Small Parcel packing and labeling guidelines for Shopify Fulfillment Network

When you send inventory to Shopify Fulfillment Network (SFN) using Small Parcel shipping, all products must be packed into boxes that meet SFN's packing and labeling guidelines.

To avoid errors, delays, and non-compliance fees when SFN receives your products, follow these guidelines for packing and labeling your Small Parcel shipments:

  • Pack your boxes according to the boxing method you chose.
  • Use padding materials to protect products from damage during shipping.
  • Attach a box content label to each box.

Enter shipping details

After you select Small parcel as your shipping method, in the Shipping details section, select Buy from Shopify or Use external labels.

Buy from Shopify

If you select Buy from Shopify, then you can use Shopify rates to get preferred shipping rates and to automatically sync your tracking information. This option is available only for shipments within the United States.


  1. Provide the dimensions and weight for each box. Boxes can't be greater than 40 inches x 30 inches x 30 inches, or over 50 lb.
  2. Click Calculate rate. You are provided with one quote for the lowest available rate that Shopify can offer you.
  3. Click Next.
  4. Review and confirm the information for your inbound transfer.
  5. Click Submit.
  6. Optional: From the Transfer details screen, you can download your shipping or box content labels.

Use external labels

If you select Use external labels, then you can purchase shipping labels from carriers outside of Shopify. You can also add your tracking information by selecting a shipping carrier and estimated arrival, and entering a tracking number and tracking URL.

SFN packing guidelines for boxes

Before you pack your products, review your shipping carrier’s guidelines about box dimensions and oversized boxes to ensure that your box meets their standards. Using an oversized box might result in special handling charges.

Use sturdy cardboard boxes that are strong enough to hold the weight of your products. Don’t use boxes that are wet, damaged, or have old labels attached.

The following sections provide guidance about how to organize and pack your products.

Protect your products from damage during shipping

When you pack products to ship to SFN, you need to protect your products from damage during shipping. SFN staff take every precaution to make sure that your products aren't damaged during receiving. However, gentle handling by your shipping carrier isn't guaranteed. Damaged products can be expensive to replace and many damage claims are denied.

To help protect products from damage, follow these guidelines:

  • Place at least 2 inches (5 cm) of padding materials between your products and the walls of each box. Padding materials can include the following:
    • bubble wrap
    • large industrial paper
    • foam
    • air pillows
  • Fill in empty spaces so that products don’t move around during shipping.
  • Avoid shipping boxes that are heavier than 50 lbs (22 kg). Heavy boxes are more likely to be damaged if they’re dropped.
  • To close boxes, use reinforced shipping tape that is at least 2 inches (5 cm) wide. Apply multiple layers of tape across each seam. Remember to securely tape the bottom of each box.

To support any insurance claims in case of damage during shipping, you can take photos of your padding materials before you close each box.

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