Packing Slip: A Detailed Guide with Free Templates

keyKey Takeaways:

  • A shipping label is used by the delivery driver or carrier to deliver the package from the origin to the destination that is scanned at every delivery hub it reaches.
  • The order number, item description, quantity, and shipping address are crucial pieces of information to include on a packing slip.
  • Putting in place a process to cross-check packing slips with the items being transported will help you find mistakes before they leave your facility.
  • Your packing slips can improve tracking and lower the risk of mistakes brought on by human data entry by using barcodes or QR codes.

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.

What is a Packing Slip?

A packing slip is a document that includes the complete list of items included in a package. They typically contain details like stock keeping unit (SKU) numbers, weights, dimensions, and quantities, aiding shipping departments in accurately picking and fulfilling orders.

Packing slips are typically used for tracking and inventory purposes and may also include instructions for handling or returning the goods. They are often included in the package along with the invoice and other documents.

Packing slips are critical order management documents that assist the delivery business with smooth order transitioning, processing, and complete transportation.

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 the origin to the destination. A shipping label comes with a barcode which is scanned at every delivery hub it reaches.

Apart from the warehouse and shipping address, the shipping labels also contain information such as whether the package contains fragile items, is perishable or has some other specific shipment instructions. 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 fulfillment centers. As a result, it will trigger a bad customer experience, and your brand loyalty will get hampered.

Packing Slip Vs Shipping Label Vs Invoice

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

  Packing Slip Shipping Label Invoice
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. An invoice is a document that serves as a record of the transaction between a buyer and seller. Invoices can be used for accounting and tax purposes.
Scannable Packing slips are not scannable Shipping labels have a QR code or barcode for cargo tracking on a daily basis.  Invoices are scannable. Customers can scan the QR code and initiate the payment while receiving the package.
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.  The invoices are attached to the package.
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. Invoices consist of details like payment due date, line items, client address, price, tax, quantity, subtotal, and e-sign.

Why are Packing Slips Important for Businesses?

Packing slips are more like purchase orders where everything the customer has ordered has been listed. eCommerce business use packaging slips to create an itemized list as a necessary document to connect the digital world and the 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 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 package loss, 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. 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 printed packing slips with an itemized list for each.

It will help the customers and the shipment department know what products are packed in both boxes. With multiple 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 transit. Irrespective of the reasons for such delivery exceptions, having a packing slip will help customers speed up the process of product returns or replacements for 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 for the package.

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

What to Include in a Packing Slip?

Packing slip is an important document that has order details mentioned on it. So, it is crucial for you not to miss out on any details. Here are the details you are required to include in a packing slip:

  • 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 products 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, payment method, and transaction ID
  • Additional notes
  • Closing or salutation.

3 Steps to Create a Packing Slip Manually

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 manually:

1. Gather all the data

Firstly, you need to gather all the data you want to add to the packing slip. Make an Excel sheet with product details like product names, prices, dimensions, weight, contact details, and other information.

2. Fill data in the templates

Once done, you can select a free packing slip template you want to use from Excel or Google Sheets and fill in all the collected data in it.

3. Save or print slips

Lastly, save or print packing slips as per your requirements. Now, you can use this packing slip in a shipping pouch attached to the parcel.

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

Ease Your Process of Order Fulfillment with Upper Route Planner

Packing slips are important for order fulfillment, but you should consider many other factors to ease the delivery process.

After you have printed and placed the packing slip in your shipment boxes, it is time for you to proceed with the next delivery operations.

Upper Route Planner is the perfect shipping software that helps you streamline most of your logistics or delivery business operations. It enables you to

  • Plan routes
  • Add multiple stops
  • Assign delivery routes to the drivers
  • Prioritize deliveries
  • Send automated notifications to the customers
  • Execute immediate dispatch notifications to drivers
  • Collect electronic proof of delivery

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 ensure there’s no issue with the order.

Upper, the route management software, can simplify your business processes and help you focus on other important aspects to increase profitability. Take a 7 days FREE trial to explore all the features before implementing Upper permanently in your shipping department.


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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.

To generate a packing slip using eCommerce tools, follow the below-given steps:

  1. Go to the “Orders” page of your eCommerce fulfillment tools
  2. Select the orders you want a packing slip for
  3. Now, click on the “Print” button to print the created packing slip

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, author of two defining books on reverse geotagging, is a trusted authority in routing and logistics. His innovative solutions at Upper Route Planner have simplified logistics for businesses across the board. A thought leader in the field, Rakesh's insights are shaping the future of modern-day logistics, making him your go-to expert for all things route optimization. Read more.