Warehouse Shipping Steps
There are three basic shipping process steps used in a warehouse or distribution center:
- Aggregate and manage order information
- Pick, pack, weigh, choose carrier and label
- Ship the order
Aggregate and manage order information: This step involves getting the order information, validating addresses, confirming inventory availability, combining orders going to the same address (or separating orders going to different addresses) and preparing the order for shipment.
Pick, pack, weigh, choose carrier and label: This is the process of picking and packing the products ordered, weighing the shipment, choosing the right carrier and labeling the package for delivery to the end customer’s address.
Ship the order: Shipping involves transferring the package to the selected carrier and updating the shipping information to all parties.
Common Shipping Issues
In the process of shipping orders, several potential issues can arise and derail a warehouse’s efficiency:
- Inventory shortages
- Storage and retrieval inefficiencies
- Cost-related problems
- Human errors
- Health and safety hazards
- Warehouse layout issues
Each issue has a solution. For example, to avoid inventory shortages, a warehouse needs to have a system that promotes constant checking and updating of inventory in real time.
If storage and retrieval inefficiencies are a problem, a warehouse may need additional workers or more reliable equipment. Using robotics and automation can also help improve accuracy, reduce human error and eliminate labor shortages.
To solve cost-related problems, shippers need to research all possible shipping methods and the associated costs. Transportation costs are always in flux, so it’s important to stay up to date to ensure you get the best value.
Warehouse layout issues and health and safety hazards go hand in hand. If your warehouse space isn’t allocated properly, it will have a negative impact on the fluidity of your shipping process. Keeping things clean, organized and clearly labeled also goes a long way to making a warehouse a safer place to work.
With warehousing best practices in mind, implementation and routine review, you can improve the performance of your warehouse shipping operations dramatically.
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