What does Picking mean in a logistics context?

The term Picking describes the work step in which customer orders are collected. The term is often equated withcommissioning”. Specifically, Picking is the process of removing goods from a warehouse shelf or a shelf in a store. Order picking refers to the process in which the “picker” puts together all the products of a customer order. Once the process is complete, the next process step in the form of the Packaging starts directly.

Why is a well thought-out order picking process important?

Efficiency in order processing

As a rule, customer orders consist of several different products. In order to assemble the order as quickly as possible, an efficient process is needed for the pickers so that they can follow a certain pattern or assemble the goods in a certain optimized routing order.

Completeness of orders

For customer satisfaction, it is crucial that orders reach the customer in full. To do this, the picker needs a control instrument, e. g. in the form of a list, with which he keeps track of how far he has progressed with the order and whether all ordered products have been picked.

Avoidance of errors during compilation

A well thought-out order picking process is important to ensure that orders reach the customer without errors. In order for the picker to be sure that it assigns the right products to the right order, it needs a way to check the products, for example, with a scan function or with a list of product details.

Types of Picking

  • Multi Order / Batch Picking
    Multi Order Picking, or Batch Picking, refers to the picking process when a picker puts together several products from different orders in parallel.


  • Picking Zone
    In Zone Picking, each picker has a fixed area in which he moves during the compilation of the job. The container (e. g. a carton) in which the order is put together is taken from zone to zone by another employee. This prevents pickers from having long distances through the entire warehouse or through a large store. Because pickers know their zone very well, they can work more efficiently and error-free.

What different Picking methods are there?

Pick by List

With Pick by List, the picker follows his order list exactly and picks the goods as they are on his pick list. The list also serves as a control mechanism.

Pick by Voice

With Pick by Voice, the picker does not work with printed or digital lists, which he processes, but instead relies on communication by voice. The picker receives the products to be picked via headset. The picker can usually confirm that a product has been removed with a microphone or scanner. This picking method is very convenient for the picker, as no hand is needed to operate it.

Pick by Light

Pick by Light is also a documentless picking process. The picker is shown by a light on the shelf which products are to be picked. Another display on the tray itself shows how many products have to be removed. As soon as the picker has removed the corresponding products from the shelf, he confirms this with a confirmation button.

Pick by Scan / MDE

With Pick by Scan / MDE, the picker receives digital support during picking. The picking list is replaced by an MDE, a mobile data entry device, which provides the information about orders and pick positions. The device also has a scanner so that the picker can scan the barcode of the product as well as the number of the storage location when it is removed to confirm the picking.

What does Packing mean in the context of logistics?

In logistics, Packing is the process that follows directly from the picking process. This ensures that orders can be forwarded to the shipping service provider ready for dispatch. For example, care is taken to ensure that for an order with a certain weight and size, the correct packaging material such as a cardboard box, wooden box, etc. is used which is stable enough to bring the shipment safely to the recipient. In addition, the packaging process ensures that the products are upholstered with the appropriate filling material so that the products reach the customer undamaged.

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