Label guide: How to affix your shipping labels correctly

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Maria Vestergaard
by Maria Vestergaard 27/03/2022

Not sure where your shipping label should go, how big it should be, or what information it should contain? We guide you here.

Label guide: How to affix your shipping labels correctly

Shipping labels, freight labels, labels for parcels, postage…

Yes, there are many different ways to say it, but the meaning remains the same; essentially, the ability to send packages.

Without a shipping label on your package, it’s impossible for the carrier to know where the package should go, who should receive it, and where the package should be returned in case it’s not picked up.

If you’re booking freight and sending packages, encountering a shipping label is inevitable. But navigating through the world of shipping labels, printers, paper, dimensions, packaging requirements, packaging etc., can be quite a jungle, so we’ve created a guide for you.

This guide will help you understand what shipping labels are all about, and how to ensure that your shipping label is correctly attached.

However, please note that this is a general guide, and you should always check the specific requirements of your carrier regarding shipping labels, package size, etc., before sending your packages.

What does a shipping label contain?

A shipping label includes essential information that identifies the sender and the receiver of the package.

While no two shipping labels are identical, they usually share a similar design featuring a barcode, the carrier’s logo, and shipping details.

And this is the case whether you are sending packages with Bring, UPS, DHL Express/Freight, PostNord, or any other carrier.

How should my shipping label be positioned?

When you’re shipping packages, it’s important to place your shipping label correctly so that the carrier can read the recipient’s information and deliver your package to the right location.

Your shipping label should be placed on the largest, flat surface of the package, ensuring it doesn’t fold and can be easily read and scanned.

How not to place your shipping label on the package

A correctly applied shipping label ensures that your package safely reaches its destination. It’s your responsibility to make sure that your label stays on the package and can be scanned throughout the shipping process.

Shipping labels are often printed using a label printer on paper with an adhesive backing, making it easy for the label to stick. However, it’s also possible to print shipping labels on a standard printer using regular paper.

If you print shipping labels on non-adhesive regular paper, you need to be mindful of how you attach the label to your package.

Using tape or packing tape is fine, but it’s important that everything on the shipping label remains readable and scannable.

Therefore, never place tape over the barcode on the shipping label.

An alternative could be a self-adhesive pouch, also known as a document pouch.

This is a transparent plastic pocket with an adhesive side, allowing you to stick it onto the package, insert the shipping label into the pocket, and seal it.

This way, the shipping label remains readable and scannable. However, be aware that not all carriers approve of this method, so always check with your preferred carrier before attaching your shipping label to your package.

Examples of Invalid Shipping Labels

Besides being readable and scannable, there are some clear ‘don’ts’ when it comes to placing your shipping label.

By following these simple guidelines, you can help ensure that your package arrives without unnecessary delays.

Here are some examples of mistakes you should avoid:

How not to place labels on a package to avoid delay

How not to place labels on a package to avoid delay

It’s your responsibility as the sender to ensure that the shipping label is securely attached, won’t get damaged, or fall off during transport.

Carrier requirements

There can be differences in how carriers want shipping labels to be placed, the size of the package, etc., so always make sure you are familiar with your carrier’s requirements.

Therefore, it’s important to always check the package requirements and types with your chosen carrier before sending a package.

Contact your carrier directly or search on their website for more information.

Below, you’ll find links to the specific requirements and guidelines from a selection of carriers:

If you have your own shipping agreement with the carrier, refer to your contract or terms of trade before sending packages.

Some carriers even offer labelless shipping. This means you can send packages without printing a shipping label, instead using a digital or numerical code that the carrier scans at pickup or delivery.

What size label paper should I buy?

A shipping label can come in various sizes, depending on which carrier you are shipping with.

The label size of 10x19 cm is the format that fits most carriers’ labels and is the size we at Shipmondo also recommend printing in.

Note: Shipmondo does not sell shipping labels or label printers.

You can also print shipping labels in A4 format on a standard printer or use the popular ZPL format if you are printing on a Zebra label printer.

If you print in A4 format through Shipmondo, your shipping label will occupy half a page of the paper, which you can then attach to your package.

Example of a label from Shipmondo printed on A4-paper

You can read much more about label formats and printing options here.

How do I print shipping labels?

You can print shipping labels as soon as you have a printer, whether it’s a label printer or a standard A4 printer.

If you have a Shipmondo account, you can easily add printers to your account and automatically print shipping labels.

You can connect your webshop, accounting system, ERP system, or something else entirely to Shipmondo and thereby create shipments, book freight, print shipping labels, and send packages.

You can add multiple printers to your Shipmondo account, and you can print in various formats, depending on the type of printer you have.

With Shipmondo, you can easily print shipping labels and book freight whether you choose well-known carriers such as Bring, UPS, PostNord, and DHL or use your own freight agreements.

If you’re unsure about which carrier to use, how to get freight for your webshop, how your packages should be packed and insured, or anything else, you can find answers to most questions in our freight guide for businesses.

And if you need further advice, Shipmondo’s free support is ready to assist you with shipping labels, freight, delivery, and much more.

You can also find answers to most questions in our Customer Center, where we have compiled a lot of guides.

Create a free Shipmondo account and start sending packages today.

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