What are labels?
Labels for warehouse labeling: An overview of all common types
As the saying goes: "Order is half the battle" - this is especially true in the context of modern and efficient warehouse management. After all, order pickers and other stakeholders need to receive the necessary information in the shortest possible time. Labels are there to provide 100 percent traceability even for those "handling goods" where this information is initially missing. This refers to closed containers, various pallets, boxes and the like.
Permanent label scanning allows products to be precisely located within the warehouse. Among other things, this helps to remove defective products quickly and easily. Complete labeling significantly simplifies warehouse handling, saves resources and speeds up processes.
The basics: each label consists of three components
Labels are not just "any" stickers, but in the context of warehouse logistics, an element specifically designed for the application. They are produced by means of a label printer and consist of the following components:
- Carrier material
- Adhesive (self-adhesive layer for better adhesion to the surface).
- Upper (hand lettered or machine printed)
Labels: More than just warehouse marking and labeling
In order to be able to specifically mark storage areas, shelves and the like with labels, a correct composition is now required in relation to these three components. The requirements in a deep-freeze warehouse, for example, are significantly higher than in "classic" reserve or spare parts warehouses, where barcode labels are often used.
The challenge: Warehouse logistics forms the backbone of your company, because this is where you can see how efficiently processes are designed. But for one thing, the number of products and categories often exceeds a certain value, so handling labels "on sight" is not possible. On the other hand, proprietary and third-party goods are sometimes mixed, which makes precise control indispensable. Last but not least, there are countless types of goods, storage systems and the like to consider.
Labels must therefore meet various requirements and fit the respective area of application. Here, materials such as paper, PE film, PVC or even thermal paper are optionally used. More about this in the next paragraph.
The most important label shapes at a glance
To give you a better understanding of how many different types of labels are used in the warehouse, let's take a look at the typical forms they take. The most important properties and areas of use can be found here as well.
Storage bin labels
Suitable for all standard rack types, e.g. shelving, flow racking or pallet racking. Produced using either digital or thermal transfer printing processes. Materials used include polyester, Tyvek, textile, PVC or frozen paper (down to -30° Celsius). Such labels can be attached as a magnet or adhesive (removable, permanent, extra strong adhesion).
PID stands for Pallet Identification Number, a nine-digit (sequential) combination for unique assignment within a warehouse management system. Such labels are suitable for labeling parcels, pallets or other packages. They are available in various formats and can be attached using adhesive (removable, permanent, strongly adhesive) or tacker.
Frozen food labels
To ensure that article allocation is possible even under constantly changing climatic conditions, deep-freeze labels are often used. Suitable for shelf life notices, pallet, shelf or product labeling in frozen storage as well as frozen food packaging. The special freezer paper withstands even extreme loads (up to -30° Celsius) as well as temperature fluctuations. Various adhesive types can be selected, including suitable for medical laboratories, the pharmaceutical sector and other segments.
Suitable and frequently used for labeling block as well as storage areas in larger formats, as they are easily readable even from a distance. Thanks to the robust material (2mm thick plastic), which is resistant to weathering and UV radiation, the labels can be used both indoors and outdoors. Black as well as retroreflective foil are possible as imprint, which ensures scanning even in strong sunlight.
Specially designed labels produced by thermal transfer printing, suitable for warehouse and shelf labeling. Can be attached to smooth as well as slightly textured surfaces and extend the scanning range (up to approx. 21 meters). Especially suitable for block as well as high-bay warehouses.
The ideal choice for constantly changing labels, as magnetic labels can be removed without leaving any residue - without any screwing or gluing. Permanently adheres to steel shelves in cold stores or freezers. Suitable for all typical racking types, including freezer, live storage, shelving as well as pallet racking. However, not intended for outdoor use due to the settling of flash rust.
The modern variant of labels in the warehouse, which allows digital signage to different areas. Commonly used in supermarkets or retail in general. Easily controllable by radio, also flicker-free in the display and readable at all times even in changing light conditions.