5 Tips for Attaching a Shipping Label to a Package

5 Tips for Attaching a Shipping Label to a PackageAttaching a shipping label may seem like the easiest thing about printing your shipping labels yourself, but it is still important that you do it properly if you want your package to reach its destination without any delays. Here are a few tips on attaching a shipping label to a package the right way to ensure it doesn’t get torn or become illegible while in transit.

Tip #1. Protect the Label from the Elements

If you’re using online tools to print your shipping labels, you probably print them using a regular printer and office paper, which is totally okay. However, such labels need to be protected from the elements because if your shipping label gets torn or otherwise cannot be read, the package won’t get to the recipient in time or ever.

The best way to protect your shipping label from damage is to place it in an address pouch made of clear plastic. Such pouches are specifically designed to keep shipping labels safe and ensure that they stay readable. You can obtain a pouch from the carrier; they are usually available free of charge at carrier locations and can be ordered online on the carrier’s website. There may be different sizes of pouches available; make sure you use the one that matches the size of your shipping label.

If you don’t have an address pouch, you can use clear tape over the entire area of the label except for the bar code.

Tip #2. Place the Label Where It Is Easily Identifiable

Ideally, you should affix the shipping label to the address side of the package, which is its largest side. You also can place the label on the top of the package, which is especially recommended if your package needs to be correctly orientated and has a “this way up” or “this side up” label.

Where you shouldn’t place the label is the bottom of the box because in this case it won’t be easily identifiable. You also shouldn’t place the label over a seam or box closure as the label may become raised or even get torn if the box breaks open.

Tip #3. Make Sure to Adhere the Label Securely

The shipping label must be securely attached to the package with glue or clear packing tape. It is important that the label is not wrapped over any edges of the box and that the edges of the label are all smooth.

Tip #4. Make Sure the Barcode Is Scannable

We’ve already mentioned this in our Tip #1, but this is something that needs reiterating. The barcode on the shipping label is scanned multiple times while the package is in transit, so you need to make sure that the barcode is visible and easily scannable.

For example, if you decide to glue the label to the box, smooth it out to flatten any bumps, creases or wrinkles. If you affix and protect the label with clear packing tape, avoid taping over the barcode because even clear tape might make the scan fail since it’s a reflective material.

Sometimes barcodes can be scanned even if slightly crinkled, but it depends on the carrier. Some carriers structure their barcodes in such a way that they are able to endure a certain degree of damage (up to 30%), while others leave less room for error. Either way, it is better if you make sure that the barcode is in pristine condition, just to be on the safe side.

Tip #5. Put a Backup Shipping Label Inside the Box

Even if you take all the necessary precautions, something might happen to the shipping label. To make sure that the package gets to its destination even if the postage label gets damaged or becomes unreadable, print two copies of the label and place the extra one inside the box before sealing it. If something happens to the shipping label, the carrier will have to open the package; putting a backup label inside helps to ensure that your mailpiece will get to its destination after all.