Thermal Label Elements

Thermal shipping labels contain three basic elements:

  • Human-readable content: this part of the label contains the shipping information from the FedEx Web Services Ship Service.
  • Two dimensional (2D) barcode: the dimensional alphanumeric barcode stores data for both FedEx Express and FedEx Ground shipments using the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) MH10.8.3 standard. The 2D barcode is created using the Portable Document Format (PDF) 417 symbology.
  • FedEx specific barcode: ASTRA (Advanced Sorting Tracking Routing Assistance) for FedEx Express shipments; barcode "96" for FedEx Ground and FedEx Home Delivery® shipments. FedEx Ground also allows for the use of the SSCC-18 "00" barcode.
    Note: FedEx will transition to a new FDX 1D Barcode, which refers to a new 34-digit barcode that will replace legacy FedEx Express and FedEx Ground barcodes.

All labels required for a shipment are generated and returned in a single buffer. For example, if a label request is made on a C.O.D. shipment, the label server returns the shipping label and a copy of the C.O.D. Return label. The label server always returns the appropriate quantity of labels for each type of shipment, so the client does not need to make multiple label calls to FedEx.

The following FedEx Web Services elements are required to generate a thermal label:

Web Services Element Description/Valid Values
LabelSpecification/LabelFormatType Required to receive the correct label image in the Ship Reply service:

Valid values are:

  • COMMON2D: The label format type to receive a label.
  • LABEL_DATA_ONLY: The value used to receive the barcode data if you create a custom label.
LabelSpecification/ImageType Required to format the thermal label for the printer you use; provides the type of data stream or bitmap to be returned.

Valid values are:

  • DPL — Unimark
  • EPL2 — Eltron
  • ZPLII — Zebra
Note: These printers are all compatible with the ASCII Eltron Programming Language (EPL2) page mode.
LabelSpecification/LabelStockType Required only for thermal labels. Specifies whether label stock has Doc-Tab on leading or trailing end of labels or has no Doc-Tab.

Valid values are:

  • STOCK_4X6
  • STOCK_4X8
CustomerSpecifiedLabelDetail/SecondaryBarcode/SecondaryBarcodeType Requests customer-specific barcode on FedEx Ground and FedEx Home Delivery labels.

Valid values are:

  • NONE
  • SSCC_18
  • USPS
Note: USPS is applicable for FedEx SmartPost shipments.