Skip to content

Order Picking

What Is Order Picking?

Order picking is locating and pulling products or SKUs (stock keeping units) to fulfill orders. As the first stage in fulfilling a customer’s order, this process must run smoothly to streamline the remaining steps in the order fulfillment process — packing, shipping, and delivery.

Common Types Of Order Picking

Depending on warehouse size, inventory, and the number of customer orders, there are various types of order picking methods. Some of the most common examples are: 

  • Single order picking or discrete order picking enables pickers to focus on one item at a time. This basic order picking style is ideal for smaller operations with fewer SKUs.
  • Batch picking involves groups of orders simultaneously, is also called multi-order picking, and is helpful for small items or orders with minimal SKUs. This type of picking reduces the amount of time needed to process SKUs.
  • Wave picking is where one worker picks one order, one SKU at a time, but orders are scheduled to be picked at certain times in a specific wave to maximize picking and packing operations. This method is very efficient when large numbers of SKUs are picked because it significantly reduces travel time.
  • Zone Picking is when pickers are assigned to one specific warehouse zone to pick within, filling orders with the SKUs in that area.

Order Picking Challenges

While order picking is vital within the order fulfillment process, it is often prone to several errors. The average industry picking error rate is between 1% and 3%, while seemingly minor, and can add up to $50 to $300 cost per error. Common challenges include

  • SKUs placed in incorrect locations or inefficiently organized
  • Lack of organization by throughput, resulting in delayed or missed orders
  • Hiring qualified pickers or inability to train pickers on warehouse layout and item locations
  • Inefficient use of picker time due to warehouse layout and storage system

Best Practices & Order Picking Solutions

Following order picking best practices will ultimately improve customer service, boost worker productivity, reduce costs, and increase the overall bottom line.

Increase Storage Density & Improve Picking Processes

Travel time is a major efficiency challenge for order picking operations, and improved storage density helps prevent long walks to find products. When pickers spend extra time walking across a large warehouse, it limits the number of orders fulfilled on a given day. Warehouse rack enhancements, such as UNEX’s SpanTrack, Shelf Track, Pallet Track, and SpeedCell, improve overall storage density to help companies increase order picking speeds, reduce labor costs, and ensure accurate order fulfillment.

Ready to Connect with an Expert?

Fill out the form below to request a consultation to find the ideal order picking solutions for your unique space.

Explore UNEX Solutions

SpanTrack Lane

SpanTrack Lane is an innovative carton-flow solution that drops into new or existing pallet rack structures to create an efficient, reliable, and durable flow system. Depend on a robust and sturdy solution for even the most active warehouses and assembly plants.

Key benefits of Spantrack include:

  • Ensure FIFO inventory rotation
  • Reduce worker travel time by up to 75%
  • Optimized for product stacking
  • Industry-leading 7-year warranty


SpeedCell is a dynamic, high-density storage solution uniquely designed to save time, space, and money by optimizing storage space within your racks. Designed to transform unused space into an efficient storage area, SpeedCell consolidates storage capacity, which increases pick facings, reduces search and travel time, and improves overall pick times.

Key benefits of SpeedCell include:

  • Reduces labor costs by up to 40% 
  • Increases storage density by up to 60%
  • Made with durable material that is mold, rust, and flame-resistant 
  • Designed to integrate into existing pallet rack beams 
  • Built-in label holders to make product being picked easy to identify

Shelf Track

Shelf Track is a carton flow system designed to replace plastic wheel rails and integrates easily into existing racks and shelves. The drop-in capability helps create an efficient and accessible pick point for workers, which increases productivity without the strain of hiring and training additional staff members.

Additional benefits Of Shelf Track include:

  • Works with almost any shelf and accessories 
  • High-capacity options
  • Optimized for product stacking 
  • Eliminates product hang-ups with 300% more surface area when compared to plastic wheel rails.
  • Wheel beds increase flexibility with slotting and provide 90% left to right bay usage

Pallet Track

Often used in material handling facilities, Pallet Track is a pallet flow system that creates dynamic pallet flow. It is designed to keep inventory in return lanes and off the floor. Because the product is loaded from the rear and removed from the front, Pallet Track creates a “First-In, First-Out” (FIFO) storage system, making picking easier and faster, resulting in more orders being fulfilled daily.

Additional benefits of Pallet Track include:

  • Can be floor mounted or supported by pallet rack beams
  • Reduces labor costs
  • Green — no energy consumption
  • Increases storage density
  • Reduces fork truck operations

More Applications

Each Picking

Picking Carts

Pick Module

Case Picking

Connect with an Expert

Our dynamic solutions are ideal for fulfillment, logistics, and retail operations looking to increase storage density and improve order picking processes. Get in touch with our team of experts to learn more about how our order picking solutions help maximize space utilization.