What is a Shipping Label & How to Make One?If you’re an eCom seller, surely one of your worst nightmares is getting your customers’ parcels lost in transit. Without knowing what a shipping label is and how to make one with clarity, you’ll be facing many mishaps in your eCom business. So let’s get to know them better in this blog!

    • Part 1: Get to know them better
    • Part 2: Print your own shipping labels
    • Part 3: Familiarize shipping labels by brand
    • Part 4: Where to Find Cheap Shipping Labels
UPS-label-on-a-box-1

Shipping Labels in a Nutshell

The first thing you need to know about Shipping Labels is that they are integral to eCommerce success. A shipping label is usually attached to the product, which will be shipped either inbound or outbound.

It usually contains information like who sent it, where it came from (or where it is going ), what’s inside (weight, dimensions), and how much something weighs/costs. Shipping labels come in different sizes, but the most commonly accepted size is 4 x 6 inches.

Direct Thermal Shipping Labels

: 450 Labels/Roll
: 4″ x 6″
: Direct Thermal

If you’re selling products online, you need to get familiar with shipping labels. Below, we’ll explain further what a shipping label is and show you how to make one. Let’s get started! 

What are Shipping Labels?

A shipping label is a pre-printed piece of paper containing information for shipping. The type of label is used on both inbound and outbound shipments to identify the package for delivery and track its progress from sender to recipient. 

Fedex’s Shipping Label

Fedex’s Shipping Label; Image credit: Ecwid

The most basic information on a shipping label may include:

    • The names and addresses of the shipper and receiver,
    • Package weight and dimensions, 
    • Courier service name, 
    • Tracking number

What Size is a Shipping Label?

A shipping label can be of any size, really, and the most common shapes are either rectangular or square. The standard size for mailing within the United States is 4″ x 6″, and you may have seen this before on products you’ve received in the mail. Shipping labels are also available in standard sizes of 6 x 3 inches and 4 x 4 inches.

4” x 6” Direct Thermal Label; Source: enKo Products

Different couriers may prefer different sizes, so you must check with them before creating your shipping labels. The majority of the biggest shipping couriers in the US, like UPS, FedEx, and USPS, normally require shipping labels to be 4 x 6 inches.

Rectangular shipping labels are typically around 2¾” x 3½”, while square shipping labels are usually 2″ x 2″. If you’re looking for something more durable or waterproof, you can also find labels with these features online. You can print out these standard sizes using direct thermal printers or through standard printers. 

What is on a Shipping Label?

Shipping labels typically have four main sections: the return address (the sender), the delivery address (the recipient), the product information, and finally, the postage information. Each section has specific formatting guidelines which you should follow to make sure the post office accepts your shipping label.

Let’s take a closer look at the UPS label:

UPS label

Source: Making Society

Parts in Detail:

    1. Name and Address of the Sender
    2. Name and address of your customer
    3. MaxiCode: It’s a piece of code that the machine can read in any direction and contains the postal code, country code, service class, tracking number, package quantity, date, address validation, and destination address.
    4. Routing Code: a code that tells the route of the package inside the UPS building.
    5. Postal Barcode: tells the zip code of the destination address
    6. Tracking Number*: This is what you give your customer so he can track his order.
    7. Level of Service: it defines the level of service your carrier should provide

*Note: For domestic items within the United States, a UPS tracking number will normally start with “1Z,” followed by a six-character shipper number (a combination of numbers and letters), a 2-digit service level indication, and lastly, an 8-digit identifying number with a total of 18 characters.

Confused about all the needed information on a shipping label? Not to worry because your courier will directly provide you with most of the information you need.

General Requirements for Shipping Labels

Below is the set of information that you’ll generally need to fill in on your shipping label:

    • Your name and your customer’s name
    • Origin or return address
    • Destination address
    • Class (As shown above: Next Day Air and Priority Mail, respectively)

Check out this USPS label example which contains almost the same information:

USPS-label-1

You should be able to fill out the needed info accurately and ensure that your customers’ orders get where they need to be. 

More importantly, customers may want their products delivered ASAP, or they’ve chosen an expedited shipping option, so be sure to provide all the main information about the customer on the shipping label to ensure smooth delivery.

What Should a Shipping Label Look Like?

In addition, as you can see from the example above, the standard shipping label is typically rectangular in shape, but it can also be square or round depending on the need for it. 

Dymo 4XL Shipping Labels

: 220 Labels/Roll
: 4″ x 6″
: Dymo Printers

The size of your shipping label will depend on how much information you want to include: if all that matters are names and addresses, then any size will do. However, you will need a larger label for products that feature weight and dimension details.

How to Make a Shipping Label?

Now that you know what a shipping label is and what it should look like, let’s walk through how to make one! The process of creating a shipping label usually involves three main steps: 

1.

Choosing & Filling Out a Template

The first step of creating a shipping label is choosing a template. You can do this by:

    • Signing up to an automated shipping tool (good for those with a bulk of orders a month)
    • Using a label software (good for 5 to 10 orders)
    • Using online label templates from the carrier (good for 0 to 5 orders)

(a) Signing up to an Automated Shipping Tool

In cases where you have many orders to fill every day, it may be worth looking into an automated shipping tool that automatically aggregates information from multiple platforms and carriers. The cost? Usually a monthly fee but there are always some discounts on these things! Here are some examples of automated shipping tools:

Automated Shipping Tool

Endicia

Shipping Easy

ShipStation

Cost per month

$15.95

$29

$25

(b) Using a Shipping Label Software

Choose this option if you’re frequently working offline. You’ll also have greater control over customizing and automating your labels. If you have plenty of labels to fill every day, don’t have quick access to the Internet, or if you utilize many carriers, this is the way to go.

Here are the most popular software for shipping labels:

Software

Avery

Microsoft Word

OpenOffice

Cost

Free

$100 per year

Free

(c) Using Online Label Templates from the Carrier

You can utilize the free printable labels offered on your carrier’s website if you only handle a few orders a month. Every carrier has an online tool that may assist you in creating shipping labels that meet their standards.

You’ll need to sign up on their website, fill out the label template, and then download the PDF to print at home. Below is where you can find links that lead you to the carrier’s online label templates:

2.

Printing Out Your Label 

Now that you’ve filled up your label, it’s time to print it out! There are many different printers available, so make sure you choose a compatible printer for both paper size and quality. 

Some printers can be used specifically for printing shipping labels, such as direct thermal printers or desktop thermal transfer. These printers use heat instead of ink, so they don’t require any cartridges or other consumables – you just plug them in!

To make it short:

    • Zebra is used by professionals
    • Brother is the most affordable

Related article:

Best Direct Thermal Printers for Shipping Labels in 2022

3.

Attaching Your Label to the Package

Now that your shipping label is printed, it’s time to attach it to your package! Make sure that the label is securely attached to your product so that it doesn’t get damaged during transit.

Features of Shipping Labels By Brand

Now that you know how to make shipping labels, let’s get you in the know for the most common shipping labels in the industry. These are:

1

Dymo Shipping Labels

Dymo printers and labels are usually used by small online sellers. Dymo labels usually have the following features:

    • Comes with a strong self-adhesive backing that you can easily peel and stick on almost any surface
    • the larger shipping labels can print up to 6-line addresses
    • can be printed using LabelWriter 4XL, LabelWriter 450, LabelWriter 450 Duo, LabelWriter 450 Turbo, LabelWriter 450 Twin Turbo
Dymo Shipping Labels
Labels per roll

300

220

220

Size

2-5/16″ x 4″

4″ x 6″

4″ x 2-1/8″

2

Brother Shipping Labels

Brother is, by far, the most budget-friendly brand for printing shipping labels. And despite their affordability, they come in good quality and are highly recommended by many online sellers. 

Some of the features of the Brother Shipping Labels are the following:

    • Cheaper price but good quality
    • High-performance coating
    • Comes on die-cut label tapes
Labels per roll

200

600

300

Size

4″ x 6″

4″ x 2″

4″ x 2-3/7″

Brother DK-1241 Shipping Labels

: 200 Labels/Roll
: 4″ x 6′
: Brother DK Printers

3

Zebra Shipping Labels

Zebra brands are common among large industries or offices that print labels in large volumes every month. Here are some of the most popular Zebra shipping labels used in the industry:

Labels per roll

220

1000

300

Size

4″ x 6″

4″ x 6″

4″ x 2-3/4″

4

Rollo Shipping Labels

The Rollo® brand is a favorite of many in the direct thermal printer market. It’s small, fast, and compatible with dozens of different programs. Rollo shipping labels are usually: Rollo Shipping Labels

Labels per pack

500

2000

Size

4″ x 6″

4″ x 6″

5

Avery Sheet Labels

These are the most popular sheet labels used for shipping:

Labels per sheet

6

4

2

1

Size

3-1/3″ x 4″

3-1/2″ x 5″

8-1/2″ x 5-1/2″

8-1/2″ x 11″

Where to Find Cheap Shipping Labels (enKo Products)

With the hefty price of original labels, you can always find cheaper but reliable options at enKo Products. Third-party label sellers like us offer a variety of compatible shipping labels for Dymo, Rollo, Zebra, and Brother to help you save on costs without sacrificing quality.

Wrapping Up

And there you have it – everything you need to know about shipping labels and how to make them! We hope this guide has helped you understand what they are, how to create them, and where to get them. If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to reach out to us for more information about shipping labels.

And don’t forget – if you’re looking for compatible shipping labels that are much cheaper than the branded ones, enKo Products is where to get them!

 

Related Articles

Like & follow our social media pages to see more updates and promotions !

Leave a Reply