forklift driver at warehouse of forwarding

Ever feel like you just can’t get where you’re trying to go in your warehouse or factory? No matter how much planning or foresight goes into your warehouse design and layout, the paths workers take to get where they have to go are never exactly first in people’s minds.


That said, traffic management is one of the most important things a warehouse can plan for, even if they rarely do. Traffic management is more than just leaving enough space for the forklifts; a detailed plan needs to be put into place to make sure everyone can get where they need to be. If your warehouse constantly finds itself stuck in traffic, here’s a few tips to help clear up some space and get your workers where they need to go.


Plan Vehicle Routes: More than just lanes for moving vehicles, vehicle routes need to be able to accommodate everything a vehicle might have to do, including stopping suddenly, passing other vehicles, going in reverse, and so on. The easiest way to deal with a lot of this traffic is to create one-way lanes to prevent traffic confusion, and if that’s not an option you should at least make the lanes as wide as possible to accommodate both directions of traffic. Make sure to keep your routes well-constructed and free of obstructions and hazards, like spills and broken concrete.


Use Proper Markings & Signage: The best way to think of warehouse signage is not to think of it as informing workers of something they didn’t know, but more to remind them of steps they already know and have taken. Install reflective markers and lines to guide drivers on the correct path, use signs to alert workers of potential hazards or traffic obstructions in that area, and so on. A few good examples would include no parking zones, speed limits, pedestrian crossings, and so on. Ensure your signs are visible and legible at any distance, as they will often be read at high speed and well above eye-level.


Install Protection & Safeguards: A big problem with constant traffic in an area is the increased risk of injury and accident. If possible, make sure to physically separate and identify pedestrian zones vs. vehicle traffic areas to make sure nobody wanders into a forklift lane, or vice versa. If your warehouse design won’t allow for this, take steps to protect your workers and property during transit. Barriers should be raised to direct traffic and indicate exits and entrances properly to your workers, and protective guards should be installed along walkways and against your industrial shelving to protect both workers and inventory from accident or damage.


Properly Train Employees: The biggest obstacle most safety initiatives face in the workplace is lack of employee training/understanding. Once any sort of traffic lane redesign has been completed, take some time and make sure your employees fully understand what changes were made, and why. Keep everyone informed on policy changes, walk your employees through any new traffic zones, and make sure to go over it every so often to keep it fresh in your employees’ minds…and to make sure they’re actually going through with any new safety policies.


With these tips, hopefully your warehouse will see a reduction in accident and injury, or at the very least you’ll have less frustrated workers stuck waiting for the forklifts to roll by.

5 Responses to “Tips For Improving Warehouse Traffic Flow”

  1. Jay says:

    When you can have everyone understand how a workspace is to flow, especially where things are moving around a lot like in a warehouse, it makes efficiency so much better! I really appreciate these tips. I might get a new position soon and I wanted to be informed about what I could do to improve things in our warehouse. Thanks!

  2. John says:

    That’s a good point to use signage as workplace reminders. Signs don’t need to educate; just reinforce. It’s important to be intentional like that in the workplace to maintain good communication.

  3. Warehousing solutions says:

    An unorganized or messy warehouse indicates to visitors, suppliers, and staff that efficiency is lacking and ultimately impact the productivity of the business as the success of supply chain highly depends upon warehousing operations.

  4. Bethany Birchridge says:

    I like how you mentioned that proper marking can help your warehouse function for smoothly. My brother works in a warehouse, so maybe these tips could help him out. I’ll be sure to mention them.

  5. Mayim Cooper says:

    Different dimensions should be taken into consideration prior to choosing a suitable layout for the warehouse which is the key to ensure smoother workflow in the warehouse. The warehouse is considered as one of the key parts of the whole supply chain and workflow of the warehouse has a significant influence on the productivity of the supply chain. So, a lot of factors should be taken into consideration during the development of the design for the warehouse. Apart from this, assistance from experienced professionals is the best way to get a better design for the warehouse.