Much like any major industry, warehousing and product distribution is subject to the changing flows of time and technology – and with any big technology changes, there’s a lot of buzzwords that are bound to pop up.

But more so than just a simple marketing tactic to get people talking, warehouse management buzzwords often reflect new, modern methods of handling products, distributing products, and overall warehouse organization that can help your warehouse in the long run to work more effectively. Here’s a few of these buzzwords you might encounter in 2018, and what they mean for your warehouse operation:

 

Cartonization

Cartonization initially sounds like the process of putting something into a carton (or maybe even turning something into a carton) but the truth is a lot more helpful than that. With the aid of inventory tracking software, cartonization is the process of evaluating items included in an order to best determine how to pick and ship the items per the size of the carton needed. Basic mathematics are done to determine the best size carton for every order, which can really help you lower shipping expenses (as well as the cost of materials) over time.

 

Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) Chips

A lot of warehouses have started implementing these either in place of or in addition to their traditional barcode tracking methods, and the technology has only gotten better as years go by. As the name implies, RFID chips are used in place of traditional barcodes; tags containing RFID chips are placed on your pallet racks and wire shelving that communicates with a handheld reader via radio waves. The big advantage these offer over barcode methods is that the communication is done by radio waves so the inventory tracking can happen much faster (and much more easily) than with traditional methods.

 

Wave Picking

Wave picking has been a frequent topic of discussion for warehouses in recent years, and the trend is likely going to continue. Wave picking involves using a warehouse management software (WMS) program to break down orders into waves, sorting them by item type, SKU, or location to allow for more effective picking and better management of incoming orders. When implemented correctly, wave picking can really help streamline a lot of your outbound shipment operations.

 

Catch Weight

‘Catch weight’ refers to the actual reported weight of an outbound shipment, as opposed to the estimated or average weight. Particularly common in food shipment, this method involves setting a shipping cost based upon the average weight of the items involved at first, and once the items are picked, revising that cost based upon the actual weight of the order. It can do a lot towards managing costs and keeping customers happy with their products.

 

Dimensional Weight

In a similar vein, dimensional weight refers to the amount of space a package takes up in the carrier’s trailer. Also referred to as “dim weight”, dimensional weight is a new way to calculate shipping costs and packing needs, and will allow you to provide a better idea of shipping cost to your customer while (hopefully) cutting down on shipping expenses overall.

By being aware of these and other, similar trends in warehouse management, you can better understand the challenges and opportunities you’ll face through 2018 and beyond.

3 Responses to “Warehouse Management Buzzwords You Need To Know In 2018”

  1. Jenna Hunter says:

    I appreciate your definitions of words that I might not know when finding a warehouse for commercial storage. My husband and I are thinking about starting a small clothing business and would need a warehouse space, and so learning about different aspects of the industry is important. I will have to do some more research into what we might need.

  2. That’s really an informative post. I appreciate your skills. Thanks for sharing this post.

  3. jyoti sharma says:

    Great content. I like the effort put in for explaining all the above words. In the world of digitization, everything is changing on a daily basis. So the new terminologies and trends should be known by everyone who is into logistics and supply chain management.

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