The right warehouse picking cart can help you expedite picking, stocking, and transporting various warehouse items. This is important since order picking can deplete excessive resources if not used with the most efficient picking cart for your operations. But with the wealth of options available, finding the perfect picking cart can seem challenging and overwhelming.

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This article will explore warehouse picking carts and the factors you need to consider to find the most suitable one for your warehouse operations. We will also cover some of the most common types of carts to help you choose the one that will improve your picking process.

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    What are Warehouse Picking Carts?

    Warehouse picking carts are typically used for efficiently moving items from one point to another within the warehouse. They are instrumental to warehouse and factory operations, often used in picking, stocking, and managing inventory.

    These carts are often sturdy, lightweight, and equipped with wheels to make movement easy and less laborious. The wheels also improve maneuverability across confined spaces such as tight corners and aisles. While some warehouse picking carts come bearing containers, others have shelves—the design primarily depends on the item being transported. Some may even serve as a replacement for stationary workstations to make optimum use of unutilized space.

    What to Consider While Selecting a Warehouse Picking Cart

    If you plan on purchasing a picking cart that is user-friendly, efficient, and long-lasting, here are a few things to bear in mind:

    1. Warehouse Inventory

    Your choice of cart must align with the inventory you currently store in your facility. Specifically, here are two factors that you must take into consideration:

    a. Characteristics of the Stored Items

    When choosing a warehouse picking cart, the first consideration must be the characteristics of the items in your warehouse. Since warehouses often carry many things on their shelves, your primary consideration should be the nature, size, and specifications of the items you intend to move. Your SKUs could be large, compact, lightweight, bulky, heavy, dense, etc., so match your cart accordingly. The picking cart should be broadly capable of housing, storing, and transporting the item within the warehouse.

    b. Inventory Packaging

    The second consideration when choosing the right warehouse picking cart is the packaging used to keep your inventory. The inventory could be stored in pallets or as individual units for consumption, making it an essential factor since some items may be unwieldy for a warehouse picking cart. For example, a pallet would require you to utilize a forklift to move it within the warehouse, while smaller individual SKUs can be handled with a regular picking cart. As such, your cart design changes as the packaging changes.

    2. Ordering Picking System and Layout

    The order-picking system and layout are other elements that need equal attention when choosing warehouse-picking carts. Here’s what you need to consider for it:

    a. Order Picking System

    The order-picking system used in your warehouse must also be considered when selecting your warehouse-picking cart. Typically, picking carts are used to execute single-order picking systems. However, it could be used for multiple order-picking systems to save time and reduce traffic around the warehouse on some occasions. Ideally, it would help to have a mix of different warehouse-picking carts to go with the various order-picking systems.

    b. Inventory Layout

    For starters, you need to consider your inventory layout to understand better what kind of warehouse-picking carts will deliver the best results. The floor plan and the corresponding route determine how to extract the most of every movement. For example, suppose an item must be transported over a longer distance within the warehouse. In that case, you will need a cart that can handle multiple items simultaneously to save time and increase productivity.

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    3. Warehouse Picking Cart Features

    The last factor you should consider when selecting your picking cart is the features of the cart itself. Here is what you need to consider:

    a. Warehouse Picking Cart Design

    The cart’s design is the next factor in selecting the right one since its design varies based on the item it needs to carry. Here, the factor governing the cart design would be two-fold—the nature of the item to be held and the packaging in which it is available—essentially, a culmination of the previous considerations.

    You may also want to check out other fringe elements, such as the number of handles and storage facilities for supplies like clipboards, barcode scanners, etc., which are contingent on your facility. Depending on the choice, you will also have to deal with the pros and cons of each warehouse picking cart design and discover ways to work around it. For instance, some picking carts allow associates to angle the shelf levels for ergonomic design and improved visibility, which could be ideal for transporting small parts.

    b. Durability

    The durability of a warehouse picking cart is essential, given that it will cost you anywhere between a few hundred to thousands of dollars per cart. You must choose a rugged picking cart that is guaranteed to last a long time, given that it is expensive and a crucial part of your daily operations.

    The warehouse picking cart’s material, use, fit, and finish must be suitable for your operating requirements, as it will endure significant wear and tear over its usable life.

    c. Future-Ready Functionalities

    The future-ready functionalities of your warehouse picking cart will allow you to maintain business continuity when shifting to newer technologies. Even while you are preparing today, you also need to consider the warehouse of the future. Autonomous carts, bot-picking, and automation will play a defining role in warehouse management. Accordingly, your picking carts have to be capable and equipped to integrate such technologies.

    Common Types of Warehouse Picking Carts

    Security Carts

    As the name indicates, security carts focus on maintaining the safety of the goods that it carries. They come with steel wireframes or meshing to encase the object with a padlock to restrict access. While dealing with more precious or dangerous cargo, the cart may also contain high-end security features such as digital locks, fingerprint scanners, and more.

    Stock Picking Carts

    The steel wire and resin-based build of stock picking carts make these carts affordable and highly versatile. You can use it to carry various products in various sizes and formats. They also have a dedicated area to hold items like clipboards and tablets.

    Service Carts

    Service carts are typically used in the food services industry, but they also find widespread usage in warehouses and retail setups. They are extremely lightweight and find varied applications that can change depending on your requirements.

    Platform Carts

    Platform carts, also known as truck carts, are wood, resin, or steel-based bed carts. They are generally used to carry heavy items. However, you would require a gantry, life, or hoist to load the items onto the cart.

    Batch-Picking Carts

    Batch-picking carts allow multi-order picking that combines many items into a single picklist. This reduces walk times, improves productivity, and works best when the SKUs are concentrated over a smaller area without any conveyor system. These batch-picking carts often come in varying sizes and configurations, and you can leverage their modular features to maximize their usage and durability.


    By choosing the right warehouse picking cart for your operations, you will streamline and expedite your picking and storage process by reducing the amount of time needed to pick or store items. Additionally, warehouse-picking carts can minimize worker fatigue by making moving inventory around the warehouse easier. This benefits not only your warehouse workers but also your business by improving productivity and safety.

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