Purchasing guide: How to choose the right warehouse storage bins and shelving for your business?

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Whether you need to store, transport, tidy, protect or pack, warehouse storage bins are essential handling equipment for any business. Multi-purpose and durable, they will be a go-to for your logistics unit, provided they are well chosen! Manutan offers a wide range of warehouse storage bins to make your work easier. Follow the guide!

Choosing your warehouse storage bins: Questions to ask yourself

Before purchasing warehouse storage bins or shelving units, it is important to ask yourself a few questions so you can identify your specific needs and thus choose the most suitable container for what you want to use it for.

What size bin is most appropriate?

Storing screws and bolts does not require the same capacity as storing bulkier, industrial items. The volume of a bin, measured in litres, depends on what is being stored. Our range of storage bins offers a wide choice in terms of capacity: From 3.6 L for the smallest volume bin to 550 L for a large volume storage bin.

For small parts storage, picking bins are ideal and make handling easier. The fact that they can be nested also saves space.

In addition to size, the bin’s load capacity is an important consideration. If it’s not suited to the weight of the goods, there is a risk that the bin will bend or break. On the other hand, it is useless to choose a storage container with a heavy load capacity for light products. This would only complicate handling.

Please note that if the product is a liquid, containers or drums should be used instead of bins.


Do your warehouse storage bins have to be stackable?

Stackable storage bins can be piled on top of each other. Ideal in warehouses for storing and transporting goods in complete safety, stackable storage bins have great stability. They’re also suitable for use in company offices, allowing for more space.

There are several types of stacking bins (wire mesh, perforated, heavy-duty bins, bins with bases, folding, tilting, etc.) to meet all types of needs.

Are your warehouse storage bins for food use?

For hygiene and safety reasons, if food products are stored or transported in plastic bins, these storage units must be compatible with the food-grade quality standard and/or the HACCP system1.

These storage solutions can also take the form of insulated bins and containers to keep the food hot or cold.

Will your bins store electronic products?

The European standard requires that electronic products are stored or transported by means of ESD/Antistatic bins (EN 61340-5) to avoid electrostatic discharges.

Which material is best for warehouse storage bins?

If you want to choose the right warehouse storage bins, you should always consider the plastic used in their manufacture as the most important information. There are two main materials:

  • Polyethylene (mostly used): This is particularly recommended for storing products in cold environments (from -40 °C to +20 °C);
  • Polypropylene: This is more resistant and more suitable for storing products in places where temperatures vary from 0 °C to 40 °C.

There are also cardboard bins and boxes which are ideal for storing spare parts such as nuts and bolts, screws and small supplies.

What other criteria should you take into account when choosing your warehouse storage bins?

Ergonomics, resistance, and transparency are all criteria that help with picking, storage, and transport. Here are some other interesting details to factor in when choosing warehouse storage bins:

  • Handles: Solid, with holes or with handholds, for a more ergonomic grip;
  • Base: Solid, ribbed, or wire mesh, depending on whether it needs to be watertight or for visibility;
  • Sides: Latticed, perforated, or solid boxes for easier maintenance and cleaning, so it’s easier to grasp products in the bin.

A final deciding factor for efficiently organising your logistics space is what colour of storage bins to choose. In order to make it simpler to identify items, we advise you to put up a colour scheme. Bins can be solid, two-tone, or customised.

European standard warehouse storage bins

European Standard bins are a recognised range of plastic storage bins that conform to standardised dimensions set by CEN (European Committee for Standardisation).These containers must therefore fit the 1,200 × 800 mm format of European pallets. They can be of different sizes:

  • 200 × 150 mm;
  • 300 × 200 mm;
  • 400 × 300 mm;
  • 600 × 400 mm;
  • 800 × 600 mm.

Bins made to European standards are consequently excellent for streamlining logistics and transportation while ensuring the security of the items.

Do you have to transport foodstuff, chemical compounds or dangerous products in your warehouse storage bins? You must follow certain regulatory criteria for these very specific products. You must opt for bins that comply with standards or labels specific to the European market. Here are the European standards you need to know:

  • The food quality standard and/or the HACCP system for food products;
  • ESD/Antistatic (EN 61340-5) for electronic products;
  • EPAL or europallet (UNE-EN 13698-1) for pallets.

Warehouse storage bin and shelving accessories

Bins and shelves for warehouse storage can be complemented by a variety of accessories. Here are some examples and how they are utilised.


If you want to organise products in a storage bin efficiently, especially if there are separate parts of different sizes, or several types of goods or if you want to protect them from breakage, you should opt for dividers for your plastic containers.

There are different types of dividers depending on your need:

  • Dividers you cut out;
  • Nestable;
  • Lateral;
  • Lengthwise;
  • Measurement dividers;
  • For dishes (glasses, cups, plates…)


Whether you opt for attached lid containers or for separate lids, they offer many advantages. They enable you to protect the goods from dust, dirt and humidity so their quality doesn’t deteriorate, but they also make it easier to stack the bins.

  • Clip-on lids;
  • For European standard bins;
  • Stacking lids;
  • Clear;
  • Antistatic;
  • Front opening;
  • For spout bins;
  • For Gastro Norm (GN) containers;
  • Isothermal;
  • Dustproof

Labels and label holders

Labelling warehouse storage bins makes it easier to identify the products they contain. It saves time in the warehouse! We have several different kinds of labels to match spout bins, picking bins, stackable bins, shelf bins and more. This makes logistics much more efficient.


Securing warehouse storage bins during transport is easy with bin seals. This lowers the risk of the bins accidentally opening while being mobile, thereby reducing the number of accidents for handlers and the deterioration or even breakage of the products.

This low investment results in significant savings in the long term.


Ideal for transporting heavy loads, bin bases make moving things around easier. Equipped with castors, these replace industrial trolleys, which can be harder to use.

From warehouse storage bins and shelving to Lean Management: Continuous improvement

Warehouse storage bins that are properly tailored to your needs and organisation can result in significant time and space savings, completely integrating into a Lean Management strategy in your business.

In the same way as implementing an eco-friendly product procurement strategy in the company, optimising a warehouse or an office plays an important role in your CSR policy.

Just as the colour of the bins helps you identify goods faster, bin storage (shelving or cabinets) which can be coloured or not, contributes to continuous improvement in your warehouse. And when you add complementary accessories such as lids, dividers, labels, label holders and seals, you make handling and picking easier. These also play a part in keeping both employees and goods secure.

More strategic than it seems, you have to select your warehouse storage bins carefully. If well thought out, your storage system can be a significant lever for improving your warehouse efficiency and optimising its costs!

Looking for a way to store your work tools or goods in an organised way thanks to bins and shelving? A wide variety of models are available in the Manutan online shop:

  • Storage bins;
  • Stacking bins;
  • Food containers;
  • European standard bins;
  • Drums, kegs and liquid storage;
  • Small parts containers;
  • Plastic storage containers;
  • Mobile containers;
  • Hazardous storage containers.

Discover them all in our “Storage Boxes & Containers” product category.

Lauren Warwick