Order batching problem (OBP) is the problem of determining the number of orders to be picked together in one picking tour. Although various objectives may arise in practice, minimizing the average throughput time of a random order is a common concern. In this paper, we consider the OBP for a 2-block rectangular warehouse with the assumptions that orders arrive according to a Poisson process and the method used for routing the order-pickers is the well-known S-shape heuristic. We first elaborate on the first and second moment of the order-picker’s travel time. Then we use these moments to estimate the average throughput time of a random order. This enables us to estimate the optimal picking batch size. Results from simulation show that the method provides a high accuracy level. Furthermore, the method is rather simple and can be easily applied in practice.

Additional Metadata
Keywords OBP, logistics, order batching, order picking, warehousing
Persistent URL dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ejor.2005.03.052, hdl.handle.net/1765/11876
Series ERIM Top-Core Articles
Journal European Journal of Operational Research
Le-Duc, T, & de Koster, M.B.M. (2007). Travel-time estimation and order batching in a 2-block warehouse. European Journal of Operational Research, 176(1), 374–388. doi:10.1016/j.ejor.2005.03.052