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What is a Packing Slip? A Comprehensive Article

Before you go sending your next order to a customer, you’ll have to slip in a packing slip in the packaging too. But what is it? In this article, we’re going to tell you all about it. Stick around and you might realize how useful a single piece of paper can be to your business.

Packing slip definition

A packing slip is a document that lists all the items that come in packaging. It’s for both you the shipper or as the customer to verify what’s inside the packaging. It’s also a standard procedure in ecommerce nowadays.

What does a packing slip include?

Woman conducting her online business

The packing slip is an important document because it contains all the necessary information about the item being shipped, especially to the recipient. Each item shipped has a separate line for it when displayed on the packing slip. 

Each line states the product number, product description, weight, and unit quantity shipped. Usually packing slips can also include information like:

  • Order date
  • Order number
  • Shipping method
  • Quantity of items
  • Special instructions
  • Billing name and address
  • Name and address of shipper
  • Stock Keeping-Unit (SKU) numbers

How to create a packing slip?

Creating one for your next orders is a fairly standard process for any shipment. You can use both Microsoft Word or Excel to make the packing slips. However, considering the contents of one, making a packing slip yourself can be rather daunting too. So you can just go online and find free templates or products to use to make your packing slips in a much faster and simpler way.

Importance of packing slips

Delievry man delivering a parcel

Packing slips help streamline the order, receiving and fulfillment business process flow and avoid any costly mistakes. They’re vital in the shipping process nowadays, especially for an ecommerce business since they also ensure every order is correct and complete. Other ways packing slips are important include:

1. Useful for returns

Products can get damaged, or lost or a customer just isn’t happy with what they received. And packing slips can help with those. Customers can easily identify which product has an issue and help speed up the return process.

2. Ensuring shipments are accurate and complete

With everything listed down and included in a packing slip, orders have to be verified and checked before sending them off to customers. Packing slips serve as checklists and encourage you to double-check.

3. Allows easier order tracking

For the most part, tracking just gives you as the sender and recipients to feel a bit more at ease by knowing where an order is and when it’s likely to arrive. Also, some orders are also split into multiple shipments. So packing slips help businesses like yours to stay organized.

4. Allowing value estimation

International shipments with a packing slip are useful for customs authorities to assess their value. A packing slip contains the necessary description about the item and its value, along with other info for international shipments.

What’s the difference between delivery notes vs packing slips?

A delivery note lists down items that were delivered and doesn’t contain financial details or other info, unlike packing slips. Delivery notes only include a list of items delivered. Multiple packing slips can be in order but there can only be one delivery note. Sometimes delivery notes aren’t even included.

What’s the difference between a shipping label vs a packing slip?

Shipping labels are pasted onto the packaging of a shipment. Shipping labels contain info such as the shipper address and consignee information. Shipping labels contain an order number included and a barcode or QR code to allow easy tracking. Packing slips are included inside a shipment.

What’s the difference between an invoice vs a packing slip?

Packing slips and invoices look similar. However, packing slips list the items in a shipment. An invoice states the amount your customer owes along with all ordered items and is for requesting and accepting payments for the delivered goods. The packing slip is usually the first thing the customer sees after opening the packaging.

What’s the difference between a packing list and a packing slip?

A packing list and a packing slip are the same thing. A packing list may detail the information for multiple packing slips but for the most part, the only difference between the two are the names.

Are packing slips really necessary?

Packing slips are necessary for any business that sends high demand and physical products. Technically you can ship out orders without packing slips, but this could increase the likelihood of mistakes. A packing slip offers pickers and packers the opportunity to verify orders before boxes are sealed and labeled and gives customers the chance to check over all components of their order.

Aiman Ammar

East Coast boy. Writing friendly reads and providing a gentle hand to guide readers through learning new things.

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