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Automated sorting systems have been around for ages; they are instrumental and key to moving your company away from manual sortation and into the future. They allow you to meet today’s demands and the speed and efficiency your clients, and future prospects, demand. What are they? What types of sorting systems can you implement? We’re here to help answer a few of your questions.

What is a sortation system?


A sortation system is an automatic process by which a series of algorithms, facilitated by precise hardware, identify items on a conveyor system and then diverts to a particular destination within a warehouse. Most of these systems are controlled by task-specific algorithms and codes.

Right now, high-speed sorting systems, like automated conveyors and other types of sorting systems, are a warehouse’s most important tool. They give your supply chain controller greater control over loads, parcels, and response rate.

Warehouse sortation systems allow a warehouse or fulfillment center to undertake large-volume inventory giving you the ability to quickly sort product size, shipping speeds, and other aspects of your products.

They are adaptable and in peak condition that can sort over 400 items per minute or up to 27, 000 per hour.

Benefits of automated sorting systems in your warehouse. 


  • They allow you to process, accurately, thousands of items per hour.
  • They quickly and efficiently sort through products of all sizes.
  • They automate shipping by making sure that each parcel or carton is diverted to the right destination.
  • They are far more efficient and error-proof than your human staff. You no longer have to deal with errors on their parts, misplaced cartons, or wrongly shipped parcels.
  • They decrease time and allow you to take on more contracts and loads.
  • They help to sort return products.
  • They are instrumental for order fulfillment and the e-commerce market.
  • They decrease labor cost, and with it, your overhead.

automated sortation systems advantages


Types of sortation systems


Sorting systems are broken into two categories and within them there are a couple of subsections. The main two types are speed and functionality/method.

By their functions

Most systems of these types are adaptable and, in most cases, are compatible with one another. They mix, match and click together to provide further automation. One may disembark in another and so forth. They are crafted and put into play by how your warehouse is configured, your blueprint, and the size of cartons/parcels. 

Within the category, we can find the following type of sortation systems:

  • Sweeper
  • Cross-belt
  • Sliding shoe
  • Tilt tray
  • Push tray
  • Strip Belt
  • Pop-up Wheel
  • Bomb-bay
  • Vertical Sortation

By their speed

Common sortation categories are also divided by how fast you need them to operate. This speed is determined by your logistics and the sort of packages you’re handling — their fragility.

Slow speed warehouse sortation systems

These are the least expensive sorting systems in the market. They can normally handle up to 30 cartons or parcels per minute and work with standard belts or conveyor lines. 

Medium speed sortation systems

These sorting systems are a bit more complex, with multiple branches and sections. They allow the user to move products down the line in an extremely efficient way — taking into account the location you want the product to reach. They also allow you, due to how they move the parcel, to redirect it at a moment’s notice.

These types of sorting systems can move between 30 to 200 items a minute.

Medium speed sorter

High-Speed sortation systems 

When you’re moving a lot of products, and a huge variety at that, speed is critical. High-speed sortation systems are your go-to tool. They can divert, move, allocate and ship between 150 to 450 items a minute.

These systems allow you full automation, as products can be inserted manually as well as automatically using various other methods.

The Competitive Edge of Sortation Systems


In today’s world where lean means robust and fast means efficient, you can’t underplay the benefits an automated sortation system has to your business and your ability to take on new contracts and satisfy your client’s demands. Integrating any of these systems will be pivotal to how you scale up your business and meet challenges in the future.

Ask yourself, “how do we want to grow? What loads and parcel amount do we need in the future? What are my client’s needs? These are just a few questions to address when scratching the surface of deciding to invest in a sortation system, however, SRSI is here to ease the process for you. We partner with only the best sortation equipment manufacturers and will design a system unique to your operational needs and growth plan. Ready to take the next step? Chat with us today.