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The entire shipping process

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Basic functionality: no shipping platform available

  • User takes pick list printed from selling platform and uses it to pick item(s)
  • User packs items into appropriate box using appropriate materials creating a ready-to-ship package
  • User manually weighs and measures package
  • User copies customer address from selling platform into carrier or PC postage website
  • User enters shipping parameters for package into selected carrier’s label-generation webpage, compares available rates/delivery speed and selects best carrier/service level
  • User prints and affixes label to package

Advanced functionality: shipping platform available

  • Shipping parameters, including order weight, have most likely processed in last step as part of the API download process from the selling platform
  • Shipping platform (with some level of input from shipping administrator) performs rules-based assignment of shipping box/envelope/polymailer and adjusts order’s weight based on this assignment
  • Picker prints pick list and picks similar items for multiple orders (batch picking) or picks per order and places in a bin
  • Shipping platform determines best carrier based on shipping parameters (weight, dimensions, customer-selected shipping option, address type, etc.) then generates shipping label
    • Alternatively, shipping platform maps orders/shipments to carrier and service based on shipping rules, or
    • Shipping platform may offer predictive analytics to assign carrier and service selections based on historical patterns
  • If multiple distribution locations exist, a good shipping platform can organize orders by location so pickers at each location can easily select and print their specific pick lists onsite.
  • Shipping platform routes shipping labels (and packing slips) for a batch of orders to the appropriate printer based on the selected carrier, then it prints labels.
    • Labels (and packing slips) should print in a predictable order based on:
      • Order number
      • Sequence that an order was selected in shipping platform, or
      • Sequence the order appeared in a batch
    • Shipping platform updates selling platform in real time (via API or other data exchange channel) with:
      • Carrier tracking information
      • Order status update (“shipped”)
    • User packs boxes from bins, checks items against packing slip and affixes sequential labels in an assembly line
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