

Following the above five useful hints will help you to avoid confusion and create areas that are defined and clearly segmented for each of the warehouse processes.