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Accurate label printing is vital for accurate delivery, but shipping software doesn’t stop there

Posted on 15th April 2015 by YmeriHart

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Isn’t it amazing how something that seems to be really simple can actually turn out to be very complicated?

Take printing delivery labels for example. How difficult can it be to access the information in a database and produce a label with the information needed?

When you are sending greeting cards through the traditional postal system (for those of us who have not moved entirely to e-cards), it is quite straightforward. You run a label off your database to show name and address and stick it on the envelope or parcel. You might even handwrite the name and address.

The point is – postal services in countries around the world all recognise and accept the information in the format it is presented and are able to undertake the delivery.

Now, consider a manufacturer or wholesaler who needs to send goods to customers all around the world. There are a whole range of options offered by many different transport and logistics companies. And those companies themselves may use a variety of carriers.

That’s when printing labels moves from something very simple to something very complicated.

Each carrier has its own shipping software systems which demand specific information in a precise format on the label in order for the shipment to be processed and carried. Each country’s Customs authority likewise has its own rules and regulations outlining the exact information that needs to be displayed.

So, the goods are picked and packed, maybe using the resources of a highly sophisticated warehouse management system – or even through a totally automated warehouse.

And then the ‘simple’ task of printing that label (and one that allows real-time tracking) needs to be undertaken.

One solution could be to send all the goods through one logistics or express operator. Then the labels become that operator’s problem. But most shipping managers realise that they achieve cost efficiency, faster delivery times and greater customer satisfaction if they use a variety of transport suppliers.

So how do they overcome the problem of the labels? Who wants a row of terminals loaded with each carrier’s particular software? Who has the skills to quickly reprogramme the computers to add a new carrier? And asking warehouse personnel to produce individual labels is time-consuming and the potential for error is obviously huge.

The answer is – don’t let the benefits of the sophistication of the warehouse management system stop at the labelling process. Find a provider who takes the complicated task of producing the correct label for each package and makes it simple again. There are not many of us, but we relish the challenge of complexity.

In fact, for us the label is definitely the ‘simple’ part. We also have all the information to help you select the best carrier for each route according to your own lead time/cost/product specifications. And our multi-carrier management solution doesn’t stop there – we offer complete tracking, invoicing and any other management information according to your business needs, all on one screen.

And it all started with something as simple as a label.

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