Where To Place Shipping Labels On Packages? (7 Easy Rules)

It is quite easy to make your shipping label. You can generate one on the website of your chosen carrier, pay for the applicable fees and shipping charges online, and print it.

As much as possible, you need to print it so that there is a lot of contrast between the color paper and the markings. This is why carriers highly recommend that customers use black markings on white paper when making shipping labels.

Here comes another important part of the process: where to put the shipping label. Since the shipping label is essential to any shipment, you must know where to place it.

Here are some rules to follow:

1. Label the Box Properly

Before placing the shipping label, it is important to label the box properly. If you are shipping breakable items, add a sticker that says “Fragile” so that the carriers will take extra care when handling your package.

If you are shipping items that have to stay upright, place a sticker that says “This Side Up” so the carriers will not turn the box.

This will help keep the items intact and prevent them from breaking while the package is in transit.

2. Place It On the Side of the Box With the Most Visible Surface

As much as possible, place the shipping label on the side of the box with the largest and most visible surface.

You would want to place the shipping label on a smooth surface.

This is because the shipping label can warp when you put it over the side of the box with many stickers or tape. You would want your shipping label to lie flat, so choose the side of the box with the most visible surface to prevent the shipping label from warping.

3. Place the Shipping Label on Top of the Box as Best Practice

You can place the shipping label on any side of the box. But as best practice, place the shipping label on top of the box, especially if the box has a sticker that says “This Side Up.” This is so that the shipping label will be easily visible to the carrier.

When the shipping label is placed on top of the box, the carrier can easily see it. This will spare them some time from turning the box on all sides and looking for the shipping label.

This helps make their job easier and more efficient. And in turn, this will help minimize any errors in shipping that could lead to a delay.

4. Do Not Place the Shipping Label on the Edges of The Box

When placing a shipping label, do not stick it on the edge or even close to the edge of the box.

Do not fold the shipping label over the edge, as it may affect its markings.

Also, smooth out any air pockets when placing the shipping label. A shipping label has to lie flat with no creases or wrinkles, which can make the barcode unreadable by the machine.

5. Do Not Place the Shipping Label on the Opening Flaps of the Box

While no rule explicitly states this, it is best not to place the shipping label on the opening flaps of the box.

It may be rare for a box to suddenly open while in transit, but this could happen if you did not seal the box properly with packing tape. Ordinary tapes tend to lose their adhesion while packing tapes do not.

So if the box flaps suddenly burst open and the shipping label is placed on top of the flaps, it could be torn in half. This may be an uncommon situation, and it is always best to be on the safe side.

In addition, make sure to always use packing tape when preparing the package for shipment. Packing tapes are quite strong and do not easily come off even when exposed to different elements.

6. Secure the Shipping Label with Packing Tape

If you have a small business and you regularly ship out orders. You may already have sticker shipping labels and a thermal printer specially designed for printing shipping labels. Most e-commerce sellers use sticker shipping labels because they require them.

However, if you do not have the resources to create shipping labels using sticker paper, you can use ordinary paper. Just make sure to stick it properly using clear packing tape.

You can print shipping labels on paper as long as they are securely attached to the box. Make sure to also place clear tape over the markings to prevent them from smudging when the package is exposed to certain elements like moisture while in transit.

7. Make Sure that Packing Slips are Securely Attached to the Package

Most e-commerce sellers attach a packing slip or a waybill that contains essential information about the items inside the package.

Packing slips include the company contact information, the customer’s address, order number, number of items inside the package, details about the items, a customer service number, and any other information that may be useful for the customer.

Some e-commerce sellers include it inside the box, while some attach it outside of the box. When placing the packing slip outside of the box, place it beside the shipping label for visibility.

Ensure it is inside a plastic wallet to protect it from different elements and prevent it from getting lost in transit.

How often does USPS lose packages? Find out more here!

Remember that the shipping label serves as the main identification for your package. It contains essential information such as the receiver’s name, address, and contact information. It also contains the package weight, routing number, and tracking number of the item.

All these details matter a lot when it comes to ensuring that the package reaches the correct destination promptly. This is why the placement of the shipping label is very important.

If the shipping label gets damaged or becomes unreadable, the package could get lost or delay its delivery. All these mishaps could lead to financial loss or to losing a customer’s trust.

So when preparing a package for shipment, remember the rules above on the placement of shipping labels.


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