How Retro-Reflective Labels Boost Operational Efficiency in a Warehouse

With the rise of retail titans like Amazon and Walmart over the past decade, there has been a booming emergence of new warehouse facilities. In fact, the number of warehouse projects that are at least one-million square feet in size more than doubled between 2007 and 2018.

Driven largely by massive consumer demand for e-commerce, the construction of these larger facilities in recent years has led to a heightened emphasis on bulk storage and high-capacity racking in an effort to accommodate large unit and SKU volumes.

As more facilities adopt these high-capacity racking systems, warehouse operators are facing increasingly unique labeling and signage needs—such as long-range scanning solutions like retro-reflective rack labels—in order to keep their day-to-day operations running smoothly.

What are Retro-Reflective Rack Labels?

As its name suggests, rack labels made with retro-reflective polyester film are designed with integrated glass particles that reflect light directly back to its source using a mobile scanning device. As a result, this enables optimal scan accuracy of barcodes from long distances of 50 feet or more.

Because they are ideal for applications that require long-range scanning, retro-reflective rack labels offer three main benefits for warehouse operators:

  • Enhanced barcode scan accuracy – The long-range scanning capacity of retro-reflective rack labels helps to improves the readability of barcodes, which in turn enhances the productivity of the stocking and picking process in a warehouse.
  • Increased warehouse capacity – Because retro-reflective labels enable long-range scanning, this enables warehouse operators to expand available space by using higher-rack levels.
  • Reduced picking errors – The use of these labels allows warehouse workers to locate and pick inventory more quickly and accurately, which ultimately drives greater operational efficiencies and reduces user error.

As a result, retro-reflective materials are ideal for industrial rack labeling and placard signage in warehouse applications where scanning distances typically range from 20-40 feet. In addition to these more common functions, they can also be used in ambient or cold-temperature environments.

Long-Range Scanning for Warehouse Rack Labels & Overhead Signage

Used to mark each rack bay location in a warehouse, rack labels help to optimize inventory management by enabling workers to identify, manage and pick products more quickly. These labels can be manufactured with retro-reflective materials for long-range scanning—making them particularly ideal when person-down lift trucks are used for upper-rack levels without totem labels.

With overhead warehouse signage, the use of long-range scanning technology is required. Used to identify and manage bulk storage inventory, overhead warehouse signs that incorporate retro-reflective materials allow workers to scan 1D or 2D barcode images up to 50 feet away—enabling them to quickly identify bulk locations without ever leaving their lift trucks.

Want to Incorporate Retro-Reflective Labels for Long-Range Scanning?

To learn more about our range of retro-reflective labeling solutions, contact our customer service team at (866) 516-7300 or