The Shipping and Receiving Process Guide! (Infographic) - Supply Chain Game Changer™ (2023)

A Comprehensive Warehouse Safety Guide!

We have talked about whychoosing proper 3PL logistics servicesand atrucking company with a modern warehouse management system(WMS) for shipping and receiving and warehousing is crucial to any successful supply chain management process.

Within the supply chain process, there is a much smaller piece of the puzzle that is arguably the most critical component in maintaining accurate inventory:

The Inbound and Outbound Logistics Process. That is, Shipping and Receiving!

If inventory is not initially received and reported accurately during the inbound processes (ex. by the company’s Receiving Department), it becomes nearly impossible to maintain an accurate system or record. This affects all aspects of logistics services and the supply chain.

Also, if the outbound shipping process does not operate correctly, shipments may be incomplete, arrive late, or sent to the wrong recipient.

For this reason, you should figure outhow to choose a logistics and trucking companythat focuses a great deal of attention to the inbound and outbound process. To ensure that this process runs as smoothly as possible, at BR Williams (a3PLlogistics company serving the USA and Canada), we use a top-of-the-linewarehouse management system (WMS) with real-time logistics services capabilities.

Inbound & Outbound Logistics Process (Step-by-Step Guide)

To figure out the difference between inbound and outbound logistics, it’s important to first know thebasics of an inbound and outbound process. That will help you better understand how it affects the efficiency of your overall supply chain. Let’s take a look at shipping and receiving and inbound logistics vs outbound logistics (and pay attention to areas your business can improve in).

The Inbound Process:

1. Recording and Receipts

Recording and receipts drive the inbound process. Receipts help supply chain professionals ensure that each step in the process is completed and communicated with accuracy. Basic receipts include item, quantity, unit of measurement, and other required information.

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Elements that should be tracked throughout the inbound process include: lot numbers, manufacturing dates, expiration dates, serial numbers, P.O. tracking, various inventory receipt statuses, default receipt status rules, emergency re-direction, routing of times to special staging on “short” inventories, immediate availability of items for backorders andcross-docks, and more.

Pre-receipt notification is among the newer and exciting logistics services in use by supply chain companies(likeBR Williams). This service speeds up the inbound process by reducing the amount of information entered manually. The pre-receipt process allows for automation, real time receiving and put away functions, reduction of receiving errors, and minimizes cost.

2. Load Arrival

Your receiving process should startimmediatelyafter pre-receipts have been loaded into the WMS system.

However, with a highly functional WMS system (like the one BR Williams utilizes), product is more than simply received. Within minutes, the system can make receipt/load appointments in advance, or reserve docks, doors, and staging areas.

This preliminary inbound planning helpssupply chain management companiesbecome more efficient when completing eachlogistics service.All receipt information should be already entered with minimal human error. Due to this, when a receipt/load arrives, the warehouse coordinator knows exactly which dock door to direct the truck, and then can easily assign an unload staging area.

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3. Receiving Real-Time Information

The “receipt” is handed to coordinators, already “bar-coded” with specific instructions for an associate who can begin the receiving activities and real-time reporting.

Checking processes as you go ensures that the inbound process continues to run smoothly. Automated systems used by your logistics and trucking companies should ensure that warehouse associates are at the correct dock door and are unloading the correct shipment based on information from the bar-coded receiver.

Once the inbound receipt and load arrival process is completed warehouse associates begin detailed receiving. Types of receiving are different for each supply chain and trucking company.

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BR Williams does detail receiving in two ways:

  1. One-Step Receiving: When customers benefit from eliminating the staging and have their products sent directly to storage
  2. Two-Step Receiving: When the receipt/load needs to be staged instead of putting directly into storage

4. License Plate Tracking

Having control over your moving product is just as important as having control during storage and warehousing.Trucking companiesknow this, and have started allowing for their license plate numbers to be tracked through WMS systems.

This is an important step in managing the entire inbound process, and will become necessary in December, 2017 whenELD compliancebecomes mandatory.

5. Put-Away and Receipt Close

In older systems, once the product was received, it was stocked only by professionals. This is still true today in certain cases. However, new systems provide for other options and automation.

For example, BR Williams’ WMS system specifically allows customer configured settings that help determine whether your product will be put-away using an operator-dictated or system-directed method.

The final step for logistics and trucking companies involved in the inbound process is updating in real time that the trailer or carrier has been emptied.

This is when real-time capabilities allow for review and exceptions.

The process speeds up when receipts and other information can be sent in real-time.It also allows for docks to be immediately labeled “available” for other receipts/lead shipments.

The Outbound Process:

1. Order Entry, Adds, Changes, and Deletions

When the inbound process is handled correctly, it allows for an easier outbound process.

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Order entry is similar to the pre-receipt process in the inbound process.The first steps of an outbound system is to validate orders, check for errors or duplications, and handle exceptions immediately.

Up to the point that line items are loaded onto an outbound trailer, customers should have the ability to add, change, or delete specific items or entire orders.

Making these logistics services available to customers is the number one reason why real-time reporting is crucial to the outbound process.

2. Replenishment and Product Picking

Replenishment is essentially planning for future deliveries by establishing pick pre-requisite requirements and scheduling logistics services and activities to be completed before the corresponding pick tasks.

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This step allows for your supply chain to continuously operate with minimal manual planning and strategy between steps.

The picking process can be simple or very complex. Your picking process should be unique due to the nature of different businesses, industries, and clients.

Choose logistics andtrucking companiesthat allow for tailored picking capabilities and strategies.

Picking strategies may include:

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  1. Line picking
  2. Cluster picking
  3. Batch picking
  4. Zone picking
  5. Label-based picking
  6. Paper-based picking

3. Packing, Staging, Checking, and Loading

Packing is arguably the most important logistics services involved in the outbound process. It includes packing items, inspecting, labeling, routing and manifesting outbound orders per specific customer requirements.

If this step isn’t managed flawlessly, completed shipments and arrival times can be compromised and the reputation of the business will be at stake.

Staging locations should already be decided if an automated system is involved. While going through the process of staging, checking and loading each step should be recorded in real-time thorough WMS for accuracy and timeliness.

Once all shipments are loaded and ready to go, a warehouse coordinator should be automatically updated, and a warehouse associate should be directed to load your order onto a trailer.

4. Shipping and Document Generation

The last step to a successful outbound process is shipping the product to its final arrival place and creating a log of the process for your records.

This is another important reason to use trucking companies, such as, who utilize a WMS. You will also need to engage a customs agent, such as Mobius Customs, to ensure that all of your documentation is correct and any issues are addressed. If every step has been recorded throughout the process, the final reporting is essentially already complete.

The Shipping and Receiving Process Guide! (Infographic) - Supply Chain Game Changer™ (1)

The Shipping and Receiving Key

If you are considering using alogisticsortrucking company, ensure that you are hiring a transport consultancy company that can meet your specific needs in an efficient, highly functional way that is reported to you online and in real-time.

BR Williams proudly uses one of the most powerfulshipping and receiving and warehouse management systemsin the industry so that clients havereal time accessto the most critical data required to deliver the right product to the right place at the right time.

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Our capabilities in shipping and receiving provide the most options, provide unique and personal solutions, real-time updates and control, as well as an ability to improve our client’s inbound and outbound process.

Shipping and receiving article and permission to publish here provided by Misty Skinner, VP Marketing at BR Williams Trucking Inc. Originally written for Supply Chain Game Changer and published on June 3, 2020.


How the shipping process works step by step? ›

Here's how they work together:
  1. Step 1: Receive an Inquiry. ...
  2. Step 2: Screen the Potential Buyer and Country. ...
  3. Step 3: Provide a Proforma Invoice. ...
  4. Step 4: Finalize the Sale. ...
  5. Step 5: Prepare the Goods and the Shipping Documents. ...
  6. Step 6: Run a Restricted Party Screening (Again) ...
  7. Step 7: Miscellaneous Forms and Ship Your Goods.

What is bl in supply chain management? ›

A Bill of Lading is the proof of the shipment and that the carrier has received a cargo which will be released only against presentation of the original Bill of lading (B/L). The shipper uses the B/L as proof for delivering the goods for shipment at the agreed place.

How can I improve my shipping and receiving? ›

5 Tips to Improve Shipping and Receiving Process Workflow
  1. #1 - Improve Your Inventory Handling Ability. ...
  2. #2 - Maintain Inventory Visibility. ...
  3. #3 - Invest in Warehouse Management. ...
  4. #4 - Track Order Entry, Notification, and Status. ...
  5. #5 - Automate Processes.
Jul 29, 2021

Which are the 3 processes in a shipment lifecycle? ›

The Shipping Process in 3 Steps
  • Aggregate and Manage Order Information. Getting the order information from your selling environment(s) into your shipping environment and preparing them for shipment. ...
  • Pick, Pack, Weigh, Choose Carrier, Label. ...
  • Shipping Out Orders.

What are the steps of shipping a package? ›

How to Ship a Package
  1. Step 1: Pick Your Box. Use a box that's big enough to safely fit what you're sending. ...
  2. Step 2: Pack Your Box. ...
  3. Step 3: Address your Package. ...
  4. Step 4: Choose a Mail Service. ...
  5. Step 5: Calculate & Apply Postage. ...
  6. Step 6: Ship Your Package.

What are 7 guidelines for efficient receiving procedures? ›

How To Master Efficiency Receiving Inventory
  • (1) Optimize Your Receiving Space. ...
  • (2) Keep Your Receiving Space Clean and Organized. ...
  • (3) Real-Time Inventory Tracking Technology. ...
  • (4) Unload Quickly and Safely. ...
  • (5) Always Monitor Quality Control. ...
  • (6) Always Verify The Goods You Receive.
Oct 27, 2019

What is shipping process in warehouse? ›

There are three basic shipping process steps used in a warehouse or distribution center: Aggregate and manage order information. Pick, pack, weigh, choose carrier and label. Ship the order.

What is meant by receiving process? ›

1. Handling products that arrive at the receiving office and acknowledging receipt and unpacking supplies.

What are the duties of shipping and receiving? ›

Shipping and Receiving Responsibilities:

Manages the shipment and receipt of all products, materials, and supplies. Collaborates and communicates with logistics technicians, customer service representatives, service providers, and others involved in the shipment and receipt of products.

What are the shipping process best practices? ›

Consider the following eight practices to improve your shipping process:
  • Shipping Costs. ...
  • Damage Control. ...
  • Use E-Signatures. ...
  • Use the Right Packaging. ...
  • Weigh the Goods Accurately. ...
  • Adhere to Transportation Regulations. ...
  • Consider Shipping Insurance. ...
  • Consider the Risks of International Shipping.
May 13, 2016

Why is shipping and receiving so important? ›

Shipping and receiving helps companies monitor everything that comes in and out of the warehouse. When these items are accounted for, keeping track of accurate inventory numbers becomes easier.

What are the 4 essential cargo documents? ›

The most important shipping documents
  • Commercial Invoice. ...
  • Packing List. ...
  • Export/Import Customs Declaration.
  • Bill of Lading & Sea Waybill. ...
  • Certificates (production, vessel, phytosanitary) ...
  • Air or Rail Waybill. ...
  • Arrival Notice. ...
  • Certificate of Origin.

What is Section 7 on a bill of lading? ›

When the BOL for a shipment is marked as collect, and Section 7 is signed by the shipper that signifies that if the consignee does not pay the freight charges, the carrier cannot go back to the shipper for payment. Therefore, the carrier can hold the freight until payment from the consignee is received.

What are the four main functions of bill of lading? ›

What Is A Bill Of Lading? And Why Do I Need It?
  • It provides evidence of the contract terms of carriage. The bill of lading will detail what is being shipped including the type of shipment, how much of it there is, and the destination. ...
  • It acts as a receipt. ...
  • It acts as the title of goods (representing ownership)

What means shipping process? ›

Shipping is the physical moving of good from one point to another, such as the moving of merchandise from the warehouse to the customer. The shipping process follows the manufacture and the packing of goods and will be controlled by a shipping or logistics company.

What is delivery process? ›

A delivery process describes a complete and integrated approach for performing a specific type of project. A delivery process describes what is produced, how it is produced and the required staffing for the entire project lifecycle.

What is the difference between processing and shipping? ›

Processing time is the time between when an order is placed by a customer and when the order is fulfilled by the business. Orders that require shipping are considered fulfilled when the business gives the shipment to a shipping carrier service.

What is the process of international shipping? ›

The complex world of international shipping can be broken down into seven general steps, encompassing documentation, communications, transport, and goods handling. To get a product from a business to the consignee, the product must complete export and import haulage, warehousing, customs clearance, and freight.

What is the most popular shipping company? ›

Ranking the Top 10
RankCompany# of Ships
4COSCO Shipping497
6 more rows
Jul 26, 2022

What are the main steps of shipping internationally? ›

The seven steps of international shipping: Export Haulage, Origin Handling, Export Customs Clearance, Ocean Freight, Import Customs Clearance, Destination Handling and Import Haulage. If in doubt, look to the contract between the shipper and consignee.

How do shipping companies work? ›

Global shipping companies or freight forwarders arrange for door-to-door service including customs clearance, duties, and local delivery. Air Shipments: For shipments demanding short transit time, airfreight from the arrival location to the destination would be part of the service arranged by the shipping company.

What is shipping process in warehouse? ›

There are three basic shipping process steps used in a warehouse or distribution center: Aggregate and manage order information. Pick, pack, weigh, choose carrier and label. Ship the order.

What happens when a package is shipped? ›

Shipped is not the same as delivered. When a package is designated as “shipped” the package has been loaded on a truck and departed for the final distribution center. That means the package could be anywhere between the origin location and the destination terminal.

What is a shipping guide? ›

Shipping Guidelines means the storage and transport guidelines for the Product that are determined by mutual written agreement of the parties.

What is export cycle in shipping? ›

Shipping line negotiates freight terms, etc with the client and upon finalization of deal; client agrees to use MISC for export shipment. The client then approaches the Shipping Line. Operations office/counter at the ICD for the allotment of the container.

What is freight forwarding process? ›

Freight forwarding is the planning and coordinating of the movement of commodities across international borders, on behalf of shippers. Other tasks involved include, but are not limited to: warehouse planning, supplying cargo insurance, and customs brokerage.

What are the three types of shipping? ›

All three modes of shipping-land, air, and sea-play a major role in our economy. Each offers benefits that the other mode of transport might not offer.

What is a shipping job duties? ›

Shipping Associate Job Duties:

Prepare orders by processing requests and supply orders; pulling materials; packing boxes; placing orders in delivery area for pickup. ● Coordinate with all departments to fulfill specific and ongoing inventory and shipping.

Who prepares shipping bill? ›

Shipping bill contains particulars of the goods being exported, the name of the vessel, the port at which goods are to be discharged, country of final destination, exporter's name and address, and so on. Exporter prepares the shipping bill for obtaining customs clearance.

Why is shipping and receiving so important? ›

Shipping and receiving helps companies monitor everything that comes in and out of the warehouse. When these items are accounted for, keeping track of accurate inventory numbers becomes easier.

Is shipping and receiving part of logistics? ›

Is shipping and logistics the same thing? No. Shipping is the physical movement of your goods from one destination to another (e.g., from a warehouse to your customers) and one of many logistics processes.

What is the difference between processing and shipping? ›

Processing time is the time between when an order is placed by a customer and when the order is fulfilled by the business. Orders that require shipping are considered fulfilled when the business gives the shipment to a shipping carrier service.

What happens to packages that don't get delivered? ›

Here's how it works: the USPS processing centers send all their undeliverable mail to the Mail Recovery Center. They scan and open the packages to look for identifying info that may help get the package to its rightful owner—if the item has a value of $25 or more.

Do I get refunded if package is returned to sender? ›

You can get a refund if your package is returned to sender by USPS, but it must be done before the package enters the post stream. Postage that gets sent to the wrong recipient will need to go through the formal USPS postal service process for returning a package and getting it to the correct address.

What to do if package hasn't arrived? ›

Find Missing Mail
  1. Check the Current Status. Before you begin your search, if your package or mail has tracking, check USPS Tracking® to see its current status. ...
  2. Complete a Help Request Form. ...
  3. Submit a Missing Mail Search Request.


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