What is a Packing Slip?
‘A packing slip is a document that lists all the items to be shipped as well as the recipient of the shipment. It may also include other information like a shipment control number or handling charges. It is used to confirm that the shipment is complete (according to the invoice). In most cases, a packing slip is placed inside the box that is used for the shipment.’ as mentioned by Wikipedia.
In layman language, Packing Slip is a document that consists of all necessary information related to the item or product such as the number of cartons, its packing sizes, the total quantity of each product, etc. It is used for shipment purposes as it generally contains in-depth information on the product being shipped. Also, as the packing slip is used by the shipping department; it helps them to understand the delivery specifics of the shipment through a packing slip.
Packing Slip is important when it comes to Order Management, as it helps with the smooth transitioning, processing, and transportation of the orders. As we know, Order Management is managing the lifespan of a product and keeping track of it until the product reaches the customer’s destination. Thus, with the help of a packing slip, companies can easily track the status of the product shipment and further simplify the order and shipping management process.
Details Included in a Packing Slip
A packing slip needs to be precise and thorough as much as possible. We have already established that packing slip is required for shipping purpose, thus, the detailed packing slip is definitely better for sending the shipment and getting quicker customs clearance. Generally, the packing slip includes:
- Company Information (Name and Logo)
- Name of the Document (In this case: Packing Slip)
- Order Number (eg.: PS_123)
- Order Date (and Time, depends on the company)
- Name and Address of the Recipient/ Customer
- Billing Name and Address (If different from Recipient)
- Shipper or Carrier Method (Name)
- Any Special Instructions or Notes
- Product Name and Product Number
- Product Description
- Product Quantities (Mention all products separately with quantities)
- Name and Address of the Shipper (Company Dispatching the Products)
- Any Closing or Salutation End (eg: Thank you for Doing Business with Us)
For a better understanding of the packing slip, you can always refer to the below sample
Image Courtesy: Shopify.com
Importance of a Packing Slip
Packing Slip is especially important when running an eCommerce business. Let us say, you are visiting a brick and mortar store. After purchasing and billing, you obviously would want an invoice. Why so? Because it contains all the information including the products that you purchased. Well, eCommerce works a little differently. Here, as everything is online, so to maintain transparency and clarity, they send a packing slip to help you connect with the digital world. So, packing slip is surely important. But, why not, we lay down a few of the important points of a packing slip.
1. Check and Cross-check
In an eCommerce business, timely delivery and correct order is everything.! A packing slip ensures that the seller has included all the orders mentioned by their customers in the shipment package. Through the packing slip, they can count, check, and re-check every product against the quantities mentioned in it. This way, before the boxes are packed and sealed, the shipment team cross-checks every item against the packing slip and ensures both of them are a match. Once it is verified, the packing slip is packed along with its respective boxes.
2. Physical Evidence of Shipped Goods
A packing slip is a hard copy of the packed items. It is proof that all the items that are mentioned in the packing slip are shipped, for sure.! Thus, it serves as evidence. If anything goes wrong along the way or there is a mismatch, the shipment team is ready to provide the packing slip to verify the details. Needless to say, the packing slip helps the seller and customer, both, track the items of the shipment. There are times when products are distributed in several boxes. Thus, with this slip, both the parties can easily stay organized.
3. Lost or Damaged Goods
A packing slip helps identify the lost or damaged goods. Generally, In-transit products are covered by insurance costs. Thus, with the help of a packing slip, the refund process or process of sending an alternate product can be initiated. Also, in refund cases, the packing slip serves as proof of the product being in transit during such an event.
4. Customer Can Verify the Products
Once the shipment reaches its destination, the end-user (customer) can verify that each product has been received with the help of the packing slip. Also, they can note if any of them were wrongly delivered or lost or damaged. This way, the customer and the seller both benefit from the packing slip.
5. Strengthens Business Relations
Every company enjoys a straightforward and organized working culture. When a seller sends a packing slip, he is not just helping himself (to ensure all the products were dispatched); but is also helping the shipment team (to cross-check the goods) and the customer as well. This way, both the customer and shipping company are pleased by the working system and let us just say, who doesn’t like an organized team.! This way, the business relations become clearer and much stronger.
Difference between a Packing Slip and an Invoice
There are a lot of misunderstandings that the Invoice and Packing Slip are one and the same thing. But, there is a clear difference between the two. Just as, ‘similar’ and ‘same’ have two different meanings.!
same means the two things are exactly like one another, while as,
Similar means they are close but not exactly the same.
Now, why did I mention this? Because this is the exact difference between Packing Slip and Invoice. They are similar but not the same. The slips definitely look similar but they serve two very different purposes. So, we need to clarify the differences between the two.
Let us take a close look at the sample of an Invoice.
Image Courtesy: Shopify.com
Packing Slip is a document that is sent during shipment or products in transit. This way, the shipment team will always know the products that they are carrying along with them.
Invoice is a document that is sent directly to the customer or company. The shipment company does not require to know the prices associated with the shipment. The prices or invoice is only for the customer. Thus, they are dispatched directly to the customer.
The purpose of the Packing Slip is to mention and document each product. This way, the shipment and delivery team can track all the products mentioned in the packing slip. Also, for large companies where there are huge numbers of orders, it gets difficult to track every shipment without a packing slip. This way, even if the products are delayed, they know for sure that they are in transit or at the least, they know the status of every product.
The purpose of an Invoice is to mention and document the financials or payments. This way, the company is always aware of their due payments (if any). Many large companies operate on monthly payment clearance. Thus, when an invoice is sent to them, it generally consists of all the shipments that happened during the month. An invoice covers all the goods or products sold during that time frame. Thus, this document is not required by the shipment company. Its whole and sole purpose is to provide a full and final copy of payments that need to be cleared by them.
Packing Slip is mainly for the shipment team and warehouse team. As you are aware, all the products or items go to the warehouse or the storage facility. Thus, a packing slip is required in the warehouse in order to ensure all the enlisted products are received. This way, the warehouse or shipping department is always aware of the number of goods. The shipping department or warehouse is always certain of the goods they are receiving or transporting due to the packing slips.
Invoice is mainly for the company owners or the accounting department. The invoice, as stated above, is a list of due payments. Thus, they directly go through the financial department and are cleared there itself. The warehouse or any other department does not have the authority to act on the payment part. Well, of course, the top management has a say, but, generally, the payment process is routed through the accounting or finance department only. This way, the department always has a copy and records every payment made towards all the shipments.
Can a Packing List be used as a Shipping Label?
As a packing list contains all the information needed during shipment, it can definitely be used as a shipping label. All you need to do is process the product through the shipping carrier and generate a shipping label. This shipping label is stuck on its respective box and this way, the shipping label can identify the content of each box.
How to Download & Print a Packing Slip
A packing slip is a shipping document that comes with an order, usually inside an attached shipping pouch or inside the package itself which lists the items included in the shipment.
Orderhive has given a detailed idea of the packing slip and how to download it. Here, you will see step-to-step learning of packing slip, including images (for easy understanding).! Orderhive allows downloading as well as print packing slips for each of your orders either individually or in bulk. A packing slip can be generated only for Shipped and Completed orders.
Downloading/Printing packing slip from the Orders module:
- Go to Orders
- Double click on any Shipped or Completed order to open it
- Hover on the Shipment section of the order and you will see 3 dots that will display the option of downloading and printing the packing slip.
- Packing Slip will be opened in a new tab.
Orderhive also allows customizing the format of the packing slips according to your business requirements. Here’s how you can customize a packing slip:
- Go to Settings
- Click on Shipping and scroll down to Packing Slip Templates
- A list of all the packing slip templates present in the account will be displayed here. By default, there is a Standard Template present in the account.
- You can customize your own packing slip based on your requirements by clicking on Create Packing Slip Template.
- The custom template is in HTML format in which you can choose the fields that you wish to display on the template.
- Any Name can be given to the template for your reference.
- You can also use the Insert Values fields given on the right, in your template.
- Custom insert values for entities like Shipment Details, Product Details, Package Details, Order Details, and Barcode are available to be included by just a click on the relevant field at the required place in the template.
- After drafting the custom email template, click on Save.
- You can also Preview the template to see how it will appear when you download the packing slip for any order.
- Amongst the created templates, you can star mark a template to set it as default. This will automatically print the packing slip in this particular format. Click on Save after you have made the necessary changes.
- The custom packing slip template can be edited or deleted at any given point of time.
Downloading/Printing packing slip from Shipments module:
- Go to Shipments
- Select the shipments in bulk for which the packing slip needs to be downloaded
- Click on Packing Slip with a printer icon to print the packing slip or click on More to see the option for downloading the packing slip.
- You can also go to the shipment detail page to print or download the packing slip
Not getting what you need? Chat with our product expert immediately.
To summarize, a Packing Slip helps with the goods transit. It makes the shipping process much simpler and organized, also, it gives a clear idea of the goods or products being shipped/ by the company. As we are aware, packing slips and invoices are definitely different from each other as invoice also includes the prices of each product in it., We have also learned that using a packing slip is really beneficial for the company.
I write to express and believe that words are powerful. Long drives and traveling are my weekend goals. I write poems when I am happy and enjoy a solo outing. My mind works best when I am by myself at a cafe with a tall glass of cold coffee and sandwiches. I dance in the rain and heat never bothers me. For me, winters are the worst! I laugh when I cry and bring a smile to everyone close to me. Content Writer at Orderhive, I present knowledge on technical aspects on weekdays and on weekends I write for myself.
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