Order packing is the warehouse process of consolidating all items in a sales order into an appropriate container and getting it fully prepared for shipment.
This usually involves choosing suitable packaging, weighing the parcel and printing relevant labels as well as selecting the correct courier to complete delivery.
Equipment needed for packing
If you ship using a self-fulfillment method, there’s some basic equipment your warehouse operation will need for an optimal packing process.
- Packing desk. A professional packing desk is very solid, larger than a normal office desk and has rolls so you can get easy access to your packaging materials.
- Shipping computer. This will ideally involve a touch screen for fast navigation, integrated weighing scales and barcode scanner linked to shipping software.
- Invoice printer. An A4 laser printer able to cope with your daily volume of required invoices/packing slips in the fastest and most reliable way possible.
- Label printer. Nearly all shipping labels are a default 6” x 4” in size, so a standard 110mm thermal label printer is what you need.
- Weighing scales. The best shipping scales will be accurate, robust and ideally plug directly into your shipping software so manual entry for each shipment isn’t necessary.
Basic order packing process
The packing process is all about speed, efficiency and accuracy. It should therefore be as simple and repeatable as possible.
Here are the basic steps that need covering:
- Choose an appropriately-sized box for the order.
- Add suitable, yet most cost-effective, packing material to protect during transit.
- Place box on scales so weight and dimensions can be inputted into shipping software.
- Print relevant invoice/packing slip and add to the box.
- Choose the most suitable courier, print out the shipping label and stick to the sealed box.
- Mark the order as ‘shipped’ in shipping software and/or relevant sales channel or marketplace.
- Notify the customer via email that their order has been shipped.
Using quality shipping software will automate and save time with many of these tasks involved in the order packing process.