How to create, print and manage shipping labels



Shipping label on desk next to computer keyboard

What is a shipping label?

A shipping label contains the information a carrier needs to get your package from its origin to its destination. It includes a scannable barcode with a tracking number that enables the carrier to provide delivery updates. They are different from mailing labels, which only include the recipient’s name and address. Each shipment requires a unique shipping label.

Shipping label on desk next to computer keyboard

How to create shipping labels online

Which option is right for you? It depends on how often you ship.

Group of three FedEx boxes

I ship a few times a year.

Create a shipping label for a single package or envelope. When you ship as a guest, you can:

  • Create a label without a FedEx account using a credit card
  • Email a label to yourself or your recipient
Group of seven FedEx boxes

I ship all the time.

Create multiple shipping labels for yourself or for a business. When you create an account, you can:

  • Get discounts on shipping
  • Store and manage address info for fast label creation
  • Create multiple labels at once

Not able to ship online? Go to a FedEx location to create a label—with or without an account.

Once you've created your label, or if you have a label ready to print, you can print it yourself. If you're not able to print your label, you can have it printed at a FedEx location.

location icon

STEP 1

STEP 1

Find a location near you by entering your ZIP code into the search box.

checkmark icon

STEP 2

STEP 2

Choose the correct city from the options displayed.

printer icon

STEP 3

STEP 3

Click or tap the “Copy and Print” button to narrow locations to those that offer printing services.

car icon

STEP 4

STEP 4

Head to the most convenient location.

mail icon

STEP 5

STEP 5

If you have a shipping label in your email, ask a team member for the retail store’s email address. Email the label to that address, and they’ll print it from your email. A small fee may apply.

phone icon

STEP 6

STEP 6

If you have a QR code, pull it up on your phone and show it to the team member, who will print your label for you.

What's the next step after creating a shipping label?

See step-by-step instructions for how to ship:

How to use manual shipping labels

The quickest and easiest way to create shipping labels is with our online tools. But for some shipments, you may need a manual label, which is an airbill provided by FedEx.

US Airbill
US Airbill

For most domestic express packages, you can use the FedEx Express Package US Airbill. To request preprinted peel-and-stick airbills, go to the Order Supplies page. Or you can call 1.800.GoFedEx 1.800.463.3339 and say “order shipping supplies” at the prompt.

(This document can’t be used for FedEx SameDay®, FedEx® Collect on Delivery (C.O.D.) or FedEx Express® Freight shipments. These shipments have their own airbills.)

International Air Waybill
International Air Waybill

For most express international shipments, you can use the FedEx International Air Waybill. These labels work for shipments up to 150 lbs., including shipments to and from Puerto Rico.

To request preprinted air waybills, go to the Order Supplies page. Or you can call 1.800.GoFedEx 1.800.463.3339 and say “order shipping supplies” at the prompt.

(This document can’t be used for FedEx® International Next Flight or FedEx International MailService® shipments. These shipments have their own air waybills.)

Expanded Service International Air Waybill
Expanded Service International Air Waybill

You can use the FedEx Expanded Service International Air Waybill to send international shipments, including documents, express freight, dangerous goods, those covered by a letter of credit, or to use specialty services like FedEx International Broker Select®.

To request preprinted air waybills, go to the Order Supplies page. Or you can call 1.800.GoFedEx 1.800.463.3339 and say “order shipping supplies” at the prompt.

(To use FedEx International Premium®, FedEx International Express Freight® or FedEx International Airport-to-AirportSM services, you’ll need to use the FedEx IATA (023) Air Waybill or IATA Neutral Air Waybill. To request these air waybills for international shipping, call 1.800.GoFedEx 1.800.463.3339 and say “international services” at the prompt.)

Express Freight US Airbill
Express Freight US Airbill

For most FedEx Express Freight shipments, you can use the FedEx Express Freight US Airbill. To request preprinted peel-and-stick airbills, go to the Order Supplies page. Or you can call 1.800.GoFedEx 1.800.463.3339 and say “order shipping supplies” at the prompt.

(This document can’t be used for FedEx® Collect on Delivery (C.O.D.). These shipments have their own airbills.)

To send a domestic or international shipment using FedEx Ground, you’ll need a barcode label in addition to an address label (which you’ll create yourself). You can request FedEx Ground barcode labels by calling 1.800.GoFedEx 1.800.463.3339 and saying “order shipping supplies” at the prompt. If you don’t have your own barcode labels, you can take your package to a FedEx location, and we can create one for you.

To ship using FedEx Home Delivery, you’ll need a FedEx Home Delivery barcode label and an address label on each residential package. 

You can request FedEx Home Delivery barcode labels by calling 1.800.GoFedEx 1.800.463.3339 and saying “order shipping supplies” at the prompt.

FAQs about shipping labels and documents

Printing shipping labels

Can I reprint a label?

To reprint a label, click the Ship History tab at the top of your FedEx Ship Manager® screen. Select a shipment from the list and then select Reprint. The Reprint label option should only be used if the label has been created but not yet scanned by FedEx. Using the same label to ship multiple shipments is fraudulent and could result in additional billing charges, along with the cancellation of your FedEx account number. If you are using FedEx Ship Manager® Lite, you cannot reprint a label.

 

Can I print labels in advance?

You can print labels up to 10 days in advance for FedEx Express shipments and up to five days in advance for FedEx Express Freight shipments.

 

Can I create labels online and print them at a FedEx location?

Yes, you have a couple of options:

Expired labels

Do shipping labels expire?

FedEx shipping labels do expire, but expiration dates vary. Typically, emailed labels are printable for up to two years. Once you print the label, you usually have two weeks to use it before it expires.

Canceled, lost or unused labels

What if I create a label but don't ship my package before the label expires?

Once you're ready to ship your package, you'll need to discard the old label and create a new one. You don't need to do anything to cancel your original label, and you won't be charged for it.

 

Can I cancel my shipping label?

Yes, you can cancel a shipment any time before we scan your package. Just log in to your account, click the Ship History tab, select the shipment and click Cancel. To cancel a label you created using a credit card in FedEx Ship Manager, call customer service at 1.800.GoFedEx 1.800.463.3339. 

 

What if I lost my shipping label?

In that case, you'll need to create a new one. (You won't be charged for the lost label if it wasn't used.) If you received a preprinted label in your package, you can ask the sender to email you a new label.

 

Will I be charged if I don’t use my shipping label? 

No, your account is only charged when we scan the label. You aren’t charged if you create a label but don’t send the shipment. If you created the label using a credit card, the charge will show as “pending” on your account for seven to 10 days. The charge will not be finalized unless the package is scanned within that time.

Tracking notifications

Why was I notified that my package was shipped, but the tracking info says that a label has been created?

If the seller has created the label online, the tracking status automatically updates to “Shipped.” The tracking number won’t show you any actual location information or delivery updates until we scan your package. 

 

Does the delivery time start when I create my label? 

No, the delivery time starts when we scan the package. The ship date on the label should match the date that you plan to get the package to us. 

Label placement

Where do I place the label on my box?

Attach the label (or the pouch that holds the label) to the package’s largest surface.

  • If you’re using a pouch, be sure to seal it after inserting the label.
  • Never attach the label or pouch over the middle seam or edges of a box. This can put your shipment at risk for damage.

Cost

How much does a shipping label cost?

Shipping costs depend on the service and speed you select, the distance to the destination and the size and weight of the package. Usually, the farther your package is shipped, the more shipping will cost. Tell us more about your shipment to get exact costs.  

Woman looking at shipping label

What is a return shipping label?

A return label is just a prepaid label that's provided to the recipient so they don't have to print one themselves. It's usually placed in their outgoing package along with their packing slip.

Woman looking at shipping label

How to create return shipping labels

profile icon
profile icon

I’m a customer, and I need to return a package.

If the retailer didn’t provide you with a return label, check with them to see if they can send you one to print and use. If not, you’ll need to create a shipping label online or go to a FedEx location for help. Visit the returns page to learn how to return a shipment with FedEx.

retail icon
retail icon

I’m a retailer, and I need to provide prepaid return labels to my customers.

You can create a return label online at fedex.com and print or email it to your customer. Or, you can create QR code labels and manage your returns with FedEx Returns Technology.  

Hand holding shipping label above printer
Hand holding shipping label above printer

Printed return labels

When you’re creating your recipient’s shipping label, you can go ahead and print a return label and include it with any other documents in their original shipment. This option is available if you’re shipping FedEx Express, FedEx Ground and FedEx Ground® Economy. Log in to your account to print return labels.

Laptop screen with emailed return label
Laptop screen with emailed return label

Emailed return labels

If you don’t want to include a printed return label with your original shipment, you can email a return label instead. The email notification to your recipient will include a link and a mobile barcode option that they can use to access their label. Log in to your account to email return labels.  

Mobile screen with QR code
Mobile screen with QR code

QR codes

FedEx Returns Technology enables you to offer your customer a printerless returns option by sending them a QR code. The customer can show the code at more than 10,000 participating FedEx Office®, FedEx Ship Center® and Walgreens locations and have their label printed on-site. 

Courier delivering package to woman
Courier delivering package to woman

FedEx Express Tags and FedEx Ground Call Tags

Give customers a premium returns experience using call tags. You’ll request and schedule a pickup on their behalf. We will pick up the shipment and print a label on-site. All the customer needs to do is hand over the package. Additional fees apply. For more information, call 1.800.GoFedEx 1.800.463.3339.

FAQs about return shipping labels

Can I ship a package without a return label?

Yes, you can, with these options: 

 

Do return shipping labels expire? How long is a return label usable?

Printed return labels do expire, but expiration dates vary by retailer. Typically, emailed return labels are printable for up to two years. Once you print the label, you usually have two weeks to use it before it expires. Whether you're using a printed or emailed label, be sure to check your retailer's return policy for details on how long they'll accept the return, or to request a new return label if needed.

Woman at desk looking at sheet of paper with customer
Courier delivering packages to man at home with FedEx Ground truck in background

Looking for the right electronic shipping tools for your business? 

One of these solutions might be right for you: 

  • Ship from anywhere, as long as you have internet access, a printer and a FedEx account number. Get details about FedEx Ship Manager at fedex.com.
  • If you’re shipping fewer than 150 packages a day but still need the ability to customize reports and coordinate with FedEx systems, try FedEx Ship Manager® Software.
  • If you’re a high-volume shipper and you need to integrate shipping into your existing processes, consider FedEx Ship Manager® Server.
  • If you’re a high-volume shipper and want to allow customers to track the status of their shipments directly from your e-commerce platform, explore FedEx Web Services.

Talk to your sales rep for help finding the best shipping solution for your business.

If you don’t have a sales rep, chat with one now by clicking the button under the “I have questions for a sales expert” heading.