What is a Waybill?

A shipping label is a printable label placed on every single package that is shipped through any courier company. Shipping labels are one of the most important elements in the process of order fulfillment for e-commerce companies. This label contains all pertinent shipping information about the package, from origin to destination, as well as a barcode used for identifying the package en route. This is what makes shipping labels absolutely vital to any ecommerce supply chain. This barcode is scanned at every shipping milestone, enabling you to track packages with greater accuracy. Shipping labels can be found on any order handled by a shipping carrier. 

Waybill: Technical Definition

ClickPost defines Waybill as a document that contains important information about a shipment that is required by the shipping company to move a product from its origin to the destination, track its locations during transit and verify the identity of the product for accurate delivery. 

What information must be on the Waybill?

The following information must be present on a waybill. 

  1. Name of the carrier

  2. Official address of the carrier

  3. Logo of the carrier

  4. Waybill number

  5. Address of origin of the product (including airport codes, if any)

  6. Address of destination of the product (including airport codes, if any)

  7. Information about dimensions, weight, and quantity

  8. Special instructions for handling fragile, dangerous, or sensitive, etc. items.

What is the purpose of a Waybill?

The purpose of a Waybill is to provide accurate information about the shipment and any instructions that may be necessary to ship an item safely. Another important role of a Waybill is to provide tracking information of the shipment to help trace the location of the product at different stages.

What is a Waybill number?

A Waybill number is a unique number assigned to each shipment that is used to get information on the package and track the location of the product. The number is printed is on the shipping label attached to the package and is scanned at every milestone. After scanning the number at a milestone, information on the location of the product is updated by the carrier which allows different users to check the status of the shipments.

Is a Waybill the same as a shipping label?

A Waybill contains information pertaining to different aspects of the package including, inter alia, address of origin and destination, type and dimensions of the product, special instructions, and a tracking ID. Whereas a shipping label contains less information in several cases no more than the delivery address only used to represent the information on the final destination of the product. 

Is a Waybill an invoice?

While a Waybill does contain information that is part of a typical invoice, it is technically not one. Legally, an invoice contains terms and information related to the payment for goods and services. Whereas a Waybill contains information that is required to ship an item from one place to another.


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