- Address formats are a collection of information that points towards a physical shipping destination
- Recipient name, house number, street number, name of city, postal code, and the name of the country are all part of an address format
- Easyship offers automated shipping tools, so you can easily fill out address formats without the headache
Order fulfillment is a key process for eCommerce businesses. But in order to make sure you’re doing this efficiently, you must ensure that your shipping details are correct.
It’s not exactly rocket science: if the information for your shipments aren’t correct, then the courier companies won’t know where to deliver them. To make things easy, most countries use a standard address format for shipping, so you should be aware of this.
If you know how to address a package correctly, then you’re halfway to a smooth order fulfillment.
While address formats are generally similar throughout the world, each country has its own little quirks.
Unfortunately, the art of sending a package isn’t something that’s taught formally, and the age of digital communication, it’s easy to see why you may be flummoxed by this.
But since you can’t ship internationally without properly formatting the address, we’re breaking it down for you in this handy article.
Table of Contents
01What is Address Format and Why is It Important for Shipping?
02How to Address a Package: Some Useful Tips
03Shipping Address Formats for International Countries
04How Do You Write a PO Box Address?
05Get Your Mail Delivered With The Correct Shipping Address Format
06Shipping Address FAQ
What is Address Format and Why is It Important for Shipping?
Technically, it is a collection of information pointing towards a physical destination. The information is usually presented in a standard format, which can differ by country.
Shipping staff are trained to read and understand shipping information, so if you’re ever in doubt, you’d do well to ask for their help. Information usually includes:
- The recipient name
- A flat or house number
- A street name
- The name of the city
- An area or state
- A postal code
- The name of the country
When sending a package, its delivery depends solely on its shipping details. It’s not hard to understand that if it has any mistakes, it might end up in the wrong place or may be returned to you (at your expense). For this reason, addressing a package correctly is crucial to getting your shipments delivered.
How to Address a Package: Some Useful Tips
- Use upper case (capital) letters
- Write your address in the English
- Don’t use more than five lines
- Write the complete return information
- Don’t write a phone number or fax number as a part of the delivery details
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Shipping Address Formats for International Countries
Every country has its own unique shipping address format. You should follow these exactly when filling out the address for international shipping.
In general, addresses all contain the same information, but they may be written differently for different countries. When formatting for shipping internationally, here are a few tips for individual countries:
The United States
The US address format includes the name of the recipient in the first line when shipping to the US. This is followed by the street (house number and street name). After this, you’ll write the city, along with the two-letter abbreviation for the state and the appropriate zip code. The last part is the country name.
Shipping to Canada? The Canadian address format is pretty simple. In the first line, enter the name of the recipient. The next line holds the street. In the third line enter the municipality, province and postal code.
The proper address format for shipping to Australia is similar to the American format. The first line is the name of the recipient. The second line contains the apartment or house number and street name. In the next line, you should write the name of the town or suburb, followed by the abbreviated state name and postal code. In the last line write the name of the country.
Sending a package to China? Chinese addresses are very different from the rest as they have a unique format. In China, they start with the country name. The next line contains the province, city, and district names. This is followed by a third line detailing the street name, building or community, and apartment number. Finally, the last line should be the recipient’s name.
For addresses in the United Kingdom, the recipient’s name is written in the first line. In the next line, the building or flat number is mentioned; in the third line, you would write the street or road name and number. The fourth line should be the city or county name, followed by the postal code. Lastly, you’d write the name of the country.
How Do You Write a PO Box Address?
The basic difference between addressing a package for PO boxes and normal ones is that after the recipient name, you have to write the PO Box number instead of the recipient’s street address. After that, you can write the city, state and zip/postal code as you do in the normal shipping details.
Start with the name, followed by the company name if there is any. Then, write the unique PO box number, followed by the city, state, and country.
For UK PO box addresses, the name is followed by the company name and department. Then comes the PO box number. The city comes in the next line followed by the post code in the line after, and then finally, the country.
As in other countries, the first line of a Canadian PO box address should be the recipient name. The next line will have the PO box number and station information. The following line will have the city, province, and post code. And of course, the last line should be the country.
For Australian PO boxes, the recipient name should be in the first line, followed by the company name in the second line. After this, you can add the PO box number in the third line. The fourth line should have the suburb, abbreviated state name, and post code. You will then write “Australia” in the last line.
Get Your Mail Delivered With The Correct Shipping Address Format
The proper address format is very important for the correct delivery of your shipments. If the courier company can not understand the information on the package, your shipment will either be returned or held. Easyship can help you with the proper addressing of your packages. We offer complimentary, automated tools to help you with your shipping labels.
Sign up for a free account today and start making shipping a breeze!
Watch out for international duty and tax!
What exactly does it cost to ship cross-border? Use the free duty and tax calculator from Easyship to view accurate import costs for any shipment to anywhere.
Shipping Address FAQ
What happens if you address a package wrong?
This will depend on the courier. If you catch it early, you can contact the courier and request a delivery address change. Otherwise, the package will likely be sent back to the return address.
What is the best font for address labels?
It's best to use a sans-serif font, no larger than 8 points when creating an address for a shipping label. If you have any questions, it's best to reach out to the courier to see what options you might have. In general, though, it's best to stick with the standard and keep it simple.
How do you write an abbreviation for address?
There are some common abbreviations used when formatting an address for shipping. For example, locations are often abbreviated as Ave., Blvd. and St. The word apartment can be abbreviated to Apt. State names each have abbreviations that you should look up before formatting your address as these will need to be exact.