Just as with goods receipt, goods issue is an interface between internal and external materials management. Here, goods are provided from the warehouse, quality and identity are (re-)checked, and the necessary documents are prepared.

Finished packages arrive at the outgoing shipping area and pass through different processes on the outgoing side, depending on the variety of carriers and outgoing relations to be served. Packages of a consignment must be dispatched and loaded by the time the truck leaves (Cut-off time). A central factor in order prioritization is the cut-off time up to dispatching, followed by batch formation and picking. If the cut-off time is determined by the departure time of the CEP service provider, this will affect the entire process chain.

Processes in goods issue

The shipping area has a consolidation function (= consolidation of all parts of a shipment), especially when the goods to be picked are divided among several storage areas. In the simplest case, several collections of pieces on staging areas in the goods issue department solve this task. These staging areas combine, for example, postcode areas into target relations. In extreme cases, by re-sorting on a complex conveyor system, a load can be prepared in a previously planned loading sequence. Like this, the actual loading of the trucks can occur fully automatic.

In addition to the processing of in-house order picking, bypass parts from goods receipt or production may have to be added. There might also be a requirement to integrate external goods with new contents. If not already done in the course of the preceding activities, the receipts and labels required on the issue side must be generated and attached at the latest before loading.
These are:

  • Delivery note/invoice per shipment
  • SSCC labels/address labels per package
  • Loading lists
  • Other accompanying documents such as customs documents

Finally, on the outgoing side, potentially during loading, another shipping registration takes place, which allows a final check for completeness. In order to be able to implement a tracking and tracing system in cooperation with the shipping agent or parcel service, the shipment or package data must be notified to the relevant shipping agent by remote data transmission (RDT) if necessary (“dispatch advice” or “dispatch note”).

Goods issue – process steps

Process steps in goods issue include consolidating units, generating packages, creating target documents, consolidating packages, preparing shipments, and transferring packages. The goals of the issue department are to create a fast throughput time and to achieve sensible consolidation.

In the first process step, the shipping units are sorted, and in the second step, they are packed as individual or consolidated cartons. After the printing of the destination documents follows a final check on completeness. In case of a fault, this is the last chance to remedy any shortcomings. Due to the delicate interlocking of the warehouse management system with the commercial computer, the actual stock of the shipping unit is sent to the computer, and the commercial system can correct the invoice. The packages are then received and routed with updated delivery notes and invoices.

At the end of this business process, the goods issue hands the goods over to CEP service providers, such as UPS or DHL, or forwarding agents and the shipment tour gets confirmed.

Goods issue – key performance indicators

The profitability, productivity and quality of the goods issue can be assessed by using relevant key performance indicators. In the business process of issuing goods, packed articles are collected by the deliverer according to the pick-up principle and handed over to the recipient according to the delivery principle.
From this process, the number of packages and the number of packets sent by CEP, forwarding agent and express is essential for the logistics control centre.

The key performance indicators for the following processes play a role in measuring shipping destinations: capacity utilization, throughput time, space utilization, work progress, number of packages and the number of corrected invoices.

The recipients of the key performance indicators are the logistics manager, the picking manager and other employees who play a role in the shipping process.

Goods issue – invoice and delivery note

In invoicing, a clear division of tasks between commercial and logistical systems is crucial. Although the logistics system has the actual quantities of the consignment delivered, the creation or correction of the invoice is always the sole task of the commercial EDP system.

This results in the necessity of close interlocking:

  1. The target invoice is transmitted to the logistics system with the target data of a shipment.
  2. In case of a deviation (missing quantity, alternative article, etc.), the logistics system reports the deviation to the commercial system. In case of a deviation (missing quantity, alternative article, etc.), the logistics system reports to the commercial system.
  3. The logistics system then has the task of physically adding this invoice to the goods, i.e. printing it out in the right place at the right time.

The result of these mechanisms is the creation of delivery notes and invoices that correspond to the actually delivered items and not just the static target value of the host system.


Manufacturing companies and trading companies (including logistics centres and distribution centres) issue goods to their customers. Packed goods are delivered by the company or collected by the customer. The goods issue department is the last area before the goods leave the company. Before, however, the different parts of a shipment must come together. In addition, delivery notes, invoices and other accompanying documents are created, and both the logistics and the commercial system record the issuing of goods.


Further information:


Goods receipt


Picture source: © Tomas Sereda – Fotolia.com

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