This paper considers a parallel aisle warehouse, where order pickers can change aisles at the ends of every aisle and also at a cross aisle halfway along the aisles. An algorithm is presented that can find shortest order picking tours in this type of warehouses. The algorithm is applicable in warehouse situations with up to three aisle changing possibilities. Average tour length is compared for warehouses with and without a middle aisle. It appears that in many cases the average order picking time can be decreased significantly by adding a middle aisle to the layout.

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ERIM Top-Core Articles
European Journal of Operational Research
Erasmus Research Institute of Management

Roodbergen, K.-J., & de Koster, R. (2001). Routing order pickers in warehouse with a middle aisle. European Journal of Operational Research, 133(1), 32–43. doi:10.1016/S0377-2217(00)00177-6