Reduce Freight Delays with Proper Shipping Labels

Correctly Label Freight

Freight delays are absolutely no fun for anyone; not for the shipper and certainly not for the customer. When freight gets delayed, it frustrates customers which makes them less likely to order from that particular shipper again.

But do you know what delays a majority of deliveries?

Shipping labels.

That’s right, improperly filled or damaged shipping labels are among the most common reasons for deliveries being delayed. Despite technology leading to improvements in shipping, there is still room for improvement when it comes to freight labeling.

By developing a fool-proof freight labeling process, shippers and carriers can save time, money, and improve the customer’s experience with relative ease. To get you started, here are a few best practice freight labeling tips…


Properly Apply Shipping Labels & Use Strong Packing Materials

Sometimes, what’s noted on the shipping labels themselves are not the issue. Instead, the issue is how they are applied.

When shipping labels are not properly affixed to freight, it will only cause issues. Labeling placed in the wrong place can be more easily ripped, subjected to inclement weather or simply not easily seen.

It is essential that shippers and carriers use proper label placement protocol. Here are some things for shippers to remember regarding packaging:

  • Use clean, non-damaged pallets: When shipping pallets or skids, it is essential to use pallets and skids that are not damaged or cracked. While this might be difficult as pallets can crack or splinter fairly easily, it’s important to always examine them for damage before placing labelling.
  • Use high-quality shrink wrap: While steel bands are effective for securing items on pallets, going the extra mile and wrapping the entire shipment with high-quality shrink wrap will decrease the risk of labels being lost or damaged. This is because after going over the shipment with shrink wrap, the label can be attached to a flat portion of the load. Additional shrink-wrap can secure the label. Once this is done, as long as the label is visible, there should be no issues.
  • Never place a shipping label on the top of a pallet: A shipping label that is placed on the top of a pallet will always be at a greater risk of being damaged. This is because multiple items are often stacked on top of a pallet after the fact. Therefore, items stacked onto a shipping label can damage or tear the shipping label. Of course, this leads to delays down the road. To avoid this, always place shipping labels on the sides of wrapped pallets.


Use Durable Freight Labels and Industrial Printers

In addition to using packaging and placement best practices, a good way to reduce label damage is by using high-quality materials.

Two pieces of equipment that are worth investing in upfront are a high-quality shipping printer and shipping labels.

Rather than using generic printers/labels, shipper should purchase labeling printers. Standard printers are not suited for printing industrial labels as they use low-quality ink cartridges and equally low-quality paper labels.

For example, shippers who often ship individual boxes through UPS, FedEx, or USPS should use thermal labels that secure flush against packaging.

Alternatively, if you often send shipments via FTL carriers, investing in high-strength clear pouches for your labels is a great idea. The label simply slips inside the pouch and the pouch is then adhered to the shrink wrap thanks to a sticky backing.


Work with Carriers Who Are Able to Repair Damaged Labels

At the end of the day, even if a shipper does everything they can, unforeseen events still might cause damages to occur.

However, some carriers just seem to be experts at freight label repairs!

While labeling issues cost shippers time and money, carriers are also negatively affected. Thus, carriers have an incentive to maintain relabeling supplies or secondary labels in the case that issues do arise.

Most professional FTL and LTL carriers have secondary labeling systems at freight depots and distribution centers that apply a secondary shipping label that gets scanned at several different points of a shipments’ movement. These secondary shipping labels allow both the customer and logistics company to track movements of the shipment at all times.

Additionally, these secondary labels contain all applicable shipping information. Everything from delivery information to the contact information of both the sender and recipient are contained on these labels.

By selecting a carrier with this sort of system, shippers will experience far fewer delays and issues with their deliveries.

By doing this, you will significantly decrease the risk of delays caused by shipping label problems and thus optimize the overall efficiency of your business. In the long-run, this means more profits for you.

If you’re looking to improve your shipping, packaging and distribution for a retail or e-commerce business, contact the experts at Redwood Logistics first.