Understanding Domestic Shipping Documents

Shipping is one of the most important yet complicated aspects of running an online business. Not only do you have to consider the costs and logistics of sending out orders to your customers, but you also have to make sure that those orders are accompanied by the right paperwork. Otherwise, you could end up with serious delays or even the dreaded “Package Stuck in Customs” notification for international shipments.

The best way to avoid major shipping issues is to make sure that your packages go out with all the necessary documents. So what documents do you need to include? That’s exactly what you’ll find out in this guide.

Read on to learn all about the most common shipping documents for domestic shipping.

Importance Of Shipping Documents

Shipping documents, as the name suggests, are the documents necessary to transport an item from one location to another. They’re made up of applicable records, forms, and certificates that provide information about the item being shipped. This may include details such as the item description and specification, quantity, price, ship date, delivery address, and shipping method.

The exact documents required may vary depending on factors such as the shipping method, delivery destination, and type of goods. However, most packages will require waybills, commercial invoices, packing lists, and certificates of origin.

As these documents provide information about the goods being shipped, they help ensure that packages are delivered on time and to the right addresses. They help courier services determine how to route the package and deliver them in the most efficient manner.

Moreover, these documents are also necessary in international shipments to ensure that the package is in compliance with the import regulations of the countries through which it is routed. Ensuring all the necessary documents are included with the correct information will streamline the customs clearance process and allow for speedy international deliveries.

Common Shipping Documents For Domestic Shipping

Domestic shipping is a little less complicated than international shipping. You’ll typically require the following three shipping documents.

1. Bill Of Landing

Bill of landing ,or BOL, is a transportation contract between the transportation company or carrier and the business that’s sending out the package. It helps to confirm the receipt of goods that need to be shipped and it needs to be signed by an authorized representative from the carrier’s end.

Typically, a BOL must include the following details:

  • Where it’s shipped from
  • Destination
  • BOL number
  • Details of the carrier/transportation company
  • Transportation mode
  • Description of goods being shipped
  • Shipment terms

2. Packing list

A packing list or a packing slip contains an itemized list of all the goods included in a shipment. This helps to ensure that everything’s included in the shipment, confirm that all the items were received, and identify any damaged items.

It includes details such as:

  • Order date, shipping address, and contact info
  • Itemized list of shipped items
  • Itemized list of items that were out-of-stock
  • Quantity of each item
  • SKU or UPC numbers
  • PO number or slip number

3. Commercial invoice

A commercial invoice serves as a proof of purchase and includes all the details of the sales transaction between the seller and the customer. It will include details such as:

  • Invoice number
  • Customer name, address, and contact info
  • Seller name, address, and contact info
  • Item description and quantity
  • Item value
  • Item weight
  • Shipment terms

ShipJoy can  help you manage shipping dangerous goods domestically. You can mark the item as “Dangerous Goods” so ShipJoy can take appropriate measures when managing the order.

If you’re ready to get started with ShipJoy, request a quote to connect with our team.