Modern shipping and inbound and outbound logistics procedures would be substantially less efficient and error-prone if barcodes were not used. Barcodes are used by third-party logistics businesses (also known as 3PLs) to run their warehouses efficiently so that they may better serve the corporations for which they provide fulfillment services.
We’ll go through why you should use shipping barcodes if you are a 3PL company.
A shipping barcode is usually printed on the shipment label. It is scanned at every step of the delivery process, from picking up the product to delivering it to the consumer. It is scanned to identify the order and gain access to information such as the contents of the shipment, the customer’s identity, the delivery address, and the shipping method.
For better order tracking, anyone shipping e-commerce inventory or online orders will employ shipping barcodes. Almost every step in the supply chain involves barcodes. They’re scanned at both places when a product is sent from the producer and when it reaches the end-user.
Following are different scenarios where shipping barcodes play a crucial role for 3PL in processing orders.
Products will be barcoded at the manufacturer’s or supplier’s facility. When inventory batches are ready to be delivered from the manufacturer to their final destination, the label will include a shipping barcode as well as any extra documents required by the 3PL (which may also include additional barcodes).
The warehouse staff receives the inventory and scans it to check that the products and quantities promised by the merchant arrived as promised. Once inventory is placed in inventory storage sites, barcodes will be scanned as well.
A picking list is created when a customer order is received. The order’s picker will know exactly where to obtain the ordered item(s) and quantities. Before moving on to the next item or order, the picker must scan the product and/or location identification.
This removes the ordered units from the available inventory count. As inventory is depleted, alerts may be triggered for the merchant, prompting a new purchase order to be made.
A label is applied to the box or mailer once an order has been packed. When shipping carriers pick up packages at warehouses, they should scan the package before leaving. This could indicate that the shipment has left the 3PL’s possession and is en route.
Shipments travel a considerable distance. It is possible to carry packages from one regional sorting facility to another. The carrier should scan this as it happens to gain a more exact image of where the shipment is, which will be especially useful if it is delayed.
Last-mile delivery refers to the final leg of a parcel delivery, where a package is transported from a carrier hub to its end destination. At this point, it should be scanned at a local facility before it begins its route to the customer.
When a shipment arrives at its final destination, the carrier will scan it one more time to ensure that it has arrived safely. The customer should have received the order at this point. If a delivery effort fails, the package may be returned to a nearby sorting facility until a new delivery attempt is possible.
If the cargo was for a B2B eCommerce partner, they might use the shipping barcode for their own inventory numbers and apply their own barcodes to the new stock.
To summarize, barcodes are an important tool for cutting costs and increasing order throughout the supply chain, both today and in the future.