In the Spotlight: What to do with Failed Shipments

Every now and then you will come across a shipment that refuses to cooperate. How do you process yours?

With so many pieces of data involved, courier APIs and customer inputted addresses, failed shipments are inevitable. These can be tackled on-the-spot by warehouse team members processing the shipment, or saved for later by skipping failed shipments to the “Skipped Orders” tab, which is shared across all packing bench PCs. Skipped orders can then be resolved in batches by an allocated member of staff throughout the day. 

shipster screenshot example

With Shipster, failed shipments will throw up an error message, which will give some indication of what is wrong with the shipment e.g. address incorrect, courier API error, missing postcode etc. It's up to the user to decide if they can resolve the problem now, reserve it for later (skip) and/or print the details. You might create a rule of thumb such as fix address problems only and skip others for later. 

Checking on the spot

Many errors can be resolved on-the-spot by staff who have seen them before or notice a piece of order information that can be easily corrected, such as a missing postcode which can be looked up using the customer’s address.

Automatic address correction can be set up to automatically correct incorrect postcodes where possible or trigger a pop-up screen asking the user to put in the correct postcode. This makes the most likely failed shipment reason much more efficient to resolve – allowing workers to continue in just a minute or two and without the help of a manager.

The Shipster Troubleshooter also helps to diagnose minor issues on the spot and advise checks to make such as your API connection, internet connection, shipment details and printer settings. Anything more complicated can be resolved with a Shipster support technician on the support hotline or email.


Group and save for later

Throughout the day any failed shipments can be collected in the following ways:

- Press “skip” to move to the shared skipped tab
- Send to a network location
- Send to a local folder
- Print the details on paper or label

We suggest that you use this feature to:

- Assign all failed shipments to a senior team member
- If you’re shipping huge volumes, tackle failed shipment groups at regular intervals
- Give someone the role of checking collected failed shipments
- Pass on printed details or failed shipment folder to a manager
- Email failed shipments to a manager



When every minute counts, prevention is better than cure. Here’s a couple of suggestions to minimize failed shipments:

- Regularly test your website checkout forms on different browsers and devices to ensure Shipster is receiving good shipping information.
- Ask about automatic address correction if you think this will save a tonne of time in your warehouse (incurs a small fee with Loqate, check out their pricing here).
- Make sure your IT setup is solid and check internet coverage across all packing areas.
- Be aware that Shipster errors and printer problems are completely separate. If Shipster appears to be working (shows no error) but a label hasn’t printed, you need to check your printer settings and if any printers have been renamed.
- If a regular problem occurs, even if you know how to fix it, email Shipster support and we might be able to put a permanent fix in for you!