Fulfillment for beginners: How to batch ship with UPS

Fulfillment for beginners: How to batch ship with UPS

If you’re in charge of your office’s fulfillment efforts, there may be times when you have to ship multiple orders at once. Fulfilling large orders can be time-consuming, but with Batch Ship by UPS, it can be made much easier.

Gather information

You’ll need accurate addresses and zip codes for batch shipping. If you’ve done single shipping with UPS, you know that most validation errors are caught by the system prior to printing labels. Unfortunately, with batch shipping, the validation system sometimes ignores errors in addresses; therefore, it’s extremely important to ensure you’re using the best address you have.

Head over to www.ups.com. If your company has an account, login. If not, create one, as you’ll need it to use the batch shipping feature.

Once you’ve logged in, click on “Shipping” in the menu panel, then select “Ship Using a Batch File.”

Under section one, titled “Upload Batch File,” click “batch file.” This will open a new window or tab that includes important information about what’s required for your .csv file.

Alter the sample .csv file

As you’ll see on the “Help for Importing Batch Shipping Files” page, there’s a sample .csv file that can be used to guide you. Click the download link and save the file to an accessible location, like a fulfillment folder on your job’s network, or the computer desktop.

Using Microsoft Excel or Google Spreadsheets, open the file. It will include multiple column headings under which you will enter your customer information.

The following columns are required:

  • Contact Name – Name of the recipient
  • Company Name – Recipient’s company or name of the recipient, if no company name is available
  • Country – A two-letter code, found here, specifying the country to which the item is being shipped.
  • Address 1 – First line of the recipient’s address. Should the recipient’s address contain an apartment or suite number, add this information to the Address 2 column.
  • City – The recipient’s city
  • State – For shipments to the United States and Canada, the state code is required.
  • Postal Code – Shipments to the U.S. and Canada require postal codes.
  • Telephone – Not required for every shipment; however, they are required for expedited shipping selections, such as Next Day Air and Next Day Early A.M. Also required for international shipments.
  • Packaging type – Required and will be one of the following ten, with code as noted:
    • Pallet: 30
    • 10 KG Box: 25
    • 25 KG Box: 24
    • Express Box Small: S
    • Express Box Medium: M
    • Express Box Large: L
    • PAK: 4
    • Tube: 3
    • Other Packaging: 2
    • Letter: 1
  • Customs Value – Used for packages being sent from the U.S. to Canada and Puerto Rico.
  • Weight – Required for packages marked “Other packaging.”
  • Description of Goods – Must appear on all international shipments
  • Service – Required for all orders and will be one of the following 16, with code as noted:
    • Ground Service: 03
    • 3-Day Select: 12
    • 2nd Day Air: 02
    • 2nd Day Air A.M.: 59
    • Next Day Air Saver: 13
    • Next Day Air: 01
    • Next Day Air Early: 14
    • Express: 07
    • Express Saver: 65
    • Express Plus: 54
    • Expedited: 08
    • Standard: 11
    • Today Standard: 82
    • Express: 85
    • Today Express Saver: 86
    • Dedicated Courier: 83

Other than the 13 fields above, there are a host of other non-required fields that can be entered, such as email addresses for notifications and reference numbers that can be used for accounts payable billing.

Upload the .csv to UPS and print your labels

Once all necessary columns are filled out, review the document against your gathered information. This process works best when errors are caught prior to printing labels.

Delete the first row with the column headings. If this row is in the file submitted to UPS, you’ll receive an error. Save the document as a .csv file, and head back over to the UPS window titled, “UPS Internet Shipping: Begin Your Batch File Shipment.” In the “Upload Batch File” section, upload the file and enter the shipper’s information, as well as the payment and pickup information. Remember, for batch file shipping, you’ll need to use a saved shipping account. If your company isn’t covering the cost of these shipments, enter the information of a third party account. Then select “Next.”

If there’s errors with codes in your file, or with characters used in required columns, you’ll receive an error message and you’ll be sent back to the upload page. Unfortunately, the error message won’t outline what your errors were, and you’ll need to examine your file to ensure it meets .csv specifications.

If there are no errors, the next screen will prompt you to select print preferences. The most helpful information on this page is the record confirmation, a single line that appears under the title “Confirm Print Preferences” that notes how many shipment records are in the file. Should there be a discrepancy between this number and the number of separate shipping records, you’ll know that some of the items had issues and their labels will not be printed with this batch shipment. Unfortunately, UPS doesn’t currently note which labels have issues, which means you’ll have to check each label post-printing. Clicking “Continue” will allow you to print your labels.

Check each label. In the case that some labels weren’t printed, you should ship them again as regular UPS shipments. This method will allow you to see exactly where the errors have occurred.

Ready to ship!

Once all labels have been printed, you’re ready to ship! Securely attach the label to the shipment’s packaging, and either leave them in the location where they’ll be picked up, or drop them off at a nearby UPS store.

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