What is a USPS Scan Form?

Learn about USPS Scan Forms and how to print them with shipping software for your bulk shipments
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Most eCommerce businesses send out their parcels in batch shipments—especially subscription boxes. Therefore, you need to get familiar with printing USPS SCAN Forms if you’re running an eCommerce business. SCAN stands for “Shipment Confirmation Delivery Notice.” A USPS Scan Form is a single label with a master barcode that allows postal workers to scan and track all packages in a bulk shipment. When a postal worker comes to pick up your packages, they simply scan the master barcode on the Scan Form. When they do, they disperse tracking information for every single package in the shipment with one scan, as opposed to scanning each package individually. It’s a HUGE time saver.

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When you use shipping software to buy and print shipping labels, it’s easy to print SCAN Forms! First, you need to print all your shipping labels at the end of the business day. Then, select the parcels in your shipment and print the Scan Form (this process varies with different shipping software solutions). Make sure to always print the SCAN Form before 8 pm local time. Once you’ve printed your labels and your SCAN Form, your shipping software should automatically submit all your package information to USPS. Finally, you can either drop your shipment off at the Post Office or schedule a time for a postal worker to pick up your packages.

Some Rules to Follow When Using USPS SCAN Forms

Once you print a SCAN Form, you can’t update or change it! This is to avoid duplication of package information. If you make a change such as adding or removing a package from the shipment, the SCAN Form is no longer valid and each package linked to that particular form will have to be scanned individually. Also, make sure to ship your parcels the same day that you print your labels whenever you use a SCAN Form. Lastly, each package in your shipment can only be linked to one SCAN Form.

Why Did My Shipping Software Generate Two SCAN Forms for My Batch?

If you’re printing a batch of labels with shipping software, you may run into an instance where it generates two separate SCAN Forms for the same batch. This is because USPS imposes a ship date cut-off for labels at around 8pm local time. Basically, this means any labels you make after 8 pm local time on any given day will be marked as the next day’s ship date. Different ship dates require different SCAN Forms, so those labels associated with the next-day ship date will be accounted for in the second SCAN Form that gets generated.

Learn about choosing your ship date and how long you should wait to ship your package after you’ve purchased the label.

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One Comment

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  1. Susan Bush

    About time for customer USPS should have done some comparative pricing with FedEx and ups. Quote send painting to Ct. from NY figuring cubic addition $68( same pkg FedEx $27. Flat rate boxes absurd cost! No 1st class do cheapest sjip rate for 1 oz is about $4.35! Ridiculous plus free boxes should be behind counter bec 85% received pkg use padded envelopes as bubble wrap, tyvec enveloped to protect inner items; flat rate small boxes as fillers for a large item – as many as 15 in one box!


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