Picking-replenishment synchronization for robotic forward-reserve warehouses

Min Jiang, K. H. Leung, Zhongyuan Lyu, George Q. Huang

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

29 Citations (Scopus)


Forward-reserve strategy is commonly applied when processing a large number of small orders. This paper considers robotic forward-reserve warehouses, where pick locations are brought to workers by mobile robots in the forward area. We treat the critical problem of unsatisfactory efficiency in the robotic forward area. A picking-replenishment synchronization mechanism (PRSM) is thereby proposed, which optimally attains a balance between replenishment efforts and picking efficiency. The resulting problem is formulated and solved by a tailored variable neighborhood search procedure integrated with a divide-and-conquer paradigm. Numerical results reveal remarkable benefits of PRSM over the conventional random schemes under different scenarios.

Original languageEnglish
Article number102138
Number of pages18
JournalTransportation Research Part E: Logistics and Transportation Review
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2020
Externally publishedYes


  • Forward-reserve area
  • Picking-replenishment decisions
  • Robotic mobile fulfillment systems
  • Synchronization
  • Warehouse systems

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Business and International Management
  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Transportation


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