Unveiling Hidden Costs: How Unshipped Shipping Labels Could Be Draining Your Business's Budget
Are you already confident and satisfied with your shipping strategies? Are they perfectly optimized? Have you maximized the profitability of your business?
Ah, don’t worry. I’ll make sure that you’ll have an answer to all those questions after reading this blog by Buster Fetcher®!
Let’s just say that you already did everything that you could to optimize your shipping.
You made sure that your Canada Post representative liked you as a client, you identified packages that were delivered later than promised, and also filed claims for refunds to Canada Post.
If you did everything that I said — great job! However, are those enough? I’m afraid not.
There’s this one sneaky problem that’s often overlooked by many businesses all over Canada.
And hey, it’s something that you should never underestimate because businesses can potentially lose tens of thousands of dollars just by missing it!
Yes, it is that serious. That’s why I want you to always remember these three words — unused shipping labels.
Seems like a simple thing, right? But keeping these three words in mind can already increase your chances of saving lots of money on shipping!
Watch Out for the Hidden Costly Trap
The thing about unused shipping labels is that it’s more common than you think!
According to the Buster Fetcher® Report for the second quarter of 2023, 38.4% of Canada Post customers, 28.82% of Purolator, and 10.13% of UPS experience this issue in Canada.
But, why does it usually happen anyway? Let’s find out!
For e-commerce businesses, nothing beats the excitement of receiving an order online! Then, afterward, we hurry ourselves to print a shipping label, right?
However, a lot of problems could arise. It may get canceled, there may be some error in the details, faulty printing, and such.
The thing is — a lot of businesses think that it’s perfectly fine to generate shipping labels and then just throw them all away if things don’t work out. All in the hopes that they won’t be charged for anything, because they didn’t use the shipping labels in the first place.
I hate to bring the bad news to you, but no. That’s not true!
Remember this —- once you’ve generated a shipping label and it appears on your manifest, you’ll be required to pay for it. Yes, even if you didn’t ship the package at all!
You may be thinking — “Ah, it’s just one shipping label! It won’t happen again.”
As I’ve said earlier, this problem happens more often than you think. So be careful, the last thing you’d want for your business is a huge pile of unused shipping labels to pay for!
What Happens If I Don't Use My Shipping Labels?
At times, a business may generate shipping labels but not use them. Why? Simple, because they don’t end up shipping the package. Yet, even if the shipping labels go unused, they may still be billed.
There are multiple reasons for this happening: a computer bug, a mishandling, an unsuccessful internal test, etc.
Here’s a real-life scenario — we have a client who did a test by generating 4 labels each worth about $2300. Since he forgot to cancel and did not ship any products for these labels, he ended up paying approximately $9200.
Can you imagine? Thousands of dollars were lost. In pure profit. That’s a lot of wasted money!
Understanding the Domino Effect of Shipping Errors
So, how do these unused shipping labels pile up without you even knowing?
It goes like this — when online orders pour in, businesses just keep on printing and generating plenty of shipping labels, right?
What you probably didn’t know is that whenever you generate a shipping label, it automatically reflects on what is called a manifest. So, what is a Canada Post manifest, anyway?
A manifest is basically a document containing a compilation of all your packages for the day. It allows Canada Post employees to simply scan the code and process all the items in one go!
Okay, let’s say that out of the 1,000 shipping labels you’ve generated, only 800 packages were actually shipped.
Now, what do you think happens to the shipping labels of the other 200 packages that didn’t push through?
If the tracking numbers of those 200 packages appeared on your manifest and you forgot to remove or cancel them, you will still need to pay for them.
Now, get this — each of these labels may cost you between $10 to approximately $250! If we just consider $10 for each of the 200 unused shipping labels, that’s already a whopping $2,000. Ouch!
Hey, $2,000 isn’t a simple pocket change. You could’ve used that huge amount of money to address or improve other areas of your business.
It could already cover your employees’ wages, transportation expenses, equipment rental fees, and more!
Do you see how something you simply overlooked can potentially hurt your company’s productivity and profitability? And even cause total chaos to your business?
That’s why attention to detail is very important in every step of your company’s shipping procedures. So always stay vigilant!
Three Prevention Strategies to Avoid Common Shipping Pitfalls
The question now is — How do you prevent problems like overlooking unused shipping labels from happening?
A company’s shipping process is often composed of routine tasks. This means that the series of steps are repeated every day by your employees.
However, no matter how perfect or well-practiced your employees are, it’s still hard to prevent minor errors or mistakes like incorrect shipping information from happening.
Did You Know?
Incorrect shipping information is actually responsible for 25% of E-Commerce errors and product returns!
But hey, don’t worry. We still have hope! There are still a lot of ways to avoid overlooking your unused shipping labels. And it involves thoroughly checking and verifying every step of the way in your shipping procedures.
Yes, from the moment you generate the labels to the time you deliver the package, every piece of information must be checked! Here are three strategies to help you prevent unwanted errors:
Establish Clear Procedures: Did you know? Businesses with clear shipping procedures reduce errors by up to 30% compared to those without. Well, what’s the point of formulating advanced and complex procedures if your team won’t be able to execute them effectively, right? So keep your procedures simple, clear, and concise!
Prioritize Quality Control: After establishing clear procedures, you have to make sure that every step is indeed doing its job correctly. The goal is to minimize errors and discrepancies as much as you can. So you might consider adding steps like double-checking the labels, verifying information, and conducting shipping area audits.
Harness Technology: “Modern problems require modern solutions.” Indeed! It would be a great advantage for your business to utilize the latest technology in label printing systems. These can be a huge help to automate your process, boost its efficiency, and reduce manual errors. Oh, and you can also explore inventory management through shipping software.
How to Pinpoint the Elusive Shipping Labels
Now, to prevent suffering huge losses from unused shipping labels, the first thing that you have to do would be to identify them, right?
There are several ways to identify these unused shipping labels. But I’m warning you, most of them require a lot of time and effort! Well, if it’s in the best interest of your business, then you should give it a try!
The Manual Approach
Now, this is a simple yet effective method to identify unused shipping labels. But just like what I’ve mentioned — there’s a catch. It’s absolutely time-consuming!
Why? Well, it requires you to check each and every one of your tracking numbers from carrier websites like Canada Post, UPS, and Purolator.
Yes, you read that right! Basically, you have to manually copy and paste each tracking number to the website and validate if it’s associated with a successfully shipped product.
Keep in mind that you have to repeat this lengthy process until you identify one tracking number that doesn’t match with any shipped package!
Ah, I know it’s a long and tiresome task but hey, it’ll all be worth it once you’ve identified unused shipping labels!
Filing a Claim: Recover Your Funds
Once you’ve identified some unused shipping labels, the next step would be to formally file a refund claim to Canada Post.
Here’s a step-by-step guide to doing that:
Just type "Cancel Canada Post Shipping Label" on Google.
Then, click the link for "How to Cancel a Shipment Manifest Online."
You will be redirected to another page where you have to enter necessary information such as your customer number and postal code.
Afterward, choose “Individual Shipping Label” where you will be prompted to enter up to 20 tracking numbers.
Next, you will be prompted to choose the "Reason for Deletion”, in which you will select “Item not Shipped."
Once you’ve clicked “Continue”, Canada Post will now confirm if the shipping labels are indeed unused. If the shipping label is successfully canceled, you can now file a claim for a refund!
Finally, you will receive an email stating that the claim was approved. And voila! You should now expect to receive a credit or credit note on your Canada Post bill.
And that’s it! Congratulations on being able to claim a refund for your unused shipping labels. But here’s the thing — if you think you can do this for all your past shipping labels, you’re wrong.
Keep this in mind — you only have 90 days to cancel a shipping label! Once you’ve gone past this 90-day window, I’m sorry but Canada Post now owns your money.
Checking and Double-Checking
Hey, I know that canceling unused shipping labels could be an exhausting and time-consuming task, but it’s definitely worth it! After all, you wouldn’t want to pay for something that you didn’t really use, right?
Taking into account every step of the shipping process can help — from the generation of shipping labels all the way to the delivery of products, you have to double-check if you really shipped a package.
But there’s an easier way that I’d like to recommend and I know that it’ll be helpful for you to save more time and money in cancelling unused shipping labels!
Pro Tip — Try using ShipStation! It’s a web-based shipping software that acts like a one-stop shop for all your shipping needs. You can import orders, set carrier and shipping services, get postage rates, and print labels all in one place.
ShipStation also offers tools to efficiently track, manage, and even automate your shipping process. This is to avoid and eliminate the mistakes your team might commit!
Lastly, ShipStation allows businesses to minimize the manual work that they have to do. After all, tasks like tracking the entire shipping process just to make sure that a package was really shipped aren’t really efficient!
Getting a Grip on Your Shipping Costs with Buster Fetcher®
Now, this is where we, Buster Fetcher®, come into play. As usual, we’re always here to save the day for you! While many of our clients manage their shipping labels, they rely on us for a crucial cross-check.
So here’s how it works — We’ll only enter the conversation after 70 days if, for whatever reason, you or your employees forgot to cancel a shipping label. And we’ll happily do it for you. Got it?
Again, you are free to cancel the shipping label within 70 days after the moment that you generate it. If within 70 days, labels aren't canceled, that's where we step in to file the claim for you.
The best part? This service is cost-free unless we successfully secure your refunds! See? That’s what we call a win-win situation!
Oh, and in case you’re wondering — these issues also arise in other shipping carriers like UPS and Purolator. In fact, the client above who ended up paying four $2300 worth of shipping labels is actually a Purolator customer!
So, are you among thousands of businesses who pay for shipping labels they never use? Feel free to contact us at 1-844-311-3088 or visit www.Busterfetcher.com to find out!
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- What is ShipStation?
- How to Cancel a Shipment Manifest Online | Canada Post