Research on Warehouse Design

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European Journal of Operational Research 203 (2010) 539–549

Contents lists available at ScienceDirect

European Journal of Operational Research
journal homepage: www.elsevier.com/locate/ejor

Invited Review

Research on warehouse design and performance evaluation: A comprehensive review Jinxiang Gu a, Marc Goetschalckx b,*, Leon F. McGinnis b
a b

Nestle USA, 800 North Brand Blvd., Glendale, CA 91203, United States Georgia Institute of Technology, 765 Ferst Dr., Atlanta, GA 30332-0205, United States

a r t i c l e

i n f o

a b s t r a c t
This paper presents a detailed survey of the research on warehouse design, performance evaluation, practical case studies, and computational support tools. This and an earlier survey on warehouse operation provide a comprehensive review of existing academic research results in the framework of a systematic classification. Each research area within this framework is discussed, including the identification of the limits of previous research and of potential future research directions. Ó 2009 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

Article history: Received 5 December 2005 Accepted 21 July 2009 Available online 6 August 2009 Keywords: Facilities design and planning Warehouse design Warehouse performance evaluation model Case studies Computational tools

1. Introduction This survey and a companion paper (Gu et al., 2007) present a comprehensive review of the state-of-art of warehouse research. Whereas the latter focuses on warehouse operation problems related to the four major warehouse functions, i.e., receiving, storage, order picking, and shipping, this paper concentrates on warehouse design, performance evaluation, case studies, and computational support tools. The objectives are to provide an all-inclusive overview of the available methodologies and tools for improving warehouse design practices and to identify potential future research directions. Warehouse design involves five major decisions as illustrated in Fig. 1: determining the overall warehouse structure; sizing and dimensioning the warehouse and its departments; determining the detailed layout within each department; selecting warehouse equipment; and selecting operational strategies. The overall structure (or conceptual design) determines the material flow pattern within the warehouse, the specification of functional departments, and the flow relationships between departments. The sizing and dimensioning decisions determine the size and dimension of the warehouse as well as the space allocation among various warehouse departments. Department layout is the detailed configuration within a warehouse department, for example, aisle configuration in the retrieval area, pallet block-stacking pattern in the reserve storage area, and configuration of an Automated Storage/Retrieval System (AS/RS). The equipment selection deci* Corresponding author. Tel.: +1 404 894 2317; fax: +1 404 894 2301. E-mail address: marc.goetschalckx@isye.gatech.edu (M. Goetschalckx). 0377-2217/$ - see front matter Ó 2009 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved. doi:10.1016/j.ejor.2009.07.031

sions determine an appropriate automation level for the warehouse, and identify equipment types for storage, transportation, order picking, and sorting. The selection of the operation strategy determines how the warehouse will be operated, for example, with regards to storage and order picking. Operation strategies refer to those decisions about operations that have global effects on other design decisions, and therefore need to be considered in the design phase. Examples of such operation strategies include the choice between randomized storage or dedicated storage, whether or not to do zone picking, and the choice between sort-while-pick or sortafter-pick. Detailed operational policies, such as how to batch and route the order picking tour, are not considered design problems and therefore are discussed in Gu et al. (2007). It should be emphasized that warehouse...
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