Rack, aisle, and floor labels support Lean and 5S practices in your workplace and help keep workflows productive and efficient. Use these warehouse organization tips to create a logical label system that supports many areas of the business, from order picking to component storage. Learn about different styles of rack labels, how to properly mark warehouse storage, and ways to extend the life of your organizational labels and markings.

Choose Warehouse Inventory Labels by Type

There isn’t a single solution for labeling warehouse aisles, supply storage shelves, and inventory bins. You may need to choose a variety of marker types for your facility to make sure the labels are appropriate for the surface, location, and purpose. When selecting labels, consider:

  • Environmental factors, including the temperature, dust/debris and moisture exposure, and expected traffic
  • Label size and dimensions needed to balance readability with a proper fit on the shelf, floor, or racking
  • Whether the marker needs to be temporary or permanent

Take a look at the three types of labels we offer below to see which style is right for your next project.

Warehouse Floor Labels

We’re happy to help with special requests for custom warehouse floor labels if you need facility-specific aisle ID signs, labels, or location identifiers. The warehouse floor markers we create are made with our patented Superior Mark® tape, so they are among the most durable labels you’ll find. Size options range from 2 inches to 4 inches in width to fit where you need, without interfering with existing facility markings. If you’re color coding markers across your facility, we offer a variety of choices to match any warehouse scheme. Keep in mind that custom-printed labels have minimum order requirements and we offer assistance through our floor marking specialists.

The benefits of our custom warehouse labels include:

  • The protective beveled edges can withstand frequent traffic
  • Recessed adhesive sticks well and stays in place, but removes easily when replacement is necessary
  • Extra durable, thick material doesn’t tear, ripple, or twist easily
  • The glossy finish prevents dirt from accumulating 
  • Can be custom-printed with specific messages, SKUs, or barcodes
  • Versatile sizes support individual bin tags and warehouse aisle labels

Adhesive Warehouse Inventory Labels

Standard sticker warehouse labels are designed to provide information about the contents of a bin or carton. We offer pre-printed warning labels and blank sticker labels. Our blank stickers can be written on to mark individual locations using the SKU and bin number or the carton weight or handling specifics. These stickers range from 3 to 6 inches long and up to 2 inches tall in white or yellow and fit on many inventory shelf styles. Our printed sticker labels allow you to quickly and easily tag cartons or bins with safety warnings or other pertinent information. Choose stickers or labels to mark cartons with details about the contents to alert order pickers of hazards, such as pressurized contents or flammable goods.

Whether you choose to write your own or use pre-printed labels, these peel-and-stick identifiers provide benefits for businesses seeking fast, cost-effective solutions for labeling a variety of surfaces (metal, plastic, cardboard, etc.).

Magnetic Warehouse Rack Labels

Magnetic warehouse labels in pre-cut strips and cut-your-own rolls are versatile tools that stick securely to metal warehouse racks and shelves, allowing you to add SKUs or picking instructions where needed. These magnets can also be applied to metal storage cupboards or lockers to label contents to make locating supplies faster, and are easy to remove in locations that rely on changing or flexible warehouse layouts, such as for seasonal overflow or increased production schedules. These sturdy magnets remain in place even in areas with high dust and dirt accumulation or exposure to extreme hot or cold temperatures.

Tips for Labeling Warehouse Racking

Warehouse labels act as a GPS system, telling pickers where to retrieve products and letting material handlers know which locations to replenish. If warehouse racking lacks information, like color-coding, visual cues, or SKU-specific numbering, locating items is more difficult and the process may be error-prone. Consider these warehouse organization tips to help ensure your bin, shelf, and aisle markers are effective tools that streamline operations. 

Create a Labeling Strategy

Any warehouse label system needs a well-thought-out plan to implement the proper support for daily operations and improve order picking and replenishment task efficiency. Invite feedback from order fulfillment and inventory management personnel to help determine the best way to label warehouse racking. Keep these tips in mind when designing your labeling system:

  • Start labeling from the ground up and use a two-digit numbering scheme (01 for the lowest rack, instead of 1) so you can easily expand warehouse storage without running out of unique identifiers.
  • Color-code rack labels so picking zones, case counts, or manufacturer-specific items are consistently marked to help improve efficiency and help reduce errors.
  • If shelves are split, consider using an L (for left) and an R (for right) to designate sides.
  • Include symbols on carton labels to indicate hazardous or heavy contents and note special handling requirements to help employees choose transport methods in accordance with OSHA standards for material handling and storage.

Choose Placement Logically

Thoughtful placement of warehouse signs and labels is a critical step in a well-run distribution center or factory. When location indicators follow logical rules, employees can find SKUs faster and your processing and turnaround times are improved. Here are some principles to keep in mind when placing labels on racks or shelves:

  • Place custom-printed barcode labels within scanner ranges.
  • Install labels with right-reading orientation so reading doesn’t require bending or twisting.
  • Use a consistent placement so locating labels is intuitive.
  • Store items in less demand further from the packing stations, and high-demand items nearer to packing stations for expediency.
  • Improve safety around forklifts by storing products that are picked by hand and those that are machine-picked in separate aisles, when possible.

Tips to Extend the Life of Warehouse Labels

Whether you operate a small facility or a large factory looking to expand inventory capacity, organizing and labeling a warehouse is no small feat. Once you have a system in place, you’ll want the labels to last as long as possible. Our tips can help you get the most out of your investment and extend the life of your warehouse organization visual cues.

Use Clear Protectors for Longer-Lasting Labels

Using warehouse labels with protectors can reduce necessary re-labeling and help keep inventory locations marked longer than with unprotected labels alone. Superior Mark® clear label protectors are made from our patented floor tape material known for its durability and lasting adhesion. Apply these adhesive-backed protective shields over inventory and picking labels, aisle locators, or racking load limit and stacking procedure warning messages to ensure your safety messages and identification labels remain in good repair. Beveled edges protect against label peeling and damage, and because they’re easy to remove when required, you have the flexibility to adjust or change your visual cues anytime. The glossy coating resists dust and debris, making it easier to keep your labels clear and easy to read—but the material also stands up to cleaning machines and chemicals.

Follow Label Installation and Maintenance Recommendations

Our recommended installation processes describe the best application method to ensure the labels stay put, and suggested maintenance routines help extend the lifespan of your labels. Get the most out of your aisle and bin markers by following these tips for installation and care:

  • Clean the floor or surface thoroughly before installing labels so debris and dirt do not contribute to premature failure. 
  • Use tamping tools to activate the adhesive and create a strong bond between the label and floor. 
  • Dust or clean the labels regularly so dirt doesn’t accumulate over the text or barcodes.
  • Follow a cleaning schedule—generally, these labels remain in good repair through any regular industrial location cleaning schedule.

Audit and Replace Your Labels as Needed

Poorly maintained warehouse labels may be illegible, faded, or damaged, which may result in picking errors and order delays. Schedule inspections at regular intervals and record all findings so updates can be completed promptly before relabeling becomes a huge undertaking. While auditing, it may be helpful to use magnetic placeholders (in conspicuous colors) to mark locations where updates are necessary, then re-apply labels and label protectors.

Audit your warehouse label system to identify:

  • Faded, torn, or peeling labels or protective label covers
  • Smudged type and illegible digits or letters
  • Outdated information, from case counts to product descriptions
  • Unreadable barcodes or QR codes
  • Opportunities to improve the labeling system, overall

Organizing for safety and productivity can have a positive effect on all areas of your business. Once you have your inventory aisles and shelves marked, use our floor signs to help direct pickers and machine traffic safely through the facility. Learn about other visual cues that can help improve warehouse organization methods in our Resource Center.