What is a Packing Slip? A Definitive Guide for 2024

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Have you ever received a package and wondered why there’s an additional piece of paper inside, listing the contents of your order? That’s the packing slip, and it’s more than just a formality. A packing slip is a commercial document that serves as proof of shipment delivery. The packing slip is issued by the retailer, and it is typically submitted by the shipping business or logistics firm that will be delivering the goods.

In this comprehensive packing slip guide, we will explore the various roles packing slips play in the broader logistics landscape and how they aid businesses in the order fulfillment process.

what is a packing slip a definitive guide for 2024 simple global

What is a Packing Slip?

A packing slip, also known as a packing list or delivery docket, is a document that accompanies a shipped package. Its primary purpose is to provide an itemized list of the contents within the package. The packing slip contains an itemized list of everything that was sent to the receiver. The document also provides modern packing slip practices, the SKU numbers, product descriptions, and quantities for each item, as it allows the consignee to check that they have received all the goods ordered.

In addition to helping the buyer make sure they have received the correct items, the packing slip also serves as a record of what shipped from the warehouse. This record can be used as evidence of delivery in case of a dispute.

What Information Does a Packing Slip Contain?

There is no standard packing slip format in modern packing slip practices, but the essential details should always be included:

  • Invoice and order number
  • Shipment date
  • Sender information
  • Delivery information
  • Shipment items
  • Package weight and volume
  • Total cargo weight
  • Origin and destination of products
  • Shipping method and firm
  • Reception date

The packing slip’s contents depend on the business and the items that are being delivered. Though they are sometimes detailed, it’s not required to include the product’s pricing. This is because a packing slip records order delivery, not commercial worth, like an invoice.

Packing Slip vs. Commercial Invoice

While both an invoice and a packing slip are considered commercial documents, the latter is the formal record of the transaction and serves as evidence that the products were delivered. The contents of the packing slip describe the merchandise, while the invoice details the items being sold, their individual prices, and the terms or manner of payment.

How Does Fulfillment Benefit from Packing Slips?

In the world of online shopping, that little slip of paper in your package is one of the most important fulfillment aspects of a business, making sure everything goes smoothly behind the scenes. Let’s break down how these packing slips affect the fulfillment process:

  • Check and Cross-check

Timely and accurate deliveries are paramount in e-commerce. Packing slips act as a detailed checklist, allowing fulfillment teams to meticulously check and cross-check each product against the quantities specified. This process makes sure that all items ordered by customers are correctly included in the shipment.

  • Identification of Damaged Items

Packing slips play a vital role in identifying damaged items. Whether it’s a single fragile item or an entire package that suffered damage during transit, the packing slip expedites the process of addressing the issue, facilitating quicker refunds or resending the package.

  • Confirmation of Receipt

Packing slips serve as a confirmation that all items have been duly received. By providing a comprehensive list of shipped items, they act as a record or paper trail, minimizing the risk of missing items after delivery. This is particularly crucial for orders shipped in multiple packages, helping to identify any discrepancies upon receipt.

  • Bookkeeping Benefits

Double-checking that the items on packing slips match the original purchase orders aids in accurate bookkeeping. This not only ensures that customers’ requests are fulfilled but also simplifies the bookkeeping process, making it easier to maintain accurate records of transactions.

  • Customs Documentation

According to shipping documentation trends, customs can estimate the worth of an international package using a packing slip. To clear a cargo, customs normally prefer a commercial invoice, which must include the products’ description, value, seller and shipper shipping locations, and delivery and payment terms.

When you pair these benefits with the exceptional e-commerce order fulfillment services by Simple Global, your business is guaranteed to achieve new heights in customer satisfaction.

What Does a Packing Slip Look Like?

The format of a typical packing slip is shown below. Of course, it can vary from business to business and industry, but here are some of the more universal components:

Shipping Address:

  • Recipient name: [Recipient’s name]
  • Shipping address: [Shipping address]
  • City: [City]
  • State: [State]
  • ZIP code: [ZIP code]

Billing Address:

  • Bill to: [Billing name]
  • Billing address: [Billing address]
  • City: [City]
  • State: [State]
  • ZIP Code: [ZIP code]

Order Details:

  • Order date: [Order date]
  • Order number: [Order number]

Itemized List:
Here is a basic template with shipping and billing addresses, order details, and an itemized list of the products included in the shipment, along with their SKU/UPC, descriptions, order quantities, and ship quantities. This template can be customized to suit your specific needs.

SKU/UPC Description Order quantity Ship quantity
Product ABC123
Product XYZ321
Product LMN456


As we have observed in this packing slip guide 2024, the importance of this little piece of paper extends far beyond merely verifying that a product was delivered. Beyond confirming deliveries, it becomes a crucial record in disputes and aids customs in sorting things out for international shipments.

The packing slip is like the checkpoint, confirming that what you selected and paid for in the virtual space is accurately translated into the physical world. It provides a tangible confirmation, a documentation of the journey your purchase took from the digital shopping cart to your doorstep.

Crack the code to flawless global shipping! Don’t just ship, make a statement with Simple Global. Your packing slip’s perfect companion for a world-class fulfillment experience!

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