15 Essential Warehouse Terms Every Warehouse Worker Must Know

Have you been recently working at a warehouse? Then you must have noticed that a warehouse works like a machine and like every machine has different commands to direct different functions, warehouses use different terms to describe different processes. You may find the terms confusing at times, but we assure you that you will learn them as you get to know the different workflows. We got you covered for some of the most common yet important terms in this article.


The essential warehouse terms


While working in a warehouse, you must know these warehouse terms as their meanings can be incredibly useful. Some of these terminologies are listed below, 


  • Active Stock - Stock in active pick locations and ready for order fulfilment.
  • HAZMAT - HAZMAT is an abbreviation for “hazardous materials”. The term is used when a worker is directed to handle articles that need special attention while handling as they can be hazardous to a person’s health. 
  • Buffer Stock - A quantity of stock kept in storage to protect against unforeseen shortages or demands.
  • Cross Docking - Refers to the practice of moving products directly from the receiving area to the shipping area for distribution rather than being put away and stored for a period of time.
  • 3PL - Third Party Logistics – a warehouse or group of warehouses managed on behalf of the owner of the stock.
  • DDP/DDU - Delivered Duty Paid/Delivered Duty Unpaid
  • Slotting - Placement of stock within a warehouse to increase picking efficiency.
  • RFID - Radio Frequency Identification – electromagnetic field to identify and track tags on objects. It is used for wireless tracking and data transfer within the warehousing systems.
  • SKU - Stock Keeping Unit, this is a product or service identification number assigned to a unique item by a retailer.  The SKU can be a number used internally or may be linked to the UPC (Universal Product Code) or EAN (European Article Number).
  • Replenishment - The process involves moving stock from a secondary storage area to a fixed storage location. This could also refer to the process of moving stock between distribution centres or from suppliers to meet customer demand.
  • FIFO - First In First Out – using stock-based on when it was received.
  • Pallet - It is a flat transport structure that supports goods in a stable fashion while being lifted by a forklift, pallet jack, front loader, work saver, or other jacking devices, or a crane.
  • GTIN - Global Tracking Item Number. A company uses GTIN to uniquely identify each of its trade items.
  • Zone Picking - Subdividing a picking list by areas for more efficient picking.
  • Universal Product Code (UPC) - It represents a unique barcode and a 12-digit number assigned to products. It is managed by the Global Standards Organization. Read more about the Universal Product Code.


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