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Shipping Tips - Proper Addressing and Labeling of Packages

Addressing and labeling a package for shipping is as important as packing the items inside properly. A wrong or incomplete receiver’s address can delay or even prevent a package from getting delivered at all. The absence of a return address can lead to further complications. Here are some practical shipping tips on proper addressing and labeling of packages to ensure that they arrive on time and without any problems.

Get the correct name and address of the recipient. Include the Zip code for efficient and faster processing.

If writing addresses and labels by hand, make sure to write as legibly as possible using permanent markers on plain white or light paper. Only use capital letters that are large enough to be readable from an arm’s length away. Avoid using punctuation marks.

Write the return address in the upper left corner of the paper and the recipient’s adress on the center, both left justified. Attach address on the same side of the package, parallel to the longest edge of the envelope or box. It’s a good idea to insert a copy of this address label inside the package so shipping staff can determine where to send it in case the address outside the box got destroyed.

Stick clear tape on top of the address label to prevent it from peeling off and protect it against the elements such as moisture.

If printing address and labels from the post office’s or other shipping companies’ website, make sure your computer printer has a sufficient supply of ink or toner to ensure everything is clearly printed including barcodes, if any. Poorly printed addresses and barcodes cannot be properly scanned by postal machines which can lead to destination errors and delivery delays.

Also use white and plain paper to print the labels on. Patterns and flecks on paper can interfere with the machines that read addresses. Also avoid glossy or coated paper stock that may resist ink and cause the label to easily smudge or get erased.

Attach all printed labels on a completely flat surface on the exterior of the package, without any wrinkles or scuffs. As much as possible, do not place the address over the tape that seals the package as it can get damaged if the need to open  the box for inspection arises. To avoid any issues with postal scanners and machines do not place address and barcode labels over corners, seams and edges of the package. Also avoid placing the labels in areas that will be covered by shrink wrap and packaging straps/bands.

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