Clever warehouse rack labeling ideas to restore order & boost efficiency to your cluttered storehouse! We tackle the smartest ways to use warehouse labels for the rack, floor, and shelf. 


Source: Pixabay

In today’s consumer stay-at-home demands, online shopping skyrocketed, with retailers requiring more warehouse space. With e-commerce surging, managing a well-organized warehouse would increase your trade business speed, efficiency, and sales.

As the saying goes, “If your supply chain runs without any problems, you either have a great supply chain or run very fat.” Warehouse management is not a simple task. Aside from maximizing your warehouse layout, warehouse labeling play a key role in managing a healthy, more organized, and convenient storage system. 

We’ve got tons of warehouse rack labeling ideas below to maximize your efficiency in prepping orders, loading and shipping containers, and keeping customers happy.

What is Warehouse Labeling?

A warehouse labeling system is essential in improving organization and management in a warehouse. The basic uses of warehouse labels are preventing shipping the wrong items and ensuring that packages are treated with care. 

But on a macro scale, warehouse labels ensure a well efficient system within the facility which include enhanced:

    • Security
    • Caution
    • Well-managed expiration dates

Overall, an exceptional warehouse shelf labeling, bin labeling, and rack labeling system improve productivity, reduce costs, optimize space, and deliver superior customer support.

: 500
: 2″ x 3″
: Paper

Types of Warehouse Labels

Labels are essential in a warehouse, given their extensive uses. There are many types of warehouse labels which you should know. Here are some of the common types of labels and their applications.


Warehouse Rack Barcode Labels

Warehouse Rack Barcode Labels

Source: Neumann

Whether you’re running a manufacturing facility, distribution center, or fulfillment center, barcode labels play a crucial role in running well-organized warehouse management.

a. Removable Labels


Source: ID Label

Removable warehouse labels feature an adhesive that should adhere to any surface, but you can still easily remove them. They are suitable for applications that require regular reconfigurations or relabeling racks.

b. Permanent Adhesive

Dymo 30252 Labels 1-1/8″ x 3-1/2″

Permanent adhesive labels feature a strong adhesive suitable for one-time labeling applications. These are usually used as shipping labels, inventory, and assets, product identification, equipment identification. Box and package labels are examples and are used to mark products and shipping details. Do note, however, that permanent adhesive labels are not entirely permanent and can degrade over time. 

c. Retro-reflective Labels

Retro-reflective Labels

Retro-reflective labels are special types of barcode labels intended to be scanned at longer ranges. They are composed of small glass beads, which allow them to reflect info to the scanner. Retro-reflective labels are therefore designed for scanning pallet rack labels and placard signages 50 feet away.


Warehouse Rack Location Labels

a. Magnetic Labels


Source: Magnatag

Magnetic labels are used for racks that regularly need relabeling. Suitable for warehouse navigation, magnetic labels have a wide variety of color choices, sizes. They are manufactured with greater durability as they are meant to be reconfigured or relocated regularly for different labeling warehouse locations.

John Roggeveen, ID Label senior business development manager, says that Magnetic location labels are a great option, “especially for warehouse facilities that reconfigure their rack locations or inventory with regularity. They’re also a good choice for cold-storage environments.”

b. Signages/Safety Labels


Safety labels help ensure proper warnings and precautions for everyone’s safety. These are labels used for directing personnel to the right rack location. Effective signage labels should be able to warn personnel of hazards, provide clear instructions and organization. They should be highly vivid in color to quickly force a response or action from people. Examples include warning signs, fragile stickers, and the like.

How Do You Label a Warehouse Rack?

Well-organized warehouse labeling systems help maintain efficient accessibility, faster turnover, minimal errors, and enhanced safety. How to label racks in a warehouse? Here’s how to do it systematically.


Rearranging Inventory

Regardless of the warehouse layout, you need to plan the contents of your racks and shelves systematically. Your warehouse rack labeling system will depend on how your goods are received, handled and where it leaves.

Pro tip: From your warehouse layout, trace a line from where your inventory arrives, is processed, and gets out of the warehouse. As much as possible, re-arrange to form straight lines.

warehouse layout tips

Source: BigRentz

You can also ask the following questions to further help you with your warehouse layout:

  • Productivity – How can I increase productivity by eliminating unnecessary steps that could make the process faster?
  • Space Savings – Which inventories should you bundle together? These items are often the slowest to move out from the warehouse. And where should they be located?
  • Throughput – How can inventories move faster?


Systematize Your Racks and Shelf

Once you determine your warehouse movement and layout, begin systematizing the contents of your racks and shelves. 

There’s a huge difference in which supplies you store onto your shelves and racks. 

  • Racks are sections where you should store equipment and inventory that are unretrievable by hand. (example, using forklift)
  • Shelves can store objects which you can retrieve by hand.
racks vs shelves systemization

From here, re-organize larger inventories and supplies into racks and smaller stuff in shelves. Organize racking and shelving units further by making smaller sections. This practice is great if you’re handling many SKUs having a variety of differences in size and quality. 

Pro Tip: Label each rack and shelf and their sections with a unique identifier. Do not just assign one identifier for the entire rack.


Bottom-Up Rack Labeling System

After organizing the contents of your racks and shelves, start labeling them from the bottom up

This method makes it more convenient to increase the number of layers of shelves as your warehouse scales up.

The lowest row should be named “01”. The second row from the bottom is “02” and so on. 

Numbering with double-digits is a smart move to name your racks as it gives you more flexibility in assigning more levels without changing the numbers once your warehouse expands.

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Choose Between a Serpentine or Standard Method

After organizing your rack shelf labels, the next step is to evaluate how to pick your goods. 

Serpentine – This labeling method is usually applicable on fast-moving warehouses where aisles are labeled in alphabetical order – for Example, Units “AA”, “AB”, “AC” for Aisle 1 and “BA”, “BB”, “BC” for Aisle 2

Serpentine labelling method

Source: SKU Vault

The Serpentine method involves warehouse pickers moving from one location to another from one aisle to another. The serpentine method is suitable for warehouses with many SKUs or with a lot of fast-moving items. With this labeling method, the process is quicker for pickers as they move around the warehouse. 

Standard – There is no picking technique involved in this method, which means pickers will go from one location to another and duplicate their navigation movement. Aisles are usually labeled alphabetically or numerically from the first racking system to the last.


Choose the Best Warehouse Labeling Supplies

Here are some of the considerations to look for when choosing warehouse labeling supplies for your storage facility:

  • Temperature – What is the maximum and minimum temperature in your facility? Labels have different temperature considerations for them to last long. 
  • Chemical and Toxic Products – Do you store chemical products that could well damage your labels?
  • Fast Moving Aisles – Do you use more durable label types for your fast-moving aisles to prevent snags and pressure? 

These questions should guide you in choosing the right type of label for each part of your facility to ensure maximized longevity.

At enKo Products, we provide warehouse labels for many applications at a low price point.

Wrapping Up

Handling a ton of products in a warehouse can be a nightmare without proper organization. In this post, we’ve given you the best warehouse rack labeling ideas to improve efficiency. Along with a good warehouse design, make sure you have the basics of organizing your warehouse racks to prevent delays and downtimes in operation.

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