Common Material Handling Issues & How You Can Avoid Them

Warehouse Workers Making a Plan

Material handling is a strategic process. It requires careful consideration and tactical approaches to ensure success. When done properly, handling products goes smoothly and utilizes the storage space available to its maximum potential. However, it can mean loss of profits when done poorly, and inefficiency wastes precious time and energy.

There are many common problems found within the material handling industry. Learning from these mistakes can make your business’s material handling go much easier, keeping costs down and efficiency high. Pinpointing common mistakes and building strategic solutions to these problems is the key to success in the material handling industry.

Inadequate Storage Research

There are many ways material handlers can make the most of their storage space and the way to move items, yet many companies fail to investigate them with an expert set of eyes.

Instead, they rely on ways that they have always done things, unaware that more innovative storage methods exist. The first step to identifying issues is to make sure your company is using the most up-to-date business practices. Material handling specialists can help inform a company about places for improvement that have been overlooked for the sake of business as usual.

No Diversity in Storage

A common issue found in material handling operations is the lack of diversity in the storage materials. For example, in warehouses, storage materials used are the same and have no flexibility. This setup does not account for the fact that products are constantly changing. Even the same brand items often change size, shape, and weight with every new update.

Another problem with undiversified storage is that your material handling facility will run out of room quickly. Storage structures that could be condensed or stacked means that precious space is being wasted. Handling systems that take advantage of stacking and diversifying make the most out of what they’ve got.


One of the most common mistakes occurring in the material handling industry is something called “honeycombing.” When honeycombing happens, material handling management does not fully utilize the storage capacity of a warehouse or storing unit.

Just like honeycombs found in beehives, there are many empty spaces all over the place. Not using space available to its full capacity is one of the costliest mistakes to be made. Furthermore, this mismanagement hinders workers’ abilities to move quickly while handling products. The honeycombing often results in lanes that are not situated at the most efficient length or height. It also happens when pallets are unable to be stacked easily.

Employees Spending Too Much Time on Handling

No matter how well-trained and motivated your staff is, they cannot efficiently use their time trying to navigate through cluttered spaces. Material management solutions for this problem include planning clear routes and systems where products are handled by as few people as possible. No matter how fast your employees work, if a product must be taken by several of them, the time adds up quickly.

Lack of Scalability

Every business likely has its number one goal to grow and expand, all while maximizing profits. However, sudden upticks in business can leave companies scrambling to keep up with new demands from customers. More business means more effort and energy must be invested. Material handling companies that fail to properly forecast upcoming markets or do not account for expansion set themselves up to fail.

Lack of Proper Machine Handling Equipment

Machine handling equipment is not cheap. However, many companies forego investing in the proper machinery and rely too heavily on manual loading, unloading, and moving products. Others refuse to update machinery, all in the name of short-term savings. Smart investing in the latest material handling machines can save your business substantial money in the long run. Manual labor works at a much slower pace than machinery, and newer equipment will likely be more energy-efficient, saving on expensive fuel costs.

Material Handling Solutions

Strategic floor planning, using the right kinds of storage, the latest material handling equipment, and strong management are the keys to material handling success. Diversifying storage and optimizing space may be as simple as using different style racks that are stackable to maximize the use of available space.

When experts work with storage facilities management, the best ways to utilize workers to the best of their abilities ensure all parties involved are not wasting energy. Meticulously analyzing data means that companies can foresee and plan for even rapid periods of growth.

A-Lined Handling Systems Will Optimize Your Material Handling

A-Line Handling Systems are the experts in diversifying storage materials so you can get the most out of the facility.

We can study your floor plans and help you develop the most efficient ways to move products throughout the whole material handling process. We specialize in maximizing employees’ potential and productivity, offer in-house oversight, and can provide you with detailed equipment specialization.

If you would like innovative help with your material handling, contact A-Lined Handling Systems today!