Many people have never stepped foot into a post office or shipping store before — so they have no idea how the shipping process works. If you fall into this group, don’t worry because Box Genie is here to help.

What Is a Shipping Label and What Is It Used for?

A shipping label, also known as a package label, is used to ship packages using a whole host of relevant information about the shipment, including the point of origin, destination, weight, carrier name, service type, and more. 

These labels are used to help both humans and machines get packages from their origin to their destination. A correct and complete shipping label can prevent shipping mishaps like shipping delays, incorrect deliveries, and lost shipments

What Are the Different Components of a Shipping Label?

Even though shipping labels differ depending on the specific carrier, they all contain the same general information to ensure that a shipment makes it from Point A to Point B. 

Here are the different components that you can find on a shipping label:

  • Return address: Shows where the package is being sent from and who it’s being sent from 
  • Shipping address: Shows where the package is being sent and who it’s being sent to
  • Package weight: Indicates how much the package weighs, what the item is, and what type of packaging is being used
  • Unidirectional code: Also known as the Maxicode and is a scannable code that helps route the package
  • Postal barcode: Also known as the IMpb code and is a scannable barcode that indicates the recipient’s zip code
  • Service type: Indicates the method of shipping, for instance, “Standard” shipping, “Express” shipping, “Priority” shipping, “Overnight” shipping, etc. 
  • Routing number: Informs the sorting process and shows where the package needs to be routed to
  • Tracking number: Allows customers to easily track the location of their package either manually online or through automated text or email updates

How to Create a Shipping Label?

Printing labels is easy if you know what to do. You can either create a shipping label directly with the carrier or use a software program to help you. 

How to Create a Shipping Label With a Carrier

One way that you can create a shipping label is to do so directly with the carrier. There are countless different carrier options in the United States each with its own shipping label process. 

So let’s explore how to create a shipping label with three of the biggest shipping carriers in the United States: FedEx, UPS, and USPS. 

1. FedEx

To create a shipping label with FedEx, fill in the required address information complete with names, addresses, phone numbers, and email addresses for notifications. 

From there, you will select your shipping option — choosing between FedEx One Rate or FedEx Standard Rate. FedEx One Rate doesn’t require an account or package weight whereas FedEx Standard Rate does. Then choose your packaging type and delivery options. 

Finally, you pay for and confirm your shipping label where you can then print it out and attach it to your package. 

2. UPS

To create a shipping label with UPS, start by entering your return address information before entering your shipping address information — being sure to note whether or not the shipping address is a residential address. 

From there, you will select your packaging. UPS allows you to choose flat rate shipping for shipments up to 50 pounds. If you don’t select this option, you need to select your packaging type, weight, length, width, and height. 

You can enter a declared value for your package contents. You can also add signature verifications or delivery confirmations. 

The next step involves setting pick up of your package from a location of your choosing or instead dropping it off at a UPS Store. You then choose your shipping service, add information about what you’re shipping, and add payment information before confirming and printing the label. 

3. USPS

To create a shipping label with USPS, you will first need to create a USPS account with an email address, username, and password

Once you have created your account, it’s easy to create a USPS shipping label with “Click-N-Ship.” You will need to enter the return and delivery addresses, the package details, the optional package value, and the shipping date before proceeding to select the shipping service.

Choose your desired service and any extra services for your shipment before clicking “add to cart.” On this page, you can review your shipping label information to make sure that everything is correct. Next, enter your billing information and move forward to pay for and then print the label. 

How to Create a Shipping Label With Software

If going in and manually completing all of these steps with UPS, FedEx, or USPS sounds like a lot of work — it’s because it is. This is especially true if you’re dealing with a large volume of shipments. The good news is that there’s a better way to complete large amounts of shipping labels in record time through software tools. 

These tools connect with your ecommerce software platform and are able to automatically generate shipping labels as orders come through. Some tools use a pay-as-you-go pricing model wherein you pay per item. Other tools use a monthly fee pricing model wherein you pay for a set volume of items. 

However, these tools offer more than just automated label generation, they also often come with carrier discounts and useful reporting tools to help you track and manage your shipments

How to Print a Shipping Label

Once your label has been created, it’s relatively easy to download it and print it out. All you need is a printer that’s equipped with paper and ink. For shipping labels, you only need your basic printer paper and black ink — there’s no need for fancy paper or colored ink with shipping labels. Just make sure that your printer is hooked up to your computer and press the print button

How to Place a Shipping Label

The last step in creating a shipping label after it has been printed involves actually attaching it to the package in question. While this may seem like a minor step, it’s incredibly important to do it correctly to ensure that the label is easy to find and readable. 

To do this, place the shipping label on the side of the package with the largest and most visible surface area. Try to avoid placing labels on the edges and corners of packaging as this can make them difficult for machines to read. 

If you’re not printing out a sticker with built-in adhesive, you will need to attach the label to the package using clear tape. Make sure to tape around the edges so that it’s securely attached to the package and won’t easily fall off or be ripped off during transit. 

Wrap Up on Shipping Labels

With the right tools and expert assistance from companies like Box Genie, you can efficiently send out packages to friends, family, and customers alike. 

Contact Box Genie today for all of your packaging needs.

 

Sources:

  1. FedEx Ship Manager | FedEx
  2. UPS Shipping | UPS
  3. How Do I Print a Click-N-Ship® Label? | USPS

Trusted by top brands worldwide. Dedicated to smaller businesses like yours.

Over 2,000 brands trust us to help them grow and build successful businesses. Find out how custom packaging can work to help take your brilliant brand to the next level!

  • BoxGenie
  • BoxGenie
  • BoxGenie
  • BoxGenie
  • BoxGenie

“They can’t be beat for price, speed, and quality. We trust them with all our packaging needs!”


Megan D., CEO at SSBD

“They can’t be beat for price, speed, and quality. We trust them with all our packaging needs!”


Megan D., CEO at SSBD

Ready to design your own box?

Start building your custom box now to see a preview of how it will look!

Close