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Creative Commons licence CC BY-NC (Attribution-NonCommercial)Logforum. 2020. 16(1), article 3, 33-46; DOI: https://doi.org/10.17270/J.LOG.2020.379


Adam Redmer

Poznan University of Technology, Poznan, Poland


Background: Order-picking is a fundamental warehousing activity that accounts for in excess of 60% of total warehousing costs. Movements of pickers consume as much as half of the picking time. Thus determining picking paths is crucial. The most frequently used method is the S-shape one.

Material and methods: The average picking path length for 240 variants of the storage area (depot location, storage strategy), inventory (ABC-storage class sizes, probability of retrieving) and customer order (number of lines – 5, 10, 15) parameters was calculated. 100 simulations were carried out each time. MS Excel spreadsheet, along with macros (VBA) were used.

Results: The comparison were made of path lengths for a single block warehouse with 320 storage locations, Within-Aisle/Random storage strategies and low-level picking. Depot locations in the corner of a warehouse and in the middle of a front aisle were considered. The path lengths significantly varied with the variants that were analyzed. The shortest paths were observed for the Within-Aisle strategy, corner located depot, order sizes 5 or 10 and sizes of ABC-storage classes equal to 5/35/60% or 10/35/55% of all 320 storage locations under a retrieving probability of 90/5/5%.

Conclusions: Better and worse picking variants exist, influencing significantly the length of picking paths determined using the S-shape method. In general, the depot location is less important, even though the best variant assumed a corner location, while a location in the middle of a front aisle gives shorter paths on average. A much more important factor is the storage strategy. Lack of the strategy (randomness) substantially extends path lengths (by 50% on average).

Keywords: warehousing, order picking, S-shape method, picking paths length
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For citation:

MLA Redmer, Adam. "Analysis of the length of order-picking paths determined using the S–shape method." Logforum 16.1 (2020): 3. DOI: https://doi.org/10.17270/J.LOG.2020.379
APA Adam Redmer (2020). Analysis of the length of order-picking paths determined using the S–shape method. Logforum 16 (1), 3. DOI: https://doi.org/10.17270/J.LOG.2020.379
ISO 690 REDMER, Adam. Analysis of the length of order-picking paths determined using the S–shape method. Logforum, 2020, 16.1: 3. DOI: https://doi.org/10.17270/J.LOG.2020.379