Shipping Labels Canada Post

By Amylee Silva
June 21, 2023
Person sticking Canada post shipping label on box

A shipping label contains the information a carrier needs to get your package from its origin to its destination. It includes a barcode with a tracking number that enables the carrier to provide delivery updates. Shipping labels are different from mailing labels, which include only the recipient’s name and address. 

Each shipment requires a unique shipping label. Certain types of shipments, such as unboxed items or perishables, need a specialty label created specifically for their shipping conditions.

How to Create Your Shipping Labels

Log in to your Solutions for Small BusinessTM account or register for an account, if you don’t have one already, to access the Snap Ship tool.

Next, follow the steps below:

  • Enter your package details: Input the destination, weight, and dimensions of the item. We’ve put together some measurement tips further down on this page.
  • Select shipping services: Choose a shipping method based on speed and cost. Include any additional shipping options, such as signature upon delivery.
  • Fill out customs forms for international shipments: Enter the required details about your package and its contents to be approved for delivery outside Canada.
  • Input delivery information for multiple shipments: Include all of your shipping labels on 1 order to pay for and ship your packages together.
  • Pay for and print shipping labels: You can pay and print your labels online. Be sure that the barcode lays flat without wrapping and is unobscured by tape.
  • Book a pickup or drop it off: Select our flat-fee pickup option, and drop your shipments off at any post office or in a street letter box, if the items fit. You can track their progress on our website or your mobile device using the Canada Post mobile app.

Tips for Maximizing Shipping Label Efficiency

Every domestic and international shipping label represents money leaving your account. Therefore, getting the most out of each label sheet is vital for a profitable shipping operation. Simple tweaks like utilizing the entire printable surface, shortening address formats, and removing duplicate information can go a long way toward boosting efficiency.

The following tips will help you squeeze more labels from each sheet, saving paper and ink while speeding up your shipping process.

Make Every Bit of Space Count

Printing shipping labels efficiently starts with using all available space on the label. Squeeze the address text—make it as small as you comfortably can read during packing. Avoid wasted white space around the address box. Test different fonts and point sizes to maximize the amount of text you can fit while maintaining readability. When selecting a label size, go with the smallest one that will accommodate all necessary information. Apply the same principle of utilizing every last bit of surface area.      

Streamline the Address Format

Take a close look at how you format addresses on multiple shipping labels. Is there an unnecessary amount of spacing between lines? Can you remove any extra lines? Consider using an abbreviated address format that maintains all vital information while removing excess words and punctuation.  For example, write “1200 Main St” instead of “1200 Main Street”. Optimizing your address format will allow you to fit more labels per sheet.

Check for Duplicate Information

Avoid entering the same details in multiple fields whenever possible. This could mean omitting the phone number if the customer’s name is already clearly printed. Or removing the email address if the customer ID is present. The less repetitive data, the more labels you’ll squeeze out of each sheet. Just make sure any omitted fields aren’t required by your local post office or carrier.

Addressing Common Challenges with Shipping Labels

Shipping labels are the unsung heroes of e-commerce. Though often overlooked, they provide the critical information needed to get your packages where they need to go. However, shipping labels also present some challenges that, if left unaddressed, can turn into costly problems. 

Illegible Labels

The biggest headache that most face when they print shipping labels is illegible labels. Smudged, damaged, or poorly printed labels might as well be blank for all the good they do. The solution here is simple—invest in high-quality label printers and durable labels designed specifically for shipping. While it may require a small upfront cost, the long-term savings in time, money, and customer goodwill make it worth every penny. 

Inaccurate Shipping Information

Inaccurate shipping information is another common pitfall, but easily avoidable by implementing a few best practices. Double and triple-check addresses, especially the recipient’s name, before you create labels. Consider using an address verification service, which automatically validates addresses in real-time. A few extra seconds of diligence here can prevent a world of headache later. 

Label Placement

Proper label placement is key. Labels that can’t be seen or scanned might as well not exist. Follow your Canada Post’s guidelines for label positioning to ensure maximum visibility. Label holders and sleeves also help keep labels securely in place and protected during transit. 

Barcode Errors

Barcode errors are easy to overlook but can be disastrous, preventing packages from being tracked or even delivered. Invest in high-quality barcode scanners and validation software to catch mistakes before they happen. Your customers will appreciate the accuracy and on-time delivery. 

Labelling Compliance

Staying up-to-date with each carrier’s unique labelling requirements is challenging but mandatory. The solution is a robust shipping software that automatically ensures compliance and adapts as needs change. Let technology shoulder the burden of ever-evolving regulations, so you can focus on your business. 

Label Reprint Costs

Finally, while label reprints are sometimes unavoidable, you can minimize costs by utilizing software with label previews, bulk printing, and flexible pricing. Choose a solution that charges only for what you need, when you need it. Why pay more for labels than necessary to create a shipping label?

With the right strategies and solutions in place, label challenges become a thing of the past. Invest in accuracy, compliance, and efficiency to achieve smooth shipping operations and happy customers every time. The little details matter, so don’t underestimate the humble shipping label.

Ensuring Compliance with Canada Post’s Shipping Label Guidelines

Ensuring your shipping labels follow Canada Post’s strict guidelines is absolutely vital to the success of your business. Whether you’re sending a quick delivery across town or shipping internationally, the correct label placement and design can make or break your customers’ experience.

  • Label Placement: When it comes to labelling your packages, the details matter. Canada Post requires your labels to be securely affixed to the largest side of the package. That helps to clearly display the recipient’s full name and address as well as the sender information.
  • Label Design and Size: The labels must be between 3 and 8.5 inches high and 5 to 12.5 inches wide. Anything smaller or larger risks delaying or returning your shipment. And for international orders, the shipping label and customs forms must be on the same side of the package to breeze through border control. 
  • Label Quality: Not only do the labels need to be the proper size, but they also require high quality to avoid any smudging, tearing, or fading that could render them illegible. Using cheap paper and ink may save a few cents upfront but cost you customers and revenue down the line. 

With strict rules around label placement, design, size, and quality, following Canada Post’s guidelines precisely is the only way to ship online smoothly and avoid frustration. The requirements are put in place to guarantee your packages arrive on time and in one piece. Overlooking any part of the labelling process could lead to lost or delayed shipments, returned packages, and even expensive penalties. 

Shipping labels may seem like insignificant accessory, but it plays a vital role in the success of Canadian businesses, both large and small. Shipping labels connect products to the customers who order them, allowing businesses to grow and customers to receive the goods they need.

Canadian businesses rely on efficient shipping through Canada Post to deliver products on time and with care. For small businesses just starting out, shipping labels provide an affordable and easy way to start shipping goods across the country and connecting with customers.

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