If you are going to be sending packages or parcels through the mail, with FedEx or UPS, or any other shipping partner, you need to know how to take care of the shipping address correctly. On the surface, getting the shipping address right on a package seems pretty simple and straightforward. How much really is there when it comes to this kind of information? You need a name, you need an address, and you need a state (and maybe a country) to write on your package to fill out the shipping address info. Right?
Well, not always! Sometimes there are little quirks to filling out the right address for your packages that you’ll want to be aware of. Most of the time these little quirks make sure that your package gets to its ultimate destination faster than it would have otherwise. Sometimes, though, these little quirks can mean the difference between your package being delivered at all and your package being returned! Here are some things you want to think about when it comes to getting your shipping address info right!
What is the Shipping Address on a Package?
Without a shipping address on a package the service you choose to deliver your items would never know where that box eventually had to end up. The whole USPS system (any shipping system, for that matter) is built on top of a shipping address system. You fill your packages with whatever it is you want to send. You address that package to an individual (or business). You fill out the shipping information and the ultimate destination address and then it is sent on its way. This isn’t exactly rocket science but it is a huge piece of the puzzle you absolutely must get right.
Without an accurate and correct shipping address you never know exactly where your package is going to end up. It might even end up back at your doorstep (or buried somewhere in the post office, for example)!
How to Correctly Add a Shipping Address to a Package
In today’s hyper connected digital world a lot of people never really learn how to correctly add shipping information and a shipping address to a package. The internet does a great job at providing us with all kinds of forms to fill out, basically holding our hand every step of the way to get our shipping information correctly.
And that’s great if you are able to use the internet to input shipping address info! But what if you actually have to correctly add a shipping address to your package all on your own?
Do you have a good idea of how to knock that out? Maybe. But maybe not!
Here’s a quick primer to help you if you find yourself in this situation going forward.
The info that you are going to need to include in a shipping address includes (but may not be limited to):
- The full name of your intended recipient
- The number address for a home, apartment, condo, or commercial building
- The street name of that address (and maybe even an intersecting street, if you have the information)
- The name of the city that the address is located in
- The state that the city is located in
- The postal code (especially useful for those in the United States)
- The name of the nation this package is to be sent to (useful when shipping things internationally)
All of that information should be outlined exactly the way that we highlighted above.
Here’s a quick example of what you might want a shipping address to look like on a package you are getting ready to send. Use this template to help you fill out your shipping address info accurately moving forward:
123 Main Street
Anytown, Anystate 01234
Once again, you only have to include the name of the country on your shipping address if you are sending your package internationally. If you are sending a package clear across town (or even clear across the country) you don’t have to worry about writing on the country. The post office – or the shipping company – will be able to figure that out using the rest of the included details.
Do I Need to Include All Information on a Shipping Address?
You may not necessarily have to include all of the information we highlighted above when you are filling out a shipping address. At the same time, the more information you can include the better off you are going to be. Your odds of having that package successfully delivered go up significantly when you include more accurate and useful location information.
But what if you aren’t quite sure of where your ultimate shipping destination is located? What if it doesn’t matter necessarily who receives the package so long as someone at that specific address accepts it? Can that still work?
Most of the time, absolutely! As long as you provide information about the actual location of the address you want your package dropped off you don’t have much to worry about. The post office and other shipping companies are going to do their best to get your box where it needs to be.
Let’s say, for example, that you are sending a package to your brothers family the next town over. You might fill out a shipping address label that look something like this:
The Smith Family
123 Main Street
Anytown, Anystate 01234
As you can see, this shipping address doesn’t include a specific name for the actual intended recipient – but instead a family name. That’s perfectly fine and will be 100% able to be delivered via the USPS or other major shipping companies.
You could also send the package with a shipping address label that looked something like this:
123 Main Street
Anytown, Anystate 01234
Obviously, including the name of the family as the intended recipient helps to guarantee that the post office gets your package where you wanted to go. But at the end of the day it’s really more important to have accurate street address information than anything else.
This is how businesses that mass mail advertisements and direct marketing campaigns to all homeowners in a local area do things. If you have ever received a postcard from local businesses that say something like “Current Homeowner” and then your address you know exactly how unimportant the name part of shipping address information is in the grand scheme of things. When you get right down to it, it’s all about making sure that the street address is dialed in!
What Happens If My Shipping Address is Incomplete? Inaccurate?
If the actual shipping address – the address itself – for your package is incomplete or inaccurate you are going to be dealing with a couple of issues. For one thing, your package may not be accepted at all by the USPS (or any other shipping company) if the address is incomplete.
Some post office will accept packages with shipping addresses that look like this:
Anytown, Anystate 01234
They’ll usually do this if the name is unique enough that there’s likely only one person with that name in that town specifically. If there’s more than one person with that name in that town, though, the odds are pretty good that the package is going to be held up at that post office if not returned to you directly.
If the street address information on a shipping address is inaccurate, though, you’re dealing with a whole different host of problems. For example, let’s say that you want to send a package to John Smith that lives on 123 Main Street in Anytown, Anystate. Unfortunately, though, you were in a bit of a rush when you were filling out the shipping address part of your label. Typos crept in and instead of having that package addressed to someone at 123 Main Street it is instead addressed to 321 Main Street. Here’s where things get a little tricky. Right away, the USPS and other shipping companies are going to automate most of the process. They are going to check to see if 321 Main Street is a legitimate address in that town and that state. If so, that’s where that package is going to head – at least until it gets to the last post office facility before it goes out for delivery. This is where postal employees are going to get hands-on with packages and pieces of mail that come in. If they notice the name John Smith and know that he lives at 123 Main Street and not 321 Main Street, the odds are pretty good they are going to reroute that package all on their own for you.
Sometimes, though, the package may end up heading to the destination written on the box. At that point, it really comes down to whether or not the mail carrier themselves notices the difference and remedies the mistake or if the individual at that address returns the package. Sometimes they will even deliver the package themselves, noticing the mistake and saving a lot of time by simply running the box down a couple of doors!
Sometimes, though, these packages get sort of “lost in the shuffle”. You’ll want to contact the post office as soon as you notice the problem. Alert them to the fact that you made a typo and see if there’s any way to change the actual delivery address on that shipping information before it’s too late. The USPS in specific will do absolutely everything they can to remedy these problems. FedEx and UPS also have a solid reputation of taking care of their customers that send out packages with typos, too.
Tips for Addressing Packages Correctly
To help eliminate those headaches as much as possible, though, here are some tips for addressing packages perfectly from here on out! For starters, make sure that you are printing every bit of information on your shipping label. Some people have absolutely beautiful handwriting, close to calligraphy, so nice that they get compliments on it. Other people have what can only be described as “chicken scratch”. Most people sit somewhere in the middle. To avoid any readability issues, though, skip handwriting altogether and instead print the name and address you want to include on a shipping label. That’ll go a long way towards guaranteeing accurate delivery.
Secondly, try not to break things up into nonconventional lines or formats. Stick to the templates that we highlighted above. Do your level best to make sure that any information on a shipping address label takes up no more than five lines. You want to really streamline this process for the folks that are going to be responsible for getting your package to its ultimate destination.
Thirdly, include accurate and legible return address information. This information is useful if your package has to be returned to sender for any different number of reasons. The last thing you want is for your package to end up in a bit of a “black hole” in the post office infrastructure just because the return address wasn’t as accurate or as legible as the shipping address.
US Global Mail Virtual Mailbox Guarantees You Have a Permanent Shipping Address Form Now On
Of course, every time you move your shipping address is going to change – and that means having to update everyone about your new address. This means updating your billing information. It means updating your bank address. It means updating where you have your packages sent from Amazon and all other online retailers. It’s a lot of work!
Thankfully, though, with the help of US Global Mail and their Virtual Mailbox service you don’t have to worry about those issues anymore. Instead, you get a permanent, 100% legitimate physical street address in the United States to have all of your packages sent to – no matter how often you might move in the future (or where you might move too).
This is just one of the many benefits that US Global Mail offers all of their customers. To learn more about the Virtual Mailbox service and its biggest advantages, check out the US Global Mail website today!