A warehouse packing station is one of the most heavily trafficked areas in a storage facility, and improper planning could easily lead to a bottleneck. A bottleneck in your packing station can slow down your processes and operations, impede your deliveries, and cause profit loss.

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Fortunately, there are ways to prevent this from happening. This article will delve into why some warehouses experience bottlenecks in their packing stations and what factors to consider to avoid them.

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    Warehouse Packing Station Problems

    A warehouse packing station frequently encounters bottlenecks due to poor planning. Some packing stations are loaded with items of varying sizes, which could easily lead to a bottleneck because large items take longer to pack. Other packing stations do not have all the necessary equipment, which forces employees to run back to their supply rooms and get what they need, leading to another bottleneck.

    A warehouse packing station.

    A warehouse packing station is an essential part of a storage facility’s overall operations. If it is not appropriately designed, it could easily disrupt the warehouse’s overall performance. So, it is crucial to consider the many details that can affect the effectiveness of a packing station to prevent bottlenecks from occurring.

    5 Factors to Consider When Designing Your Warehouse Packing Station

    1. Ergonomics

    When designing your warehouse packing station, you should consider the ergonomics of your employee’s work area because it will dictate how fast and how well your employee will accomplish their task.

    A packing station designed ergonomically means that your employees will be more comfortable handling their tasks and, therefore, more effective. This could also prevent injuries and prolonged health risks to your employees, resulting in fewer disruptions to your operations.

    An ergonomic warehouse packing station.

    Source: Modern Materials Handling

    So, you can install a packing station with adjustable height surfaces so that any employee can set the height of the packing platform according to their comfort level. This way, your employees won’t have to strain themselves while reaching for items needed to pack their orders.

    2. Accessibility

    Accessibility is something you should also consider when designing your packing station so that your employees spend less time looking for the tools they need and focus more on the task at hand. Employees need easy access to shipping labels, scanners, adhesives, paddings, and boxes of various sizes.

    Accessibility could also minimize the number of accidents in the warehouse since employees won’t have to constantly run around getting the items they need. Given that a warehouse is often busy with heavy machinery operating throughout the premises, accidents can be avoided if items are easily accessible to employees.

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    3. Item Characteristics

    Item characteristics or the characteristics of each SKU should also be considered when designing a warehouse packing station. Not all items are created equal, so the packing stations should be flexible to different SKUs’ weights and dimensions. You must install a lift table in every packing station so your employees won’t have to lift heavy items from the floor to their packaging table.

    Also, a warehouse manager should divide picked orders and send them to various packing stations for a faster packing process. For example, larger items could easily clog a packing station, and they need a station that can accommodate them and separate them from other smaller items.

    A warehouse packing station organized and optimized by item characteristics.

    SKUs that need personalized packaging should be sent to a special packing station because putting them with other items could lead to a bottleneck. Moreover, items requiring personalized packaging would take longer than ordinary items, so a warehouse manager should assign a different employee to specialize in this task to prevent traffic build-up.

    4. Mobility

    Mobility is another essential factor in every warehouse packing station because it is easy and convenient to move your packing station to any location. When your warehouse packing station is mobile, it minimizes downtime and increases employee productivity.

    If your warehouse needs renovation, having a mobile warehouse packing station would not impede your operations. Suppose you need to course your items to be shipped through another area of your facility to avoid those areas being renovated. In that case, you can relocate your mobile packing station to wherever you need it to go, thereby preventing any disruption in your operations.

    5. Space

    Space should also be considered in every warehouse packing station because these areas can easily be clogged with people and bulky items. To avoid bottlenecks, a warehouse packing station should have enough space for people not to collide with each other.

    An optimized warehouse packing station.

    Warehouse managers should provide enough space between employees in the packing station so they won’t bump into each other when moving pallets and packaging items. However, they should also note that too much space might mean that items that should be within reach end up being too far away from an employee.

    Summary

    A well-designed warehouse packing station can help you avoid bottlenecks if the warehouse manager adapts the necessary changes above to speed up the process. Small details, like ensuring that an employee is comfortable enough in the packing station, are essential in ensuring the packing process does not stall or even slow down. Additionally, proper planning and preparation are key factors in preventing bottlenecks in a warehouse packing station. Every warehouse manager should put a lot of thought into changing a packing station into a more effective workstation.

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