Document Type

Research Paper

Publication Date



The purpose of this study is to compare the performance of two types of warehouses, both of which use autonomous vehicles (AVs). One warehouse uses movable racks (MR) for storing mini-loads, whereas the other uses fixed racks (FR). In general, warehouse automation not only increases the speed of the fulfillment process but also makes the picking process more accurate. We simulate three scenarios for the MR and FR systems using Simio. Four performance measures are considered for the comparison – the average order processing time (WR), the average utilization of AVs (U), the average order processing queue length (Nq) and the average distance travelled by AVs (d). We also estimate the capital costs of both systems and use it to compare the two systems. On the basis of our assumptions and simulation results, we find that the FR system not only requires an average 56 % less capital investment than the MR system, but it also provides a more efficient warehousing automation option with relatively lower utilization of AVs, lower order processing time and lower average number of orders waiting to be processed.


Paper 1

Publication Title

Progress in Material Handling Research: 2016