What is a Packing List?

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  • Written By: Nicole Long
  • Edited By: Allegra J. Lingo
  • Last Modified Date: 16 October 2019
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Packing lists provide a wealth of information to a variety of people. They provide important information to company officials, employees, and customers. Information related to the customer, product, and return information will typically be found on a packing list.

Company officials use packing lists for a variety of reasons. During inventory, packing lists can provide important evidence of the flow of goods into and out of the warehouse. Compilations of data provided on the packing list can provide those in sales and marketing with important information related to product movement. This can lead them to a better idea of where to focus marketing efforts or when to offer specials to move surplus product.

Employees on the ground floor of the warehouse use packing lists on a regular basis. Packing lists help them identify the product that needs to be placed in the box and allows them to verify order accuracy before shipping. These lists can also provide quality assurance specialists with a way to verify that boxes were packed properly.

Customers utilize packing lists as a form of customer receipt. They use them to ensure all products ordered are included in the package they receive. Customers can also use the packing list to verify the accuracy of pricing and shipping charges.


A variety of information can be found on the packing list, including detailed customer information. The customer’s name, address, and phone number is usually located on the packing slip. Any customer number useful for accounting and invoicing will also be listed.

Information related to the product can also be found on the packing list. This will include the product or item number and the quantity ordered. A description of the product will also be included. Depending on the way each business sets up the template for their packing lists, unit price and any additional expenses will also show up on the slip.

Other information may also be found on the list. This includes information related to the returns procedure, such as an address for returns and a contact phone number for customer service. A customer service representative will often need to be contacted to authorize a return and record any compliments or complaints related to the overall satisfaction of the product. Other information listed may include a corresponding invoice number, the physical address for the company, and the name or number related to the employee who packed the order.


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Post 4

@geekish - I would have to say comparing the packing list to the products that are shipped is definitely up there on one of the most boring tasks ever.

However, I also worked in a small town store and working the cash register was the worst. You would just stand there, and you would have enough customers to stop you from doing other tasks but never enough to keep you from feeling like time was going any faster than just inching by!

Post 3

I worked at a dollar store while I was in undergraduate school and I would have to say the worst task (and that is saying something as far as the tasks you might have to do at a small town dollar store) was checking the packing list.

You would receive huge boxes with literally tons of items in it, and you had to check each and every package to make sure it matched what was packed.

Then after that you would have to check to see if anything had been broken. I could not believe the store ever stayed in business because of all the items that were broken in shipping. Sometimes the companies that shipped the items

would cover the losses, sometimes they would not.

But I know as boring of a task it was, checking the packing list was vital to that store being successful because there were always mistakes we found secondary to the large amount of inventory and the many different suppliers.

Did anybody else find this task up there on the list of the most boring tasks of all time?

Post 2

I have been selling products on Ebay for many years. I finally made up a packing list template that has made the process much simpler.

I have this template saved on my computer and now whenever I make a sale, I already have a basic template. I am able to use this template on most of the items I sell and this saves me quite a bit of time.

It also helps me stay on track and keep good records.

Post 1

My husband and I are both self employed and each of us have a home based business. Anytime we receive supplies for our business, I always look for the shipping packing list in the box.

The first thing I do is compare the packing list to the products that are shipped to make sure they match up and that I received everything I ordered.

The next thing I do is file this information in my tax file, so I have extra documentation when I prepare our taxes. This is another way I have of making sure our inventory matches up and all of our records are up to date.

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