Skip to content
Home Shipping Logistics Management

A Quick Guide to Efficient Picking, Packing & Shipping

Article - 3 Min. Read

Get your picking and packing process into shape with a few strategic tips about work stations, classifications and workflows.

A six-step diagram revealing how to pack and ship a product.

Taking the time to think about logistics and refine your processes can have a surprising impact on your overall efficiency and can produce financial benefits. It can also likely reduce the pressure of getting your products quickly from your customer’s order to their door. This infographic will help you with throughput—the art of getting things picked, packed, and on their way to your customer anywhere in the world. From organizing your shipping station to creating a workflow, these solutions can help you succeed at efficient shipping.[1]

Organize Your Shipping Station

By arranging your shipping station with the most commonly sold items in close proximity, you reduce the time it takes for fulfillment. This savings in minutes and seconds adds up and helps reduce the physical impact on your fulfillment personnel.

The ABC classification method.

Classifying your products as either A, B or C helps you evaluate your stock and identify what’s performing well and what is not.

Shipped most. Shipped Often. Shipped rarely.


Keep the right tools and supplies handy.

Stocking your shipping stations with the right supplies can help increase speed and accuracy. The simplest glitch, like running out of tape, can impede your whole operation.

A pair of scissors and a shipping box.

Have boxes, bags, envelopes, void fill material and small items like scissors and tape handy.

Three boxes stacked on one another on red table.

Make sure you have flat areas that are wide enough to accommodate all your typical packages.

A blue tape measure on a red tabletop.

Mark your table with measuring tape to create a guide so you can quickly assess package sizes.

Icons depicting a tape measure and a pair of scissors hanging on a tool storage wall.

Use a pin board to keep your tools and supplies organized and within easy reach.

Create a resupply master list.

As your shipping center grows, make sure that each packing station has its own set of tools and supplies. Develop a master list of packing materials and supplies you’ll need to reorder.

A symbol showing an open blue box.


List each size and the flat size

A symbol showing a blue bag with a tie string.

Bags and Envelopes

List each size

Icons depicting 10 small spheres, representing void material for packages.

Void Fill Material

List each type, roll width and diameter or amount of space required for storage

A symbol depicting a marker drawing a broken line.

Miscellaneous supplies

List tapes, labels, envelopes, pens, markers and other small items

Create an Operational Workflow

Clearly outline your packing operation with a simple flow chart. Defining your operational flow will give you a visual overview so you can consolidate and condense all the functions into a streamlined working model.

Consolidate order -> Check The Packing List -> Protect and Pack -> Address and Label -> Manifest -> Stage on Skids, Carts or Conveyor

The most efficient packing systems are usually arranged in packing order sequence. Ideally, the packer can then access the orders being shipped from one side of packing station.

Establish Your Packing Order Sequence

Once the items are packed, designate a convenient and centralized place to stage or collect packages ready for transport.

An illustration depicting packages on a table and in a shopping cart

Set up your skid or cart next to the shipping table so your packer doesn’t need to carry items, but can slide them onto a cart heading to your outbound shipping area. Restocking can take place from the back of the table or by simply using portable supply carts.

Set Goals and Measure Success

Once you’ve established your order sequence, set goals around your picking, packing and shipping speeds. Decide how many packages you’d like to ship in a set period of time, whether per hour, per day or per week.

An illustration depicting mailboxes and time.

As your shipping process gets in full swing, track your shipping speeds and evaluate them weekly. If the numbers don’t meet expectations, reevaluate your workflow and sequence for further improvements.

In Conclusion

With a few operational changes, your company can transform your shipping process. Empowering your business with sound shipping strategies can help you boost efficiency, decrease shipping time and manage costs—all to positively impact your business and customer service.

  1. [1]“Efficient Shipping Strategies,” USPS, May 2016.

Related Content