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Streamlining Fulfillment Packing Stations with Conveyors and Carton Flow Racks


In today's rapidly evolving supply chain landscape, optimizing fulfillment packing stations and streamlining fulfillment processes is crucial to maximize production and customer satisfaction. Warehouses need to be efficiently organized, easily accessible, and flexible as processes evolve and expand.

The right solution for efficient order fulfillment can optimize space, improve accuracy, and keep everything flowing smoothly from start to finish. Plus, the time your employees save with a more efficient system leads to higher productivity and improved morale.

One effective solution for streamlining retail and eCommerce order fulfillment processes is implementing a combination of gravity conveyors and SpanTrack carton flow systems into your packing stations. Let’s explore the benefits of these solutions and how they can be successfully incorporated into order fulfillment operations.

The Power of Gravity Conveyors

Gravity conveyors are a type of conveyor that can move packages and materials without electricity, using wheels or rollers built in along the surface. Gravity conveyors in fulfillment operations eliminate the need for team members to manually push or pull boxes through the warehouse, saving time, reducing physical effort, and optimizing space.

Gravity Conveyor Benefits

Some key benefits of using gravity conveyors in fulfillment packing stations include:

  1. Increased throughput: Adding gravity conveyors in areas where movement is typically required can reduce the time it takes to move products and orders throughout a facility, resulting in faster processes and greater output.
  2. Increased efficiency: Labor accounts for 60-80% of a fulfillment operation‘s expenses. Optimizing order picking and speeding up inefficient processes can lead to decreased labor costs and increased productivity.
  3. Smooth, uninterrupted flow: Time is money, and keeping products moving without the need for manual movement throughout the facility eliminates unnecessary downtime in order fulfillment operations.
  4. Easy integrations: Gravity conveyors are versatile, designed both straight and with a curve, and can be built into new or existing solutions as needed.

Enhancing Efficiency with SpanTrack Carton Flow

SpanTrack is a carton flow storage solution consisting of roller or wheel tracks within a rack structure. This dynamic storage method allows for product to automatically flow from the back of the structure to the front using gravity, creating an effortless FIFO (first-in-first-out) inventory management system, streamlined replenishment, and ergonomic picking processes.

Carton Flow Benefits

Some key benefits of using SpanTrack in fulfillment packing stations include:

  1. Increased space utilization: Unlike static storage, when inventory is picked from carton flow, gravity automatically flows the inventory forward, eliminating empty space, ensuring all products are accessible, and allowing for easy replenishment from the back with FIFO inventory management.
  2. Increased throughput: Order fulfillment operations today often need to pick multi-SKU orders. Dynamic storage solutions like SpanTrack can increase operational efficiency by up to 75%. With less time spent searching for and retrieving products, processes can move faster and production will increase as a result.
  3. Flexible SKU slotting: As processes change or offerings evolve, SpanTrack facilitates easy movement so SKUs can be rearranged within the rack quickly and efficiently.

Integrating with FlowCell

FlowCell packing stations utilize SpanTrack to create flow-through workstations. These modular flow racks keep inventory properly organized and stored based on the exact needs of your fulfillment center, maximizing pick efficiency and saving time.

Leveraging FlowCell packing stations in your eCommerce or retail fulfillment center can result in:

  • Up to 50% higher space utilization
  • Up to 30% more efficiency
  • Better organization and FIFO inventory rotation 
  • Fewer injuries
  • Less fatigue


How Gravity Conveyors and Carton Flow Streamline Fulfillment Packing Stations

A strategic combination of gravity conveyors, FlowCell, and SpanTrack carton flow can create efficient, flexible, and optimized fulfillment packing stations.

As workers prepare orders for shipment, they often need to assemble several parts of an order. Take HelloFresh for example; using FlowCell workstations equipped with SpanTrack carton flow and gravity conveyors, HelloFresh created assembly lines to efficiently pack meal kits.

With this setup, order assemblers can easily locate and retrieve individual products from the FlowCell packing station. The SpanTrack carton flow creates a flow-through workstation that shifts the oldest inventory forward and eliminates unnecessary strain to reach each item. As the order is being assembled, workers utilize gravity conveyor along the front of the packing station to move the packing process down the line and, eventually, off to shipping. 

This seamless integration creates a holistic packing station solution, allowing warehouses to more easily follow packing station best practices, such as FIFO inventory management, fulfill orders accurately, optimize space, reduce physical strain, and increase overall productivity.

Learn how UNEX carton flow racks allow companies like HelloFresh to keep growing. Download the Case Study. 


Create Efficient Packing Stations with UNEX

UNEX offers a number of space-efficient solutions to meet the needs of fulfillment operations large and small. Creating FlowCell packing stations with SpanTrack carton flow increases efficiency and boosts productivity while gravity conveyors streamline the fulfillment process and increase throughput. To learn more about creating FlowCell packing stations for your operation, contact UNEX today!

The UNEX Guide to Understanding Throughput for Fulfillment will help you save time and space in your facility.