September 14, 2023
Alina Kostukova and Yulia Miashkova
"Scannable shipping labels is something only major carriers need. Small businesses don't have that many packages to keep track of to make and print shipping labels."
Small logistics operations need shipping labels as much as big logistics companies because smaller businesses can't afford delivery mistakes.
With shipping labels, couriers can scan packages before departure and upon arrival to ensure successful delivery to the right customer. But let's not get ahead of ourselves just yet.
Let's see - step by step - what shipping labels are, how they help delivery operations stay organized, and how businesses can utilize them to improve delivery success.
A shipping label is a document that contains all essential information required for the courier to execute the delivery successfully.
As a rule, a shipping label will contain all essential order info:
Back in the day, this information would be written on the package by hand. In fact, this is still done by some delivery operations that don't do load confirmation via barcode scanning.
Present-day shipping labels contain unique barcodes and/or QR codes that allow couriers to quickly scan the packages before departure and upon arrival at the customer's location.
Below is an example of a shipping label template generated via Track-POD route planning software.
The advantages of using a shipping label generator are obvious: all order info at the courier's fingertips, efficient load check, and speedy delivery confirmation.
Let's take a closer look at the benefits of using shipping labels.
Checking packages with handwritten names or addresses takes time. This time impacts your estimated time of arrival (ETA) and creates unnecessary delays in the delivery process.
Even with the most advanced shipping software and driver apps at your disposal, labeling packages is still the fastest and most secure way to differentiate them.
Printing shipping labels saves time for your couriers to deliver good customer service: locate the right package fast and deliver it on time.
Thanks to the accurate order info on the shipping labels, you can improve your delivery KPIs and overall customer service quality.
To complete the delivery experience for your customers, you can also offer last mile delivery tracking to customers via SMS and email delivery notifications. Then they can track packages and see the delivery progress in real-time.
No matter how precise your load planning strategy is, any truck with multiple packages for multiple customers on board offers room for error.
Using road planning software, like Track-POD, you can print out shipping labels that include a unique barcode for each order or each item in the order.
By swiftly scanning every package before departure your couriers can be sure that all the packages belong to the right orders and are loaded in the correct sequence.
Track-POD's driver app will notify your couriers if the shipping label is unrecognized or scanned twice. In the same way, the dispatchers can look at the dashboard to see if the order was actually scanned or simply marked as scanned.
Shipping labels help to systemize and simplify the load check process. Efficient load check, on the other hand, helps to cut down on the number of shipping errors, missed packages and cases of returns and re-arrivals.
Delivery confirmation is a key part of any logistics workflow.
Proving a successful delivery is just as important as executing a successful delivery because if the customer thinks you made a mistake you need to be able to prove otherwise.
Using shipping labels, couriers can, first of all, check the customer's name and address while on location.
Second of all, they can scan the label to get a confirmation that the package was delivered to the correct address.
Scanning parcels upon arrival will help to minimize not only missed deliveries but also customer complaints and loss of trust.
While the advantages of using shipping labels may be obvious, not all small business owners are enthusiastic to adopt this practice.
Making, printing, and scanning shipping labels requires additional tools that small businesses might not have.
With shipping costs being an issue as is, adding more software and hardware to the mix might not be optimal.
The good news is that as a small business, all you need to make and print a label for shipping is route planning software.
The same software that makes multi-stop routing and optimization possible in the first place.
As for label scanning, there are mobile apps for delivery drivers that come with a free QR and barcode scanner, like Track-POD.
Barcode scanner comes with the Track-POD driver app, which means no extra hardware is needed.
Right from the Track-POD's Plan & Track or Orders dashboards, you can select any order and access the automatically generated shipping label in a matter of 2 clicks.
You can print shipping labels in bulk by selecting multiple or all of your orders for the day.
You can quickly print shipping labels from the Plan & Track and Orders dashboards. Shipping labels can also be created for orders that have not yet been scheduled and do not correspond to any route.
Your labels for shipping will simply open in a new window that you can send to your thermal printer or any regular office printer you have.
Note that your shippers or courier company can print shipping labels too. It makes it easier to delegate shipping to a third-party by simply adding an additional dashbord user.
Track-POD software doesn't require you to use a thermal label printer. If you choose to print labels on paper and then secure them on the packages with clear plastic address pouches, that's completely fine.
As you can see, printing shipping labels doesn't require any extra equipment that you don't have at your office as a small business owner.
Depending on your printer, you can choose between the following formats of Track-POD shipping labels:
With simple, versatile tools like multi-stop route planning software and a mobile app for the driver, you can easily implement shipping labels into your delivery workflow.
Shipping labels are not something reserved for major transportation companies.
In fact, any shipping carrier or business with in-house logistics can make and print labels to guarantee secure and speedy delivery of packages regardless of quantity.
We hope this article on how to make and print shipping labels for small business inspires you to take your delivery workflow to the next level.
If you're curious about Track-POD shipping labels, the free barcode scanner, or other last mile delivery solutions for small businesses, start your free trial now or book a demo to get a guided tour.