Packing Slip: A Detailed Guide with Free Templates

Online shopping and ordering have been a trend for the past few years. After the pandemic, the rate of online sales multiplied exponentially. 

As per the statistics, the COVID 19 Pandemic added around $219 billion in revenue to US eCommerce sales in 2020-2021

A single customer places many repeat orders from various stores and facilities because they are used to the process and feel confident about it. So, why should companies care about what is packing slip?

Whether you are an eCommerce business owner or a delivery business owner, it becomes important for you to understand the importance of packing slips. 

Packing Slip Definition

A packing slip is also a shipping list, purchase order, packing list, or waybill. It is generally a document containing every minute information about the package. Starting from the list of items packed in the box to the weights and dimensions of them, everything is updated in these packing slips. 

The companies print packing slips to understand the delivery instructions or specifics for a particular shipment. Packing slips are critical order management documents that assist the delivery business with smooth order transitioning, processing, and complete transportation. 

The company’s order management department tracks the order’s lifespan and location until it gets delivered to the customer. And a packing slip intends to help the companies track the shipment status to further simplify the fulfillment process. 

Right from the start, the shipping department uses the packing slip to determine what products they need to draw from the inventory to prepare the shipment. After they add the orders to a box, one copy of the packing slip will be left inside the package. 

After the order is delivered, the customer can then use the packing slip and confirm the availability of the items with the ones listed in the packing slip to be the same. The customers can use it to report any missing or damaged items, following which the replacement or return procedures are quick. 

Many newly started delivery businesses often confuse the purpose of a packing slip and shipping label. They are both different as they serve varying purposes. 

What is the shipping label?

As the name suggests, a shipping label is used by the delivery driver or carrier to deliver the package from origin to destination. A shipping label comes with a barcode which is scanned at every delivery hub it reaches. 

Apart from the origin and shipping address, the shipping labels also contain information such as whether the item is fragile, perishable, or has some other specific shipment instruction. It is called a specialty shipping label! 

The customers get updates on how far their order has traveled and assume how long it would take for the package to reach their nearest delivery hub. 

Without the shipping labels, there is a possibility that the orders might get lost in the shipping process. As a result, it will trigger a bad customer experience, and your brand loyalty will get hampered. 

Packing Slip vs. Shipping Label

The difference between a packing slip and shipping label is stated in the table below:

  Packing Slip Shipping Label
Purpose A packing slip is for the consignees to be aware of the order details. It is for them to confirm the things they have ordered and what they have been delivered with.  A shipping label is the document that is fixed onto the shipment packaging for carriers or delivery drivers to track and identify the package throughout the shipping process. 
Scannable Packing slips are not scannable Shipping labels have a QR code or barcode for cargo tracking on a daily basis. 
Placement The packing slips are placed within the box or delivery pouch.  The shipping labels are attached to each box that is to be delivered. 
Printed data Packing slips consist of data fields such as consignee, ordered items, weight, delivery address and the shipper’s information. Shipping labels consist of the same information as that of the packing slip, except the list of ordered items.

Packing Slip Examples

If you are completely new to this delivery business and have never encountered a packing slip, then here are a few examples for you to check out how they should look and what information they should convey:

clean packing slip

Clean Packing Slip

Access The Template

Steps to Create a Packing Slip

Now that you know what the packing slips are, it is time to learn how to create them. Here are the steps for you to learn and create packing slips:

1. Determine what your packing slip should include

The packing slip needs to be precise with honest and thorough details about the shipment. You can get a packing slip template to review the empty fields and determine what you need to fill them with. But if you want to prepare multiple packing slips from scratch, then here are the details one should include:

  • Company name
  • Name of the document- ‘Packing Slip’
  • Order details (Order date and reference number)
  • Recipient name and address
  • Billing Address (If different from recipient address)
  • Shipping details
  • Brand contact details
  • List of items in the package
  • Inventory number
  • Missing items or out-of-stock items (If any)
  • Slip number
  • Stock Keeping Unit (SKU) numbers or the Universal Product Codes (UPCs)
  • Payment date, method, and transaction ID 
  • Closing or salutation.

2. Go to the settings of your eCommerce fulfillment tools

Go to the settings section of your eCommerce application and find the ‘packing slip’ tab to preview a pre-set packing slip template. 

3. Select the orders you want a packing slip for

Select all the orders you want packing slips, and click on proceed. You will now have all the packing slips for different orders, which will be displayed on the screen. 

4. Click the ‘Print Packing Slip’ tab’

Click on ‘Print’, set the orientation, and confirm the print. You will now have the packing slips ready to be placed within the shipment boxes. 

For Manually Creating a Packing Slip:

1. Get software for creating packing slips

You can get dedicated software for creating the packing slips. There are tons of them available online. They will have several templates for you to choose from. 

2. Select the template you want

Choose the template you like and cross-verify if all the fields are necessary for your shipment processing tasks. 

3. Edit the given fields with order details

Fill all the required fields with valid information as per the order. You must manually enter them all as it is not your delivery fulfillment portal or third-party software. 

4. Save or print the packing slip

Save the packing slip or print it if you need it immediately. 

Packing Slip Templates

If you don’t want to pay for packing slip software, you can always use free templates and customize them in a spreadsheet or doc format. Here are some of the free packing slip templates for you to use for creating one of your own without spending a penny:

packing slip

Packing Slip Template

Access The Template

packing slip

Packing Slip Template

Access The Template

Why are Packing Slips Important for Businesses?

Packing slips are more like purchase orders where everything the customer has ordered has been listed. eCommerce businesses use packing slips to create an itemized list as a necessary document to connect the digital world and physical world. Here are a few evident reasons why it is of utmost importance:

1. Ensuring all the items of a shipment

Packing slips ensure that the order fulfillment team has packed everything listed in the order information by the customer. It is a critical document for both the seller and the shipping carrier to cross-verify the items before they are packed and prepared for delivery. 

2. Customer satisfaction

The customers get to compare the packing slip with the items in the box to determine if they have received everything they ordered. In case of anything that is out of stock, the same will be mentioned in the packing slip. 

The customer can then raise a request for getting the missed product immediately. In case of any damage or missing item, the customer can raise a return or replacement request. The customers get a sense of satisfaction and transparency when they receive the packing slips with their order. 

3. For dividing orders

If there are too many single items in one order, then it can be divided into two packages for shipment. For two shipments of a single order, there will be two packing slips printed with an itemized list for each. 

It will help the customers and the shipment department know what products are packed in both boxes. With packing slips, the sellers, shipment carriers, and the recipient can stay organized to track their multiple packages. 

4. Identifying damaged items

There is a possibility that a product with the ‘Fragile’ tag got damaged during the transit. Irrespective of the reasons for such delivery exceptions, having a packing slip will help customers speed up the process of issuing returns or replacements for the damaged products. 

5. Value estimation for customers

When shipping internationally, you might need import customs clearance before they can be shipped to a different country. The customs department might demand packing slips and a commercial invoice to verify and provide clearance to the package. 

The commercial invoice consists of similar information as a packing slip with additional information such as delivery and payment terms. 

Ease Your Process of Order Fulfillment with Upper Route Planner

Packing slips are important for order fulfillment, but there are many other procedures for you to implement to speed up the delivery process. The person responsible for taking care of the order fulfillment will have to look after streamlining all the involved processes till the shipment is delivered to the customer. 

After you have printed and placed the packing slip in your shipment boxes, it is time for you to assign trucks, plan a route, dispatch the delivery lot and track the consignment to complete the shipping process

Upper Route Planner is the perfect shipping software that helps you streamline most of your logistics or delivery business operations. It helps you plan routes, adds multiple stops, sends automated notifications to customers, and executes immediate dispatch notifications to drivers. 

You will assign the truck or delivery drivers for the job, select the vehicle, add parcel information, and adjust the driver schedules to follow up with the created route plan. You can also add priorities to the delivery information to let drivers know their focus points.

At the end, when your drivers are done with the delivery process, they can just collect the proof of delivery through electronic means. 

With the Upper Route Planner, all shipped items will be tracked until they are delivered to the customers. And then, your customers can cross-verify the itemized list over the packing slip with the physical orders to attain satisfaction. 

This route planning software by Upper can simplify your business processes and help you focus on other important aspects of gaining profitability. to master all of its features before implementing it permanently in your shipping departments. 

Reduce Your Paperwork Using Upper

Join Upper and get the benefit of a complete automated delivery process. Hand over the parcel in minutes by spending less time on route planning, scheduling orders, and dispatching.


You can create a packing slip or purchase order using your eCommerce business fulfillment application or a pre-set template to fill the required fields and print it out. Make sure you add all the details to the best of your knowledge, starting from the order date, customer address, slip number, delivery note, ordered items, and others.

The freight forwarder is responsible for preparing the packing slip. In the case of small eCommerce businesses, the owners or a department member must prepare the packing slip to dispatch the order.

Yes, you can download an E excel template for your packing slip and then edit the requested fields to make it relevant to your specific order.

In most cases, the packing slip is the same as that of a packing list, where the shipping carriers list all the orders, and only one packing slip is placed at the base of the box or with a shipping pouch.

The packing slip return form is considered a set of fields over the packing slip, used when the customers return the order or any part of it.

Summing Up

Thus, it is evident that a packing slip is important for fulfilling the order and keeping the operations streamlined. The packaged box will have a packing slip and an invoice for the customer’s assessment. Your inventory management portal will have the feature to print these slips instantly. 

But to proceed further with the order fulfillment process, you will need a proper route plan for your delivery drivers. Upper Route Planner will help you with assigning the drivers, selecting the vehicles, and preparing the route for delivering multiple shipments. Talk to our expert consultants to learn more about the efficacy of our software. 

Author Bio
Rakesh Patel
Rakesh Patel

Rakesh Patel is the founder and CEO of Upper Route Planner. A subject matter expert in building simple solutions for day-to-day problems, Rakesh has been involved in technology for 30+ years. Looking to help delivery businesses eliminate on-field delivery challenges, Rakesh started Upper Route Planner with the ultimate goal of simplistic operations in mind.