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Shipping Tips & Solutions

What's a Packing Slip? Is it Necessary?

Ever wondered what a packing slip is? Read this blog post to find out and to see how it compares to other shipping documents.
What's a Packing Slip? Is it Necessary?
Alexandra Ortolani

By Alexandra Ortolani

 

January 24, 2022

Key Points:

  • A packing slip is a document that lists all items shipped in a package
  • While other shipping documents may be similar to packing slips, all documents serve a unique purpose
  • If an order is split into multiple shipments, a packing slip can help merchants stay organized

Packing slips are a standard part of eCommerce businesses’ packing and shipping process. Packing slips provide all the necessary information related to the item, or items, being shipped.

More importantly, this document is vital when it comes to order and inventory management. With your packing slip, eCommerce businesses can track the status of a shipment. Plus, your slip can help identify damaged items in the case of that particular situation.

We’ll talk about everything you need to know about packing slips in this blog post. This way,  you know how to use a packing slip for shipping and understand how it compares to other shipping documents.

Table of Contents

What is a Packing Slip? (Packing Slip Example)

A packing slip is a document that lists all items shipped in a package. This document is important because it consists of all necessary information about the item being shipped, especially the recipient.

Below is a packing slip example:

What is a packing slip?
Packing Slip Template

Generally, packing slip templates includes information, such as the following:

  • Order number
  • Order date
  • Billing name and address
  • Name and address of the shipper
  • Itemized list of shipped items
  • SKU numbers of items
  • Quantity of each item
  • Shipping method
  • Any special instructions

Understanding how packing slips work is vital to order management, as it helps with processing and transporting orders. For example, once an order is delivered, the recipient can check the packing slip to ensure that every item was delivered.

USPS packing slip

USPS packing slips are generally the same as UPS packing slips and FedEx packing slips. Below is an example of a USPS packing slip so you can get an idea of what a USPS packing slip looks like:

USPS Packing Slip
USPS Packing Slip

UPS packing slip

Similar to a USPS packing slip, a UPS packing slip includes information like shipment address, itemized list, courier service, and other information like such.

Below is an example of a UPS packing slip:

UPS Packing Slip

FedEx packing slip

Similar to a UPS packing slip and USPS packing slip, FedEx packing slips contain the same information. In the example below, you can see this a FedEx Ground packing slip:

FedEx Packing Slip
FedEx Packing Slip

Related post: How to Customize Packing Slips

4 Ways Packing Slips Are Important for eCommerce Businesses

Packing slips are vital in the shipping process, especially for eCommerce businesses. Since buyers aren’t purchasing items from a brick-and-mortar store, packing slips ensure the order is correct and complete.

This section will go over other reasons how these documents serve a vital purpose to every merchant’s eCommerce business.

Ensures the accuracy and completeness of a shipment

Packing slips include an itemized list of everything included in the shipment. All orders have to be verified and checked before a package is on its way to the recipient. That's why it's important to double-check your packing slip when an order is received.

Packing slips can serve as a checklist, so no item is missing before it's shipped. In addition, for orders that are split into multiple shipments, your packing slip can help identify any issue that occurred.

Identifies damaged items

If an item breaks during transit, packing slips help identify damaged items. Plus, your packing list will help speed up the refund process or resend the package.

Allows for easy tracking of orders

Sometimes an order is split into multiple shipments, depending on the item quantity, size, or other factors. If an order is split into multiple shipments, a packing slip can help merchants stay organized.

Allows for the ability to estimate the value of a shipment

For international shipments, a packing slip can be used by customs authorities to assess the shipment value. However, a commercial invoice may be preferred. This is because this document contains a description of goods and their value, along with other required information for international shipments.

How Packing Slip Templates Compare to Other Shipping Documents

While other shipping documents may be similar to packing slips, all documents serve a unique purpose. This section will go over how these documents compare to different shipping documents.

What's the difference between a bill of lading vs. a packing slip?

A bill of lading is a legal shipping document that transfers ownership of an order from a seller to a buyer. Bill of ladings is usually created and handled by the shipping courier.

Bill of lading vs. a packing slip

Bill of ladings includes information, such as:

  • Shipment origin and destination points
  • The name of the carrier
  • Package dimensions and weight
  • Value of goods
  • Any special instructions

While packing slips and bills of ladings include some information overlap, both serve entirely different purposes. Packing slip templates include all the items shipped in a package and are included in a package for the recipient. On the other hand, a bill of lading is solely for the shipping courier, not the recipient.

What's the difference between a delivery note vs. a packing slip?

A delivery note is a list of items that were delivered. Unlike a packing slip, a delivery note doesn’t contain financial details or other information. Delivery notes only include a list of items delivered.

Packing slip example

It's important to note that there can be multiple packing slips in order. However, there can only be one delivery note. In some cases, eCommerce merchants may not even include the delivery note in a shipment.

What's the difference between a shipping label vs. a packing slip?

Shipping labels are a document that is pasted onto the packaging of a shipment. Shipping labels contain information, such as the shipper address and consignee information. Shipping labels contain an order number included in the shipment. More specifically, this includes a barcode or QR code to allow easy shipment tracking.

shipping label vs. a packing slip

On the other hand, packing slips are included inside a shipment and contain a detailed list of information. This information includes the order number, order date, itemized list of shipped items, and more.

Easyship Automatically Generates Shipping Documents

By now, you should be familiar with how packing slips work and how it compares to other shipping documents. These documents help merchants’ shipping process become more efficient and organized. Plus, it ensures that all orders are complete and accurate.

Easyship offers many benefits and features designed to help create a frictionless shipping experience for products being shipped, such as:

  • Automated Packing Slip Template Generation: Our shipping tool automatically generates all your shipping labels and all vital documents for shipping. All you have to do is print packing slips or other shipping documents
  • Easyship Branding Suite: Easyship provides a delivery experience consistent with your brand. Add your logo and advertising materials to your shipping documents, landing pages, and tracking emails
  • Up-to-Date Tracking: Our tracking statuses are updated at each step of the process. This way,  you’re always in the loop with your shipments

Optimize your shipping strategy with Easyship with the help of our shipping experts. Our rates remain unbeatable, with up to 89% off discounted shipping rates for 250+ couriers.

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