Shipping
November 25, 2021

What is a Shipping Label, and How Does it Work?

Although the shipping labels look like a smaller piece of the e-commerce paradox, these labels are pretty significant for every supply chain strategy that needs outbound and inbound logistics serving in harmony concerning the delivery products. Furthermore, these shipping labels are essential to the online retailer's success and the contentment of the end-users. They exchange imperative details with the supply chain, thereby helping customers and technology, in the same manner, comprehend the destination and origins like fulfillment center, distribution center, and warehouse.


Furthermore, the indistinct or unclear shipping labels, the product meant for the end users might get lost or mismanaged, thereby creating an embarrassing situation and a negative impression. Thus, if it is not conspicuous or incomplete, that would eventually result in the loss of overall sales and the credibility of your brand. Therefore, it needs to be appropriately prepared to showcase every key detail regarding a shipment to the concerned carrier to carry a package starting from their fulfillment center or warehouse to its delivery destination or end destination such as the customers. It is keeping reading to find out more!


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We would deliberate and provide all necessary details regarding the shipping label and vital information regarding rudimentary things needed for creating shipping labels, particularly for those self-fulfilled orders. Moreover, this write-up would also provide details about how a 3PL, a third-party Logistics company, carries out its functions to make the shipping process smooth, devoid of any complications.

What is a Shipping Label? How to Create one and Print One at Home

A shipping label presents the essential details, thereby identifying a supply chain in terms of sender and addresses. It is regarded as a description label containing the information specifying what kind of consignment that package possesses. All carriers do not employ the same type of shipping labels; therefore, they are distinct from one another, resting on the company that is using it.


Nevertheless, a few essential details like names, tracking and tracking number, weight, a destination address, etc., are provided on almost all the shipping labels. For effective delivery and carrier's convenience, a few extra details such as the nature of shipping, i.e., standard, express, urgent, etc., are also provided. Every carrier company also makes efforts to create a unique label to avoid its reuse.


Understanding Shipping Labels

A large number of USPS and UPS shipping labels contain this vital information. These labels provide for sender name, its/his/her company name, the recipient name, and its/his/her company name. After that, the shipping label displays a barcode number whereby you can track your shipment's current status. They also contain information regarding shipping methods like "UPS NEXT DAY AIR" "PRIORITY MAIL 1-DAY".

The shipping labels usually encompass these below-given details:

  • Address of a sender/origin as well as return.
  • Address of a recipient or addressee/destination.
  • Weight of a shipment parcel or package.
  • Caliber/standard of shipping such as Priority Mail, Next Day Air, etc., to help the carrier to consider its nature of the delivery method.  
  • Barcode for track and trace in respect of a shipment, especially in the electronic number generated automatically by the concerned carriers.


While booking any shipment from a customer, you need to obtain all information mentioned earlier, being quite critical for an expeditious delivery to a particular destination. It has also been observed that a large number of online store/retailer offers various shipping choices in terms of delivery like 'Expedited Shipping' that is relatively a bit high-priced. Therefore, the shipping labels play a vital role in this regard as they identify whether the shipment being shipped is of expedited nature or otherwise. Thus, all carrier companies ensure whether the customer has got their package accordingly, especially as per their prescribed booking.


Your company's core details would have to furnish comprehensive information about the addressee/destination or end-user and the return address; subsequently, a professional eCommerce warehouse or fulfillment center service provider would automatically generate the entire given detail.


Besides, postage on the shipping label is also one of the vital requisites. The shipping label also displays the postage is paid. The shipping label would contain information about whether the postage paid or not, or you have the provision of an online shipping labels printing system. If someone works with the warehouse or order fulfillment center as a provider, the label will display remarks as paid like "US Postage and Fees Paid." These remarks are put on the top edge of the shipping label.


How to Create a Shipping Label?

If someone is dealing with self-fulling shipping orders regarding their e-commerce store, they can learn and create a shipping label themselves. There is a host of apps and websites available online. With the help of UPS and USPS's websites, you can do it yourself. In this regard, you can get help from Ship Station, a robust platform of shipping automation. Moreover, your marketplace or your e-commerce platform could provide these services of shipping labels too.


Are Shipping Labels Free?

As for as generation of a shipping label is concerned alone, that is indeed free of cost; nevertheless, the package being shipped needs postage to be paid.


Can Someone Print Out a Shipping Label at Home?

Yes, your one gets a hard copy in respect of a shipping label at home. Many shipping carriers companies provide online services whereby it is pretty convenient to generate one's shipping label of a shipment. Following are a few top shipping carrier companies providing online services:

  • DHL: My DHL Express (the US only)
  • UPS: Create a shipment
  • USPS: Click-N-Ship
  • FedEx: FedEx Ship Manager Lite


One can use the websites mentioned above to generate shipping labels automatically. You will have to provide a few requisite information such as package dimension weight, address, and a barcode.

Next article: How to Get Free Shipping Supplies from USPS, UPS, FedEx, and DHL