Time efficiency and physical workload in manual picking from large containers
Journal article, 2018

A common task in both trade and manufacturing, manual picking from large containers often involves considerable physical workload, as well as low efficiency and varying picking times. With quantitative evidence from an industrial setting, the paper provides detailed insights into how physical workload and picking time vary in picking from large containers. Components at a short horizontal distance from the picker and at the top instead of the bottom of the pallet are associated with shorter picking time and lower physical workload. Moreover, pallets tilted 45° towards the picker are associated with picking times that are significantly shorter on average and display smaller variations than horizontal pallets. The effects that the tilting of the pallets has on physical workload differs depending on component characteristics and from which section of the containers picking was performed. In the study, the greatest values of physical workload were observed for the tilted pallets.

picking time

physical workload

large containers

order picking

kit preparation


Robin Hanson

Chalmers, Technology Management and Economics, Supply and Operations Management

Lars Medbo

Chalmers, Technology Management and Economics, Supply and Operations Management

Majeed Assaf

Volvo Group

Patrik Jukic

Engineering Company Allan Persson

International Journal of Production Research

0020-7543 (ISSN) 1366-588X (eISSN)

Vol. 56 3 1109-1117

Subject Categories

Production Engineering, Human Work Science and Ergonomics

Driving Forces

Sustainable development

Areas of Advance





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