How to Label Shelves in a Warehouse

Warehouse labelling is one of the most important aspects of efficient warehouse management. Labelling can refer to identifying products within a storage facility so that they can be easily stacked and found again, or for other warehouse equipment such as pallet racking, shelving systems, aisles and loading areas.

Labelling shelves is a complex task at first but when implemented in the correct manner, shelves that are labelled are a game-changer for warehouse owners. As the warehouse optimisation experts, we’ve worked with businesses across the UK in order to solve their warehouse labelling problems. In this guide, we outline the different types of labels suitable for shelving in warehouses and how to label the shelves in order to maximise productivity in your warehouse.


What labels are good for warehouse shelving?

Warehouse labels are grouped on the basis of the purpose of identification they satisfy – RFID tags, barcode labels, painted labels and retro-reflective labels. With technology in 2022 poised to make big leaps, the adoption of invisible barcodes is expected to gather pace, so these will soon be grouped with the likes of traditional barcodes.

Warehouse rack labels

You will most commonly find these labels on warehouse racks. They mark and identify each bay’s location and typically use barcodes for scanning, but can also have letters and numbers on for workers to easily identify contents without scanning. This type of warehouse label is usually made of polyester or similar material to ensure better durability.

Warehouse tote and bin labels

Although not directly used for warehouse shelving, these types of labels are usually barcodes or RFID tags that are placed on bins, totes, and other containers. Many storage facilities will use this type of label to store individual items, but they can also use them to keep collections of small, individual items, like nails and screws. Note that these labels will need to be removed and replaced as the containers they are placed on are reusable.


How to label shelves in a warehouse

Some warehouse owners will have a storage facility that covers a large amount of square footage, whereas some will have a warehouse that is one-story high. Regardless of how big your warehouse is, labelling your shelves from the bottom up would be the best way to do this.

An example of this shelf labelling would be by giving the lowest row the name ‘01’. The second row will be labelled as ‘02’ – and so on, and so forth. The reason for making it a double-digit rather than a single-digit is that this will make your warehouse management system a lot smoother and will cause less confusion amongst your computers. If your storage facility expands in the future, having a double-digit system will save stress and time further down the line.

Physically attaching the labels to the warehouse shelving in a place where they won’t easily be dislodged or covered is paramount to keeping an efficient system in place. Labels that are barcode-based tend to be the best option when placing them on racking, shelving and other warehouse storage systems.


Why labelling your warehouse shelves is important

We’ve discussed what types of labels are available and how you should implement them into your warehouse, but why are they important? 

Reduces errors and lag time

If you’re manually keeping notes of inventory, then it’s time to change. Having labels on racking shelves and other storage equipment will help reduce errors and with systems being interlinked, the lag time is significantly reduced so that you can be sure you know what’s in your warehouse at all times.

Efficient navigation

Having signs and labels makes for prompt navigation and curbs confusion among workers. Clear and easy to see labels improve efficiency and with up to 50% of time spent travelling when picking items, this is a crucial part of your operation.

Better inventory management

Warehouse labelling has a direct effect on your inventory management – you have greater control over stock movement and the process of moving your inventory inside the facility. Having labels in place can also help optimise your storage space in your warehouse.


How can Oakway Storage help?

The bottom line is that no matter what size or type of warehouse you operate, you should have a labelling system in place (can be magnetic or paper-based), whether that be for your racking, shelving systems or even aisles.

Oakway Storage has a plethora of experience helping businesses with their warehouse labelling issues and if you’d like our help, you can use the contact form below to speak to one of our warehouse optimisation experts.

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