Pop Up Warehousing Guide


For volunteers with no experience in logistics & warehousing , projects like you are involved in can be quite daunting. This is a simple guide as to the process of the paper trail and handy hints so that products donated have traceability.

Ok, you are in the warehouse and two pallets (or eg 100 boxes) arrive what do you do

*       Ask the driver do you have any paperwork? If so check the number of boxes against the paperwork and make note of approx. number of boxes. (this can be done by counting the number of boxes along the length (L) across the width (W) once you have worked out the base layer number by multiplying these two figures, simply multiply by the number of boxes by the layers so. (4 boxes on length x 3 boxes on width x 7 boxes high = 84 boxes. If there are 10 units per box you know you have 840 units of one product.

*       If driver arrives with no paperwork, they may not know whats in the boxes and it’s a matter of opening the boxes and recording the number of units x number of boxes

*       Check to see if there are any sell by and best by dates. Bear in mind a sell by date is a supermarkets preferred option, whereas a best by date means the food is still good but has a longer date its best to be consumed by

*       Donations and drivers will turn up as and when, but it’s always best to plan and give delivery slots. This helps avoid congestion at peak periods and spreads the workload

*       Once a vehicle arrives the following needs to be recorded in a goods in book /  spreadsheet

o   Vehicle Registration Number

o   Name of Driver

o   Company Name where goods have been donated from

o   Description of goods

o   Number of Boxes

*       Try and put the similar product in the same area of your storage and picking facility, this makes it easier when you are mixing the number of products per parcel

*       Keep all the boxes that come in, even if you need to flat pack them once empty and rebuild with packaging tape, these boxes will be invaluable when sending out food parcels

*       Always stack any product which can leak at the bottom of the box, if you don’t and it leaks it will spoil or damage anything it leaks onto

*       The safe handling weight of any box is 25kg. Do not go over this weight as unless you are strong its difficult to move. Try and average 10-15kg as a maximum where possible

*       If planning routing, mark each box 1of14 2 of14 so that boxes, dietary requirements can be considered and you know where they are going to

*       Drivers should also be given a goods out note and everything recorded so you know what has gone out and the mix of products

*       The above is important as you can identify what you are short of and target donors

*       Drivers should where possible wear high viz vests especially if it’s dark. Ideally warehousing staff should do the same when possible

This is a guide to help new community packing and mini warehousing facilities form a process which suits. If you need any advice, my email is les.wright@supplychainsolution.co.uk