The importance of PICKING & PACKING in the logistics of e-Commerce companies

Following the boom in the growth of e-Commerce companies, logistics has taken on transcendental importance. Customers have become more demanding and now it is no longer just a question of offering a quality product, but also of getting it to the end customer in the shortest possible time and at the lowest possible cost and with all the guarantees.


To do this, e-commerce companies have had to create new organizational mechanisms to be able to cope with an increasingly high demand and with a level of demand in which immediate shipments are the protagonists.


Two of the most used strategies to achieve an optimal level of efficiency and effectiveness in shipments are picking and packing.  The combined management of these two strategies will determine to a large extent the results achieved both in terms of turnover and positioning.



The “picking” strategy refers to all those actions that involve the collection and transport of a group of products that are sent together in the same order, to their destination.


This process is the most resource-consuming, especially because of the amount of time and personnel required to carry it out. The functions can be defined by tasks:


  • Palletize the goods: The products to be shipped are placed on pallets to save storage space and subsequently handle them more easily and quickly in loading and unloading.
  • Labeling: Very important in order to obtain the information of the content of an order instantly to save time and not make mistakes.
  • Drawing up the packing list: This task consists of preparing a document that includes all the products of the order, mandatory to be able to pass the customs procedures and to use it as a receipt on arrival at the warehouses.
  • Loading the goods for distribution: Placing the various orders on the different means of transport necessary for each one to reach its destination.



The packing strategy oversees the process of conditioning and packaging the different orders for their subsequent shipment. Its functions are divided as follows:


  • Selecting the appropriate packaging and wrapping: Taking into account the size and characteristics of the products. The resistance and the material inside the box must be in accordance with the needs of the order.
  • Verifying the model, quantity, weight and volume: The verification is essential to avoid possible errors that may have occurred during picking, in addition to serving as a guarantee that the product complies with the necessary guarantees and requirements for its transportation.
  • Labelling packages for shipment: It is very important to ensure traceability in the shipment. A sticker is placed on the outside of the box with a bar code that, when scanned, allows you to access all the necessary information about the products it contains (order reference, shipping address, etc.).



As you have seen, the two strategies are different, but they have several points in common that can make the dividing line between one strategy and the other interrelate and may seem a little blurred. Here we leave you with the main differences between one and the other in order to understand them in more detail:


  • Picking always comes before packing.
  • Picking involves transportation, packing does not.
  • Picking requires pre-planning of shipments, packing does not.
  • During the packing process the identification sticker is added to the final order – with the barcode. During the picking process the complete order does not yet exist because the products to be shipped together to the same customer have not yet been unified



There are different types of picking and packing that depending on the characteristics and needs of the products and orders choose one or the other:



  • Manual: Performed by people.
  • Automatic: It is done by robotic machines.
  • Mixed: It is done jointly by people with the help of machines.



  • Primary: The part of the packaging that is in direct contact with the product. Example: the brick that contains the milk.
  • Secondary: It is another packaging that is in charge of containing several products. Superior to the primary. Example: the plastic that contains the milk cartons and turns it into a 6-pack.
  • Tertiary: The most resistant and the one in charge of protecting and promoting the brand image. Superior to the secondary. It is the most external packaging in which inside are all the previously mentioned. Example: cardboard box with the name of the milk brand with the secondary packaging inside.



Depending on the type of product or order to be shipped we will use one type of packing or another. Some of the most used are the following:



  • Discrete picking: When only one product is shipped in an order to a single customer.
  • Batch picking: When there are several products in an order, but they are part of the same model.
  • Zone picking: When an order consists of several products that are all located in a specific geographical area.



  • Bubble wrap: air-filled material used to protect products that are more fragile.
  • Polystyrene: material used to protect products by adapting to their shape in a fairly solid manner.
  • Box: last part of the packaging of the order where all the products will be placed.



At eGlobe, as international freight forwarding experts, we know that in order to continue growing we must keep ourselves updated day by day to adapt to the new reality that we already mentioned when we talked about e-commerce.


Our experience of more than 20 years in the sector as logistics operators and professionals in the transport of goods of national and international trade, has taught us to be proactive and that in order to meet this high demand of needs and the immediacy requested in the deliveries it is necessary to be always updated and predisposed to adapt to the change that is to come.