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The staging area is one of the most important areas of a warehouse – and as a result, it also needs to be one of the most flexible.

As a crucial step in the process of transporting goods to their final destination, be it in the hands of the customer or simply to another distribution center, the staging area needs to be streamlined, functional, and ready to quickly adapt to whatever products come down the line.

What is a staging area in a warehouse?

Simply put, the staging area is a dedicated area in any warehouse where goods are temporarily stored, before being moved to their next location. 

In most cases, staging areas serve a number of different functions:

  • Receiving zones, where quality checks can be performed (such as pallet inspections, or verifying the items are intact and undamaged) before the goods are shipped or stored
  • Dispatch zones, where goods are sorted before loaded onto the truck or handling equipment, either to be shipped out or sent to their final destination inside the warehouse
  • Sorting zones, where goods are sorted out before any further movement happens (especially in higher-traffic warehouses)
  • Cross-docking zones, where items are sorted en route to their final docking area to be shipped out to their destination

How can I make my staging area more mobile and flexible? 

Staging areas largely exist to help goods move from one part of the warehouse to the other, wherever that may be. With that in mind, devising a strategy to help products move into and out of these areas more quickly will do a lot to help your warehouse’s overall efficiency.

A fast way to improve this mobility is with the use of shelving and racks that can help move products more quickly. Gravity conveyors are crucial for this; with strategic placement of gravity conveyors along the edge of your staging area, in the direction of where the products tend to most commonly flow into or out of, your product will move much faster, and at less physical cost to your workers.

Products will need to stay mobile within the staging area as well. With the use of utility carts, you can help move products to the necessary area or worker within the staging area, to help them get handled and sent off even more quickly.

When setting up a staging area, the trick to remember is to avoid anything that resembles long-term storage. You don’t need items hanging out in a staging area any longer than is necessary, so avoid installing your typical warehouse racking or shelving. Provide metal work tables to give your team space to handle the products before they’re prepared to be moved on.

By following these ideas, your staging area might just help your whole warehouse work a little harder!


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