Ecommerce sellers who use an aggregator or a 3PL delivery partner may have encountered the term "pickup manifest". In this blog post, we will cover everything you need to know about pickup manifests and gain a thorough understanding by the end of this article, including why they are important and the process involved in creating them.
What is a Pickup Manifest?
A pickup manifest is a crucial document that confirms that the courier partner has picked up your parcel. It includes important information such as the date of pickup, order ID, seller name, tracking number, total number of packages, signature, and contact details of the courier partner.
Using pickup manifests enables the courier partner to streamline the pickup process, ensuring that all shipments are collected efficiently. This document helps the courier partner keep track of the packages that are collected, making it easier to identify any missing or incorrectly labeled packages.
Importance of Pickup Manifest
A Manifest is a document that lists and describes the contents of a shipment. There are several reasons why a manifest is required for shipping.
1. Proof of Pickup
The pickup manifest provides a clear record of what was picked up, where and when it was picked up, and who was responsible for collecting it. This helps to ensure transparency and accountability in the shipping and logistics industry.
2. Evidence for a compensation claim
A pickup manifest can serve as a piece of evidence to support a compensation claim in case of loss or damage to the shipment during transit by carrier partners. If there is a discrepancy between the condition of the shipment at the time of pickup and delivery, the pickup manifest can be used as proof that the shipment was in good condition when it was handed over to the carrier. This can be valuable evidence in case of a dispute with the carrier regarding compensation for the loss or damage.
3. Facilitating successful shipments
The manifest can be used as the checklist to ensure that everything is correct and the shipment is ready for pickup. The shipper can use the manifest as a checklist to ensure that all packages are properly labeled, securely packaged, and ready for transport. This helps to prevent delays and errors during the pickup process and ensures that the carrier has all the necessary information to deliver the packages to the correct destination.
4. Clubbing Multiple Shipments
A pickup manifest is also required for consolidating multiple shipments to the same destination. By consolidating all the shipments into a single pickup manifest, the carrier can efficiently plan and execute the pickup, ensuring that all packages are picked up at the same time.
5. Escalation and support
When requesting pickup-related help or escalation, manifests are a necessary document to provide valuable information to the carrier or shipping partner. If there is an issue with the pickup or delivery of a shipment, the manifest can serve as a reference point for resolving the issue. This can help to reduce delays and minimize the impact on the overall shipping schedule.
Types of pickup Manifests
There are two types of pickup manifests: electronic and physical. An electronic pickup manifest is a digital document that can be generated through an order management system or an aggregator's platform, whereas a physical pickup manifest is a printed document that needs to be signed by the delivery agent during pickup.
1. Physical Pickup Manifest
A physical pickup manifest is a printed document that contains a list of all the shipments or packages that need to be picked up by a courier partner. This document is typically created and retrieved by the seller.
A physical pickup manifest is useful for ensuring that all of the packages are collected by the delivery partner. Physical pickup manifests can be created on a simple spreadsheet, using a shipping label, or directly fetching out a manifest from your Shipping management software.
2. Electronic Pickup Manifest
An electronic pickup manifest is a digital document that contains a list of all the shipments or packages that need to be picked up by a courier partner. Unlike a physical pickup manifest, an electronic pickup manifest is created and transmitted electronically, typically via email or a shipping management system.
it can be created and updated in real-time, allowing shippers to make changes or additions to the manifest as needed. It can be transmitted instantly to the courier partner, making it easier and faster for them to manage the pickup process.
How to create a Pickup manifest
There are multiple ways to create a pickup manifest:
1. Excel Sheet
One easy way to create a pickup manifest is to use an Excel sheet. One can create a template with all the necessary columns, including the date of pickup, seller name, tracking number, total number of packages, signature, and contact details of the courier partner.
2. Shipping Management Software
The shipping management platform allows you to create a manifest for a single shipment or multiple shipments quickly and efficiently, providing you with greater flexibility and control over your shipping process. With Swift, you can easily generate pickup manifests very quickly and conveniently using Swift’s dashboard in real-time.
3. Shipping Label
For a single product shipping label can also be used as the pickup manifest. Using the shipping label as the pickup manifest sellers can simplify the process of preparing for pickup, as there is no need to create a separate document for the pickup agent.
While creating a pickup manifest, one needs to determine what information needs to be included. This will typically include the date of pickup, seller name, tracking number, total number of packages, signature, and contact details of the courier partner.
What all information needs to be included in the pickup manifest?
A pickup manifest generally includes the following information:
1. Date and Time of pickup
The date and time indicate when the carrier is scheduled to pick up the package from the sender's location.
2. Order Number
The order ID is a unique identifier assigned to the shipment by the sender. It is used by the carrier to track and manage the package during transit.
3. Tracking number/AWB no
The tracking number is a unique identifier assigned to the shipment by the carrier. It is used to track the package during transit and can be used by the sender and recipient to monitor the progress of the shipment and ensure that it arrives at its intended destination.
4. Total count of the parcels packed
The total count of the parcel packed refers to the number of packages included in the shipment.
5. Seller's name and signature
The seller's name and signature on the Pickup Manifest serve as a confirmation that the package has been handed over to the carrier for shipping. It also serves as proof of shipment in case of any disputes or issues that may arise during the shipping process.
6. Courier person's signature
The courier person's signature on the Pickup Manifest serves as a confirmation that the carrier has received the packages from the sender.
7. The contact number of the courier person
The contact number of the courier person is provided on the Pickup Manifest to enable the sender and recipient to contact the carrier in case of any issues or concerns that may arise during the shipping process.
In some instances, a pickup may occur but may not be recorded in the carrier's system for various reasons. If this happens and a shipment is lost, the carrier may not accept any claims from the seller unless they are provided with a signed pickup manifest as proof of pickup.
In summary, a pickup manifest is an essential document that every seller should have for every shipment. It serves as proof of collection or handover of shipments to the carrier or agent, and it should be retained by the seller for reference and evidence purposes. As a seller, it is crucial to ensure that you have a pickup manifest for every shipment that you send out.