Find out how you can create shipping labels with different online tools and services. Includes info about major carriers, shipping software, and label makers.
Updated on September 27th, 2021
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Shipping labels are affixed to packages and contain all the key information required by shipping carriers and couriers to deliver them to their correct destination. Labels are created by the carrier, through shipping software and similar services, or by using a label software or handwriting the label.
How to Create Shipping Labels:
There are essentially three ways to go about creating shipping labels. You can either use the tools shipping carriers provide, use a shipping software service, or create a customized shipping label by using label software or creating a handwritten label.
If you want to go directly through your preferred shipping carrier, you can either go to a physical branch, for example a USPS post office, or use a carrier's online or internet shipping option. The biggest drawback of using a shipping carrier's online tools is that is can be very time-consuming, as you will have to visit the specific site and manually enter information for every order.
FedEx offers a variety of services for shipping envelopes and packages within the U.S or internationally and shipping freight within the U.S. or internationally. FedEx’s rate calculator lets you compare the cost and timelines of the different services and evaluate which option best suits your needs.
When creating a shipment through the FedEx website, users can also create shipping labels using the FedEx Ship Manager tools. With these, users can create labels for FedEx Express®, FedEx Express® Freight, FedEx Ground®, FedEx Freight®, FedEx Home Delivery®, and FedEx SmartPost® shipments, verify addresses, enable shipment notifications for the sender and recipient, and create return labels and tags.
After you have created a shipment and a shipping label using FedEx Ship Manager, you should print the label immediately. You can only reprint a shipping label from your ship history within 12 hours after the shipment has been processed. FedEx allows you to process shipments and create labels up to 10 days in advance for express shipments and up to 5 days in advance for express freight shipments.
If you want to create a shipping label using the UPS website, you will first have to register with MyUPS and then proceed to create a shipment. The mailing address you enter to create your account is automatically used as the return address for your shipments. Before creating a shipment, you can compare costs for different services, such as UPS Next Day Air® Early, UPS 2nd Day Air A.M.®, or UPS Ground, using a cost calculator.
Once you have selected a suitable shipping option, you will be prompted to complete an online form regarding the details of your shipment. Once you have made the online payment for the shipment, you only need to print the generated label.
If you are using the United States Postal Service (USPS) to ship your packages, you can either pay for postage and have a label printed at the post office or use Click-N-Ship, which is a USPS service that lets customers prepare and create shipments online, including pre-paid shipping labels for Priority Mail® and Priority Mail Express® shipments.
To use Click-N-Ship, you first have to create a free USPS account. Once you have logged into your USPS account, you can create a shipment by completing an online form with all the details for your package. Once you have done this, you only have to pay for postage and can then print your shipping label. Once the label is affixed to your package, you can request a package pick up online.
DHL lets users easily create and manage shipments through their one-stop online shipping management solution MyDHL+. Once you have registered on MyDHL+, you can get a quote for your planned shipment, create the shipment by submitting all the relevant information, create a shipping label, and schedule a courier pickup.
Shipping software services.
Shipping software services make it easy for e-commerce companies to manage order fulfillment through one single platform. Features usually include order management across multiple shopping carts and marketplaces. Depending on the service's shipping partners, it will generate shipping options along with cost estimates. Once you have selected an option, the required documentation and forms can be automatically generated and completed by the software, including shipping labels, ready to be printed.
If your business receives orders from multiple stores and marketplaces and uses several different carriers, this presents a convenient and time-saving solution for automating your shipping processes.
How Shipping Labels work:
When a customer places an online order with your business, the item or items must be sourced, packaged, and delivered to the customer. An efficient delivery process is crucial to customer satisfaction and business success.
Once an order has been placed, the order information must be processed for the order to be prepared for delivery. This involves sourcing the items, examining them, and packaging them for shipment. Depending on your business processes, you may have chosen to outsource your inventory management and order fulfillment processes or manage this yourself.
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When an order is ready to be processed for shipping, a shipping label with all the relevant information must be prepared, printed, and applied to the package. The specific shipping label to be used usually depends on the chosen carrier as every carrier has their own shipping label template.
After the package has been prepared for shipment, the carrier is contacted and handed the package to be delivered. This is usually done by either scheduling a pick-up time for the shipment to be collected or by dropping the shipment at a carrier's collection point. If the chosen service method includes tracking, usually both the sender and recipient can track the progress of the delivery using the tracking number on the shipping label.
Basic elements of a shipping label:
Sender name and return address.
Recipient name and address.(Video) HOW TO MAKE YOUR OWN SHIPPING LABELS AT HOME! | HOW I PACKAGE & SHIP! | 2019
Tracking number and bar code.
*The shipping class identifies the selected service method provided by the carrier, such as standard shipping, same day, next day, priority, etc.
Recommended shipping software:
ShippingEasy is a convenient and cost-effective solution that integrates with all major shopping carts, platforms, and marketplaces, automatically creates shipping labels, and offers discounted rates on USPS shipping services.
ShipMonk is a user-friendly and intuitive software that integrates with more than 100 shopping carts and marketplaces, manages order fulfillment processes, including preparing packages with FBA labels, and offers discounted shipping rates for major carriers.
If you want to create customized labels that match your company's branding, you can choose to use special label software tools and services, such as Avery or Labeljoy. These are also a convenient option if don't want to rely on a carrier's website to create labels.
Custom label makers tend to offer a wide variety of label types and customizable templates, including address, shipping, return, and product labels. Some offer additional business tools that allow users to create barcodes and QR codes. Most label software will indicate whether a specific shipping label template is compatible with a major carrier or will let you import a carrier's template.
Many label maker tools allow you to design or customize shipping label templates for free and offer paid printing services and/or printing supplies. Note that you will still have to pay postage and apply a carrier-generated barcode.
If your business processes a lot of orders and shipments on a regular basis, you may want to consider using a shipping software service to make the whole process more efficient and simply add a sticker with only your company logo or branding to the packages.
Dot labels are used to identify packages as containing hazardous material.
Fragile labels are used to indicate that a package must be handled with care to avoid damage to its contents.
Arrow labels, like fragile labels, are affixed to avoid a package being damaged due to handling errors. They usually indicate how (which end should be facing up) a package should be held and placed.
E-commerce retailers often include a printed return label in their shipments to make it fast and easy for customers to return packages with the correct label or make printable template available to their customers on their website.
Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA) is a service for which Amazon sellers can register. The service has sellers send their products to Amazon's fulfillment centers for Amazon to manage the picking, packing, shipping, and customer services for the products. FBA uses barcodes to identify and track these products. In the absence of an eligible manufacturer barcode, an Amazon barcode must be applied. These can either be printed and applied by the seller (accessible within the seller's account) or by the FBA label service for a per-item fee.
Shipping label sizes.
The standard size for shipping labels is generally 4 x 6 inches. If this does not fit on the package, other common sizes are 6 x 3 inches and 4 x 4 inches.
Printing shipping labels.
Shipping labels can usually be printed using either a regular laser or inkjet printer or a thermal label printer. If you already have a laser or inkjet printer, you can print standard print labels. In the long term, thermal printers are more economical and cost-efficient as they do not use ink. There are two types of thermal printing techniques.
Direct thermal printing is the simpler technique of the two, using only heat to print labels. The only material that needs to be replenished is the thermal label paper. Direct thermal printing produces a sharp image but will fade faster than a label printed with ink.
Thermal transfer printing uses a thin roll of ribbon which is heated to transfer the image onto the printing paper. This provides a cleaner, clearer, and longer-lasting image than direct thermal printing does. Thermal transfer printing is more expensive than direct thermal printing.
If you decide to invest in a label printer, make sure that it supports the label size you want to use. Popular brands of thermal label printers, include Rollo, Brother, DYMO, and Zebra.
Pros and Cons of Printing Shipping Labels:
- Is convenient and saves time.
- Makes is easier to streamline order fulfillment processes.
- Looks more professional than handwritten labels.
- May require some start up costs for equipment (scale, printer, supplies).
Shipping label costs.
Creating shipping labels is free unless you opt for a paid custom label maker software. You do still have to pay for postage. Postage costs vary by carrier and typically depend on several factors, including the selected service method, package dimensions and weight, the distance between the departing location and destination, as well as any additional services, such as insurance or tracking.
How do I make a shipping label?
There are different options for creating shipping labels.
- You can use the tools provided by the selected carrier.
- You can use a shipping software service.
- You can use a custom label maker.
Once a label has been created using an online service, you can print it out and affix it to the package. The process of how and when packages are handed to the carrier and are delivered are specific to each service provider.
Do shipping labels cost money?
Creating shipping labels is free. The cost of printing labels varies. You can either pay a fee to have a carrier print it for you, for example, if you go to a USPS branch, you can order printed labels from a third-party service, or decide to print at home, for which you will require some printing supplies. You will still have to pay for postage or shipping fees.
Can I print USPS labels from home?
Yes. USPS offers a Click-N-Ship service that lets you create shipments online, pay for postage, and create shipping labels.
Where can I print out a shipping label?
You can print your shipping label directly with a shipping carrier, such as at a USPS branch, you can pay for a third-party printing service, or use your own printer.
Are shipping labels free?
Creating a shipping label is free. However, you will also have to print it, either by using a service or with your own printer, and pay the shipping fees or postage.
How do shipping labels work?
Shipping labels contain all the key information a carrier requires to correctly deliver a package. This information usually includes the sender and recipient addresses, the service method (standard, priority, same-day, etc.), the shipping date, the dimensions and weight of the package, and a tracking number and barcode.
Do you have to pay for shipping if you have a shipping label?
Yes. Unless it is a prepaid shipping label, you will have to pay for postage costs or the shipping fee.
Does the post office print labels?
Yes. You can go to the post office to pay for your shipment and print a shipping label.
Can you handwrite a shipping label?
Yes, a shipping label may be handwritten but printed shipping labels present a more professional image, improve deliverability, and provide a simpler shipping process.
You can create a shipping label manually through your carrier's online services. It's not the fastest method, but it's fine if you're shipping a low volume of packages. Simply visit the carrier's website, fill out the shipping label template, and then download the file and print it out.What happens if shipping label isn't enough? ›
Parcels bearing insufficient postage are normally returned to the sender. If the item makes it to the destination post office, the delivery person will attempt to obtain the postage deficiency from the addressee. If the addressee refuses to pay, the article is returned to the sender.How do I create a PDF label for shipping? ›
- Step 1 : Open the Labels PDF file. Find the Mailing Labels PDF file on your computer, and double-click the file to Open it. ...
- Step 2 : Go to 'Print' & Your Print Settings. ...
- Step 3 : Select 'Actual Size' ...
- Step 4 : Print Your Mailing Labels.
With USPS.com, your Post Office is where you are. To start Click-N-Ship® service, sign in to or sign up for a free USPS.com account. Follow the steps to enter your package details, pay for postage, and print your shipping label. It's that easy to Pay, Print & Ship®!Can I print a shipping label myself? ›
All that you need to create and print USPS shipping labels is a computer, a printer and access to the USPS website or a service like PitneyShip. Not only can you create and print your own USPS shipping labels online, you can also request package pickups and save yourself a trip to the post office.What if package is heavier than label? ›
If your parcel weight is more than what is stated on the shipping label, most courier companies will issue a surcharge for the overweight package or send it back to the pick-up address.Can I manually write a shipping label? ›
Can I handwrite a shipping label? You can handwrite the shipping address (as long as it's eligible), but you will still need a carrier barcode, which needs to be generated by the carrier.Should I tape over the entire shipping label? ›
Can I tape over a shipping label? You can use clear tape on all four sides of your shipping label to secure it to your package. It is not recommended that you tape over the bar code or any other scannable elements or the scan might fail.What can I use instead of a label maker? ›
But you don't need a special label maker to print labels. A standard printer and paper are all that's required. If you're a small business owner you can even print your own carrier-compatible shipping labels.Does Word have a shipping label template? ›
Open a blank document in Word, click on the “Mailings” tab at the top of the page, and click on “Labels”. This will open a box titled “Envelopes and Labels”. Click on the “Options” button to create a new label template.
Sendcloud's free Shipping Label Maker is a free tool to generate a shipping label for your business. Just fill in the origin and destination addresses, print it on an A6 (sticker) sheet and stick it to your box!How do I create a label document? ›
- Go to Mailings > Labels.
- Select the label type and size in Options. ...
- Select New Document.
- Word opens a new document that contains a table with dimensions that match the label product.
- If gridlines are not displayed, go to Layout > View Gridlines to turn gridlines on.
If you need to print batches of address labels—or shipping labels, if you're running a business—it's almost certainly less expensive to print them yourself. We'll explore some common options and help you decide what's best for your needs.Can I print a shipping label on regular printer paper? ›
Can I print my label on regular printer paper? A. Yes! You can print your labels on 8 1/2" x 11" paper, or you can purchase self-adhesive labels that meet the size requirements of the label.What is the cheapest way to make labels? ›
(b) Regular Printer & Letter-size Bond Paper
The cheapest way to print shipping labels is to use whatever is readily available, especially if you are still saving to buy specialized printers. Buying a regular inkjet or laser printer or using an available one from your home or office is also good.
You don't need a special label maker to print your own address and shipping labels. A standard printer and printer paper are all that's required.Can I print a shipping label from my phone? ›
Print From Virtually Any Device
Now you can print labels and more from your favorite mobile device, including your iPhone®, Kindle®, AndroidTM, and iPad®. Get organized with professional-looking labels featuring graphics or photos, and name badges that utilize pictures from your mobile album or your phone's camera.
In general, if you have chosen not to print your own label at home, you will be given a QR code on your phone, and you can take this to the location. The machine will have the equipment to scan it with, and this should bring up your shipping label and the address information.Does shipping label weight have to be exact? ›
Use a scale for accurate weight. Always round the weight up! Postal rates are premised on rounding up to the nearest ounce (for First Class) or nearest pound (for Priority and other mail classes).What happens if you put the wrong dimensions on a shipping label? ›
If you've made a mistake and need to change the address, weight, dimensions, or anything else, the only option is to request a refund from USPS or UPS for that label and start over.
Weigh Your Item and Round Up
USPS rounds up to either the next pound (lb) or ounce (oz). For example, if your package weighs 3 lbs 5 oz, it would be charged at the 4 lb-rate. If you have an item for shipping by First-Class Package Service® that weighs 7.3 oz, it must be charged at the 8 oz-rate.
A black Sharpie is an excellent option if you're writing directly on a package but use a pen when filling out a label. Always avoid using a pencil as it can easily rub off or fade in transit. Keep handwriting legible. Write your information as clearly as possible.Can the post office make a label for me? ›
USPS retail associates print labels right at the Post Office® location when customers are ready to send packages.Does it matter what side you put the shipping label on? ›
Labels must be fully placed on the address side of the package and not folded over package edges. Use clear shipping tape to securely affix labels on all four sides. Do not tape over the "Postal Use" area on Priority Mail Express® labels or the barcodes.Can I tape shipping label with duct tape? ›
Carriers will reject duct tape sealed packages
It's simple: duct tape simply doesn't provide a sufficiently strong seal. It doesn't adhere well to the cardboard material most packages use and has a tendency to “unstick”.
No, if your shipment consists of multiple parcels, you will need to apply a different label to each parcel.How do I format a label template in Word? ›
- Open a blank document and navigate to the "Labels" option. ...
- Open the label options menu. ...
- Enter your label measurements. ...
- Name and open your template. ...
- Save, revise and format your label design.
- Select Document Type. Select “Labels”!
- Select Starting Document. If you have a compatible template code select “Change document layout”, then click “Label options”. ...
- Select Recipients. ...
- Arrange Your Labels. ...
- Preview Your Labels. ...
- Print Your Labels.
- In the Mail Merge menu, select Labels.
- Select Starting document > Label Options to choose your label size. ...
- Choose Select recipients > Browse to upload the mailing list. ...
- Select Arrange your labels > Address block to add recipient information.
With Canva's online label maker, creating a sleek label is free and easy. Customize hundreds of designer-made templates within a few clicks, choosing from millions of fonts, images, illustrations, and colors. Or, upload your own images and logos to create a label that reflects your brand's style.
- XPS Ship,
- Artwork Flow and.
A label printer is a computer printer that prints on self-adhesive label material and/or card-stock (tags). A label printer with built-in keyboard and display for stand-alone use (not connected to a separate computer) is often called a label maker.What are the three details needed to make a good label? ›
- Clear. The key purpose of a product label is to communicate information with the goal of motivating a consumer to purchase your product. ...
- Attractive. ...
- Informative. ...
- Right material and label finish. ...
- On brand.
- Labelr - Print Custom Labels. Graphics & Design.
- Logo Maker — Design Creator. Graphics & Design.
- Logo Maker & graphic design. Graphics & Design.
- Cover Highlights + logo maker. Graphics & Design.
- Logo Maker & Creator - Logokit. Graphics & Design.
- Logo Maker: Create A Logo. Graphics & Design.
You can create a shipping label manually through your carrier's online services. It's not the fastest method, but it's fine if you're shipping a low volume of packages. Simply visit the carrier's website, fill out the shipping label template, and then download the file and print it out.What is the format of a shipping label? ›
While 4”x6” labels are the standard size for major US carriers, exporting as a PDF gives you the option to print your shipping label on A4 or letter-sized (8.5”x11”) paper. This can come in handy when using an inkjet printer, or shipping to a country that requires different-sized labels.How can I get free blank shipping labels? ›
To order free labels, boxes, and envelopes online: Go to The Postal Store® at www.usps.com/shop and select “Supplies” – OR - move your cursor over “Shop” in the top navigation and select “Shipping Supplies.” Order free supplies by selecting "Free Shipping Supplies" in the left-hand navigation.How do I make my own product labels? ›
- Get To Know Your Buyers. Who is your target demographic? ...
- Choose A Label Size. Various lid label sizes on round tins. ...
- Pick Your Label Material. ...
- Select A Label Template. ...
- Setup Your Canvas. ...
- Design Your Product Label.
- Step 1 : Open the Labels PDF file. Find the Mailing Labels PDF file on your computer, and double-click the file to Open it. ...
- Step 2 : Go to 'Print' & Your Print Settings. ...
- Step 3 : Select 'Actual Size' ...
- Step 4 : Print Your Mailing Labels.
But you don't need a special label maker to print labels. A standard printer and paper are all that's required. If you're a small business owner you can even print your own carrier-compatible shipping labels.
Generating a shipping label is free, however a parcel will not be shipped until it's postage is paid for.Is it cheaper to make your own shipping label? ›
If you need to print batches of address labels—or shipping labels, if you're running a business—it's almost certainly less expensive to print them yourself. We'll explore some common options and help you decide what's best for your needs.What happens if you don't print a shipping label for a printer? ›
In general, if you have chosen not to print your own label at home, you will be given a QR code on your phone, and you can take this to the location. The machine will have the equipment to scan it with, and this should bring up your shipping label and the address information.Can I just print a shipping label on regular paper? ›
Can I print my label on regular printer paper? A. Yes! You can print your labels on 8 1/2" x 11" paper, or you can purchase self-adhesive labels that meet the size requirements of the label.Which printer is better for labels? ›
In general, laser printers are better for printing waterproof labels or a large quantity of labels with medium-quality color.Does it cost money to print a shipping label? ›
Generating a shipping label doesn't cost you anything, but you can't ship a package with it until postage is paid for. Shipping rates vary by carrier and level of service and options like insurance and tracking. If you do a large volume of shipping, you might be able to negotiate a bulk rate with your carrier.Can you just write a shipping label? ›
Can I handwrite a shipping label? You can handwrite the shipping address (as long as it's eligible), but you will still need a carrier barcode, which needs to be generated by the carrier. Depending on the volume of orders you're fulfilling, handwriting shipping addresses can become time-consuming.What is the cheapest way to ship something? ›
Use flat-rate shipping where possible—flat-rate shipping will almost always be the best value for money, especially for domestic delivery. Flat-rate shipping means that you can predict prices more accurately. No matter what kind of parcel you have or what dimensions or weight it is, the price will always be the same.