How to create single labels, use the Cost Summary screen, what happens when you create labels, & how to view them.
ShipStation's major function is to create labels for your shipments. There are several ways to create labels to suit your workflow needs:
Create a single label for a single order.
Create multiple labels for a single order (called multi-package shipments).
To learn how to create multiple package shipments, and which carriers support this option, review the Multi-Package Shipments article.
Create shipments in bulk (called Batch Shipping).
Creating shipments in bulk automatically creates a Batch in ShipStation. To learn more about Shipment Batches, review the Batch Shipping article.
You can create labels for orders in either the Awaiting Shipment or On Hold status. You cannot create labels for orders in the Awaiting Payment status. For Awaiting Payment orders, you can either wait until the store refresh updates the order to Awaiting Shipment, or select the Mark as Paid button to move it to the Awaiting Shipment status.
For options on how to reship an order that is in the Shipped status, please see our Reship an Order article.
Creating Labels vs Printing Labels
While label creation and label printing often happen nearly at the same time, they are two distinct processes. Review the Print Labels article for details on printing labels once they are created.
This is the most basic scenario: a single order results in a single label.
ShipStation will then display the label in the print pop-up screen and allow you to choose a print method (print to a printer using ShipStation Connect, browser print, or download the label to print through a PDF viewer). For details on the printing process, review the Print Labels articles.
To skip the print pop-up and have ShipStation automatically send your labels to a specific printer, set a default printer for your labels.
When you create the label, ShipStation creates a shipment record, which you can view in the Shipments tab.
Additionally, ShipStation will then update the order's status to Shipped, unless there are other shipments associated with the order that have not had labels created for them yet. In that case, the individual shipment on the order will show as Shipped, but the order will remain in the Awaiting Shipment status.
If you need to create a label to ship a package for a customer that already exists in your Customers tab, you can do so with the Create Label option in the Customer Details pop-up.
This process creates a label with a shipment record, but does not create an order. Additionally, this shipment record will not have any items associated with it.
Creating labels and splitting items into shipments will trigger certain actions in ShipStation. While these actions often occur simultaneously, they are actually distinct processes.
Label creation triggers the following actions in ShipStation:
ShipStation contacts the selected carrier to request the label and the carrier sends the label in PDF format back to ShipStation.
ShipStation creates a shipment record.
You can access the shipment record in the Shipments tab as well as under the Shipment Activity section in the Order Details screen.
ShipStation updates the Configure Shipment Widget to show the shipment details and sets the shipment record status to Shipped.
ShipStation updates the order status in ShipStation to Shipped, unless there are other shipments on the order that do not yet have labels created. See the Split Shipments section below for more details.
ShipStation updates the Smart Document Tracking to indicate the label has been created.
ShipStation sends a notification back to the marketplace so the store will update the order accordingly.
This is the default behavior for ShipStation. You can prevent the marketplace notification on a per shipment basis and change the default notification behavior in the Store's Notification Settings. Review the Marketplace Notifications article for details.
ShipStation sends a shipment notification email to the customer, if you have set the store to do so. This option is disabled by default. Review the Customer Notifications article for details.
Every label created in ShipStation is stored in our system for 180 days.
If you ever need documentation of a label you created through ShipStation (to file an insurance claim, for example), contact our support team and include an order number and/or tracking number. We will respond with a copy of your transaction details.
When you split items in an order into different shipments, a few unique things happen.
ShipStation creates an additional shipment within the order that contains the items you've added to it.
The new shipment(s) appears as its own row in the Orders grid. This row will display the same order number but reflect only the items this additional shipment contains.
This allows you to select the shipment directly in the grid and configure its shipping options without opening the Order Details screen.
The Configure Shipment Widget in the Order Details and the Shipping Sidebar will display the selections for the selected order.
When you create a label for each individual shipment, it's just like creating a label for an order. The only difference is, the status for the entire order will not update to Shipped until all shipments within the order also update to Shipped.
Below is an example of how the split shipments workflow will appear in ShipStation.
Here is an Awaiting Shipment order before splitting the items into separate shipments:
Next, an item is split into its own shipment.
The Order Details screen now shows two shipments, each with their own items.
Additionally, you now see two rows in the Orders grid, each representing the shipments for the order. Each row has the same order number, but displays which items are in each shipment.
When you create a label for any of the shipments, all of the same events listed above for creating labels apply.
For the first shipment in this example, it moves to the Shipped status. When you select that shipment in the Order Details screen, the Configure Shipment Widget updates to show its label details like tracking number and service.
Notice that Shipment 1 shows that it is in the Shipped status, while Shipment 2 and the order itself still show they are in the Awaiting Shipment status.
Additionally, the corresponding row in the Orders grid will move from the Awaiting Shipment section of the Orders grid to the Shipped section of the Orders grid.
Finally, after you create a label for the last shipment, ShipStation then updates the order to the Shipped status.
Some carriers have limitations for their labels, such as character limits and support for label messages. For details, review the article for your specific carrier on our Integrations Help Guide.
Most carriers in countries that use a Roman-based alphabet do not support non-Roman characters on labels created through their APIs. If an address contains non-Roman characters (like Kanji, Hanzi, and Cyrillic), this can result in ??? appearing where the text should be.
You will need to void the label, translate the characters into English (either by contacting the customer or using a program like Google Translate), and copy the Roman text into the recipient fields before creating a new label.
To also include the original address, copy / paste the original address into a text editor, print separately, and tape it to the package next to the label.