Shipping Labels: All you need to know
Shipping labels may seem to be trivial, but they are essential to your eCommerce business success and customer satisfaction.
A small mistake in the shipping labels can lead to a logistics disaster; Your package can be lost en-route or mishandled, which can lead to customers unsatisfied and, in turn, affects sales.
What is a shipping label?
A shipping label is a piece of paper that provides Information to each person-in-charge in the supply chain processes of the product delivery from the warehouse to the customer. It pasted on the package in which your product shipped.
Without a shipping label, shipping cannot be possible as a product’s entire journey is described and depends on this piece of paper.
What can you find on a shipping label?
- Origin/return Address
- Destination Address
- Weight of the package
- Shipping class
- Tracking Number
- Routing code for postal tracking
The standard size for shipping labels is 4×6 inches, and if this size does not fit the package, you can use 6×3 inch and 4×4 inch also.
You cannot reuse the shipping label since each label contains unique Information related to the delivery of the package.
Understanding Shipping Label:
A- The name and address of the sender(You)
B- The name and address of the recipient(Your Customer)
C- MaxiCode: Code that contains Information like
tracking number, package quantity, Weight, address validation shipping address, Weight, date, postal code, service class. (Used by only UPS )
D- Routing Code: It gives the route to the product placed within the postal office building
E- Postal Barcode: It is the zip code of the destination in the barcode form
F- Tracking Number: It is a unique tracking number to track the package
G- Level of Service: It is a different level of services chosen by a customer and provided by the carrier
How to create shipping labels?
There are three ways through which you can create the Shipping Label:
1. Directly from Shipping Carrier
If you ship only a handful of products per day or if you use the same carrier for all shipments, you can manually generate the shipping bill by just going to the carrier website and by putting the required details.
Here are some of the well-known carrier with links to shipping label creation page
Also, below are the details you need to fill while creating Shipping labels on UPS and USPS.
Shipping Label UPS
- Ship From Information: Country, name, contact name, and address of the shipper
- Ship To Information: Country, name, contact number, and address of the receiver
- Package Information: Package type, Weight, length, width, height, Value of the product,
- Pickup time and date confirmation if you want to pick it up
- A small description of max 35 characters of the product
Shipping Label USPS
- Where are you sending from? : Name, Address, contact number
- Where are you sending it to? : Name, Address
- Enter a shipping date: Date when to ship the package
- Enter package details: Weight of the package, and if the dimension is measuring over 12 inches, you have to enter the length, width, and height of the package, and some cases Girth also.
- Enter the package value: Value of the package to deliver
- Select a service type: Priority mail or Priority mail express, etc.
2. Using Shipping Label Software
If you ship using multiple carriers and do not have easy access to the internet, here, shipping label software comes to handy. It is efficient and saves time as you do not have to visit different carrier websites to generate labels. It also gives you the freedom to customize and automate the shipping label.
Avery, OpenOffice, GLabels, Scribus are some of the freely available Shipping Label Software.
3. Using Automated Shipping Label Tool
Another method that can ease your shipment label creations is by using the Automated shipping tool. This service automatically aggregates order information from multiple carriers and generates a shipping label accordingly. It also provides tracking of orders and other shipment related services.
Companies that offer these services are ShipStation, ShippingEasy, Endicia, etc.
How to choose between the three?
Your choice should depend on the number of orders you are getting monthly and on how much time you want to spend filling out labels.
0 to 25 orders monthly: Use your Carrier online tool
25 to 50 orders monthly: Use a Shipping label software
More than 5o monthly: Use Automated Shipping tool
Shipping labels are an essential part of an ecommerce industry, and managing them in a proper way will save your time so that you can focus on more critical tasks.