Shipping and Handling Labels Information
Shipping and Handling Labels are preprinted labels that identify proper handling directions and in some cases destination information. These labels may indicate contents of package such as Flammability or Fragile or they may indicate directions for handling.
Shipping and handling labels alert shipping personal to all handling instructions and needs. There are several types of shipping and handling labels, including:
Mailers and small package labels are used to caution personnel on specific handling instructions for small packages sent through the mail. They have a permanent adhesive backing to ensure a strong hold on corrugated boxes, stretch films and mailers. They are generally sent inrolls.
Production and small package labels will draw attention to packages through the production and shipping process. They have a permanent adhesive backing to ensure a strong hold on corrugated boxes, stretch films and mailers. They are generally sent in rolls.
International pictorial markings are used for international shipping. They represent a variety of special care instructions that are understood universally and have been designed and approved by the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM). Picture labels reduce the risk of error since personnel in other countries may not understand the language of the package's origin country but it is recommended that additional labels in the language of the shipment's destination be used to ensure proper handling. Labels should be used to ensure compliance with environmental and safety standards and to identify hazardous materials. They have a permanent adhesive backing to ensure a strong hold on corrugated boxes, stretch films and mailers. They are generally sent in rolls.
Up arrow labels help protect fragile packages so they arrive safely. Up arrow labels are part of the international pictorial labels.
Fragile/Glass labels draw attention to package contents and proper handling instructions such as "this end up". They have a permanent adhesive backing to ensure a strong hold on corrugated boxes, stretch films and mailers. They are generally sent in rolls.
Rush Labels are used for temperature dependent or medical supplies packages. Perishable drugs which need to be refrigerated and are needed in life saving situations often use rush labels.
Temperature awareness labels instruct shipping and handling personnel on the proper temperature requirements for the package. These labels are used for frozen and/or perishable goods.
Hazard labels identify packages with hazardous goods. They alert shipping and handling personnel to special storage and segregation needs during transportation. There are strict regulations for the shipping of dangerous goods and special documentation, such as chemical data, is often needed. Special considerations should also be given to packages being shipped internationally. These packages will need to have documentation available in the destination country's language as well as meet international regulations. Hazard labels should be used for explosive materials, gases, flammable liquids, flammable solids, spontaneously combustible or water reactive substances, poisonous substances, and corrosive materials.
Image Credit: Polartech
Biohazardous labels identify packages of biohazardous goods such as biowaste, human or animal specimens and used laboratory equipment.
Image Credit: Polartech
Special handling labels cover all special shipping and handling instructions. Labels can be custom designed with specific instructions. They are often warning labels or shipping instructions. They have a permanent adhesive backing to ensure a strong hold on corrugated boxes, stretch films and mailers. They are generally sent in rolls.
Design Tip: The labels should be applied on three faces of the package, preferably side, and/or ends and top.
If commodities require special handling or storage, the shipping package should be so marked, and this information should also appear on the bill of lading.
Important specifications when selecting shipping and handling labels include:
Permanent vs. removable adhesion. Permanent labels will adhere to the package surface and are not removable without causing damage to the label, package or both. Removable (peelable) labels have a strong adhesion and will not usually fall off; however, they can be removed and reapplied without causing damage or leaving adhesive residue.
- Pressure applied labels require the user to apply the label. This is the most popular form of shipping and handling labels.
Government required labels include markings to help keep in compliance with Military Standard 129P and 49 CFR. Regulated Labels will help keep in compliance with ICAO and 49 CFR regulations and ASTM standards.