Shipping should be fast, cheap, reliable, and monitored end-to-end. You want to avoid double shipping and try to resolve complaints promptly. The process involves the package, shipping label, transportation to the shipping service and customer, sharing shipping info with the customer such as the tracking number and delivery confirmation.
Shipping is one of the key entrepreneurial barriers for hardware businesses. It is often poorly understood and is a common source of inefficiency for start-ups executing more direct distribution.
ULINE is a popular North American distributor of supplies for shipping and logistics.
The shipping label is the most complex pillar of the shipping process.
Once the shipping label is attached, the package will be ready for carrier transportation.
The modern shipping label process involves 4 steps. First, purchase shipping service from a carrier. Second, record the shipping details. Third, print the shipping label. Fourth, attach the shipping label on the package.
Shipping labels can be printed on adhesive labels or regular paper. I recommend using high speed laser printers. Adhesive labels simply stick on the package. Paper labels must be inserted in a transparent pouch that adheres on the package. Adhesive labels are faster to attach and easier to automate, hence preferred by large distributors. Pouches are also used to carry extra documents, such as for cross-country duties.