Shipping labels that are wrongly done can cost your business a lot. Packages may end up not being delivered to your customer which is very inefficient.
In this article, I will help you to fully understand the following:
⦁ What a shipping label is and its purpose
⦁ How shipping labels work
⦁ How to make shipping labels work for you
What a Shipping Label is and its Purpose
A shipping label is an identification tag attached to a package in order to specify the contents of the package. Shipping labels may differ depending on the carrier used but will essentially consist of details like:
⦁ Names and addresses of the sender and recipient
⦁ Package weight and quantity
⦁ Postal and country code
⦁ Date and tracking number
⦁ Ship state, city and street
Shipping labels contain all the key information required for the delivery of a package to your customer. Each shipping label is unique and cannot be reused. A new label should be created for each new delivery.
How Shipping Labels Work
Shipping labels display information that tracks packages throughout each delivery stage ensuring the provision of correct service. The labels are designed to be read by both humans and machines. As such, clarity of the shipping labels should be a top priority.
Each carrier makes use of specific templates for their shipping label. It’s, therefore, necessary to follow the template provided by your carrier so as to ensure good delivery. Though the templates vary, all the shipping labels comply with international standards.
The barcodes, letters, and numbers on shipping labels all play vital roles in providing information through the delivery chain. Such information includes:
⦁ Postal barcode: Informs on the destination zip code
⦁ Maxi code: Can be read in multiple directions by a machine
⦁ Routing code: Informs on how to the package should be routed in the sorting section
⦁ Tracking number: Helps the customer to track the package
⦁ Level of service: Informs on the delivery method offered by the carrier (e.g. Standard, Express, etc.)
The carrier automatically generates most of the information contained in the shipping labels. The basic shipping label anatomy consists of specific features that define how the label works. Avoiding common mistakes in the following shipping label features improves the performance of the label:
In the event that the package cannot be delivered, the return address gives information on returning it to the sender. The address in most cases is that of your business.
The mail carrier is able to know where to deliver the package through the destination address. Ensure that any apartment numbers and company names are also included to facilitate a smooth delivery.
The shipping date indicates the day, month and year that the package begins moving along the delivery process. It helps the carrier to confirm that the package delivery happens on time.
The packaged weight is used in calculating the total shipping cost. Packages that are weighed improperly result in extra charges and even damaged shipments. Especially because packages are distributed by weight during transportation for proper balancing of transportation trucks.
Shipping priority for the package is determined by the shipping class. It communicates the shipping speed to be used in delivering the package.
Bar-code and Tracking Number
The tracking number enables the recipient to track the package movement during transportation. Scanning of the barcode, on the other hand, enables the carrier to confirm that the package is traveling as scheduled.
Extra Labeling Information
It’s good practice to indicate whether the contents of the package are perishable, fragile, flammable, corrosive, etc. Most carriers also require to mark what is contained in the package especially if it’s being shipped internationally.
How to Make Shipping Labels Work for You
No customer would want to receive a package several days after its arrival due date. In order to ensure that your customers are satisfied with your delivery service, shipping labels have to be effective. Below are tips on how to achieve effective performance of shipping labels:
Selecting the most suitable shipping rates
You do not have to overspend on each package you ship by selecting higher shipping options. You can maximize the shipping label that best meets the package requirements.
Managing to ship centrally
Decentralized shipping results into various business problems such as delayed shipments, disgruntled employees and frustration of business owners. Central management of shipping through automation of shipping label features enhances customer satisfaction.
Automating Returns Management
Countering any errors that occur during shipment can easily be achieved through automation of the returns management. The benefits to be enjoyed include faster-returned package reconciliation and reduced replacement costs.
Retrieving of addresses with one click
Shipping expenses increase in case of any incorrect address fees. Correct shipping labels eliminate such losses through the retrieval of accurate addresses from corporate databases.
Tracking and allocating shipping costs
Critical information may often be left out of shipping labels in a rush to ship each package. Ensuring that each shipping expense is correctly charged eliminates any additional tracking down expenses.
Proper practices in the shipping process enable shipping labels to work for you. You are therefore able to save time and money as you grow your business.