What is a Shipping Label?

A shipping label is a specific kind of label that helps in the description and identification of a package that is supposed to be shipped. These sorts of labels are used to identify the point of origin of a package, its final destination, and special information about the package.

A shipping label is a must for a package. Because in its absence, the package can get lost in transit, delayed, or delivered to the wrong address.

Benefits of Using a Shipping Label

Some of the perks of using a shipping label include:

  • Real-Time Tracking

Shipping labels have barcodes on them. These barcodes are scanned at each checkpoint and provide real-time tracking to the receiver.

Moreover, the employees that are in charge of the delivery of packages are also able to work more efficiently. This is because, with the help of a shipping label, employees can track the package in real-time.

  • Customer Retention

Businesses can make good use of shipping labels to sort and manage products that need to be shipped urgently. This helps them provide a positive experience and retain customers. In fact, 61% of consumers say they are more likely to spend more money at a location that provides excellent customer service.

And this customer loyalty can help businesses establish a good reputation in the market.

  • Smooth Shipping

A shipping label contains all the necessary information about a package. It leads to a smooth delivery process by reducing chances of losing the package or destruction of the products because of mishandling.

Breakdown of a Shipping Label

Given below are some of the elements that make up a shipping label:

  1. Name of the sender as well as the return address in case the package is not received
  2. Name of the recipient and the final destination address
  3. Weight of the package
  4. Maxicode – code that can be read by the machine from any direction
  5. Postal barcode – the recipient’s scannable zip code
  6. Priority of the order (Urgent, non-urgent, express, standard)
  7. Routing number (Information where to route the package)
  8. Tracking number (Customers use this number to track the package)

Instructions to change the image:

  • Dan Brown

4016 Doane Street

Fremont CA 94538

  • Ship to

Adam Drive

1 E 2nd Street

New York, NY 10003, USA

  1. Weight; 14lbs
  2. MaxiCode for machine scan – one that can be read in any direction
  3. Postal Barcode (scannable code for the recipient)
  4. Service Type ( Non-urgent)
  5. Routing Number ( 3876 3968 2104 3722 4812)
  6. Tracking number YU-NL65

The shipping label should contain all the above information. This is to ensure that the packages reach their destination. The correct information on your product or package is critical to ensure the maximum level of customer satisfaction. If the information on your label is not correct, it can lead to a bad customer experience.

How to Create a Shipping Label?

It is a common practice for businesses to purchase their shipping labels from the carrier’s office. But a major downfall of this practice is that it requires a lot of money. This is because if you are purchasing shipping labels, then you have to pay a lot of money for postage charges.

Therefore, creating a shipping label of your own is highly recommended. This way you are able to:

  • Save money on postage charges
  • Customize the label according to your requirements

You can make your own shipping labels with the help of these three steps:

Best Shipping Label Practices

Given below are some of the best shipping label practices that you need to remember:

Special Instructions

Packages are often fragile and contain items that need extra attention while shipping. That is why there should be special instructions such as “Fragile”, “Handle with Care”, “Glass Items inside” or “Perishable” on the shipping label.

Sometimes these special instructions also contain information about how the package should be handled i.e. “This Side Up” or “Do Not Lay It Down”.

Label Placement

The next thing that you need to know about shipping labels is that the label should be placed at the top right side of the package. This makes it more visible to those who are handling the package.

Also, ensure that there are no bumps or folds on the label, as that can make the label unscannable.

Packing Slips

Packing slips are often a part of shipping labels. They either go inside the package or are placed outside. Packing slips act as receipts and contain all the major information, such as:

  • Order date and number
  • Number of items
  • Customer’s address
  • Company contact information
  • Customer service number
  • Returns or refunds policy


Q: Do shipping labels cost money?

Ans: If you are designing a shipping label on your own then it won’t be expensive. But buying a label from a post office is going to cost you a lot of money.

Q: Do shipping labels expire?

Ans: If you are using a USPS shipping label, they tend to expire after 28 days. But the expiration date of shipping labels differs from post office to post office and also depends on the carriers.

Q: Are there size requirements for shipping labels?

Ans: Normally a standard shipping label size is 4 x 6. But this standard size can differ from carrier to carrier.