How to Make & Print Shipping Labels for Small Business Operations
August 05, 2022
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 just like big logistics companies because small 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 small businesses can utilize them to improve delivery success.
What is a shipping label?
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.
- Name of the recipient.
- Delivery address.
- Contact number.
- Name of the shipper.
- Depot address.
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 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 case for shipping labels
The advantages of using shipping labels are obvious: no shipping mistakes, speedy confirmation of delivery, and all order info at the courier's fingertips. Let's look deeper.
No shipping mistakes
No matter how precise your load planning strategy is, any truck that has multiple packages for multiple customers on board offers room for error.
Checking packages with only names handwritten on them still takes time. This time impacts your estimated time of arrival and creates unnecessary delays in the delivery process.
Being able to quickly scan every package before departure is how your couriers can be sure they have the right cargo and minimize their delivery mistakes and the cases of returns and rearrivals.
Speedy delivery confirmation
Delivery confirmation is a key part in 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.
Complete order info
Even with the most advanced shipping software and courier apps at your disposal, labeling packages is still the fastest and most secure way to differentiate them.
Printing shipping labels is saving time for your couriers to deliver good customer service: locate the right package fast and deliver it on time.
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.
How to make shipping labels for small business
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. The scanner is built into the app, which means no extra hardware is needed.
Right from the Track-POD route planner dashboard, you can select any order and access the automatically generated shipping label in a matter of 2 clicks.
How to print shipping labels for small business
By selecting multiple or all of your orders for the day, you can print shipping labels in bulk. 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.
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 what kind of printer you have, you can choose between the following formats of Track-POD shipping labels.
- 4x4 inches.
- 4x6 inches.
- 6 shipping labels on an A4 sheet.
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 is not something reserved for major transportation companies. In fact, any shipping carrier can make and print labels to guarantee secure and speedy delivery of packages regardless of quantity.
I 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.