Ever wonder what all of those barcodes and symbols mean on a shipping label? ProShip breaks it down for you.

With all of those barcodes, numbers and symbols, shipping labels can get kind of confusing. Here’s a simple break down for a common UPS shipping label:

8 Parts of a Shipping Label

1. This section is probably the most simple. It contains the “shipping from” address information in the top left corner and the “ship to” address information in the middle. Notice that at the very top is the weight of the package and how many packages are within the shipment.

2. The square image with the target icon is called the “smart label”. This is used to route the package while traveling through miles of conveyor belts in shipping facilities.

3. This section is all about the destination of the package. The first two letters will indicate the state, the first three numbers represent the first three digits of the zip code and the 9-03 indicates an internal UPS region and district.

4. This indicates the carrier and service. It can say “UPS GROUND”, “UPS NEXT DAY AIR”, “UPS EXPRESS MAIL” or any other shipping service the carrier provides.

5. This is another easy one. This is the tracking number for that package that allows both the shipper and the person receiving the package to track where it is during the duration of the shipment.

6. The largest barcode on the shipping label is for tracking purposes as well. This gets scanned when the package is picked up, when it’s in transit and when it gets delivered.

7. This is where the billing option is placed. On this label, “P/P” means pre-paid. It could also say “T/P” for third-party or “F/C” for freight collect.

8. The shipper can choose to put any reference information here regarding the package. It could be item numbers, the name or category of the items inside or a variety of other references.

A Final Note on Shipping Labels

An important thing to note is that not all shipping labels are created equally. Each carrier has their own style, but a majority of them will have the same elements listed above. But no matter which carriers you use, ProShip takes the guess-work out of how to ship your package. So sit back, relax and ship like a pro.

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