What Is the Best Thermal Printer for Shipping Labels?

Thermal printer in shipping environment
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A successfully shipped package reaches its destination with a durable, readable shipping label. To ensure that your shipment completes its journey to its correct destination, you need quality equipment and supplies designed to print labels that withstand both the rigors of the road and temporary exposure to outdoor elements.

Thermal transfer printers are often used in shipping and other applications needing to endure harsh environments. However, not all shipping label equipment is the same.

A knowledgeable Managed Print Services (MPS) provider can guide you to the correct printers and supplies you’ll need along with expert assistance to analyze your print fleet data to assist in optimizing your logistics department. 

RELATED: How to Clean Printer Heads on Thermal Label Printers 

How to Prevent Shipping Label Hassles and Hiccups

The expansion of e-commerce in recent years has increased the volume of packages being delivered directly to businesses and personal addresses. And large or small, every package is important. That’s why you need high performance shipping label supplies that you can count on.

If the label isn’t correct for your application or of inferior quality, you could experience: 

  • Wasting labels with reprints
  • Servicing your printers more often
  • Reduced productivity and efficiency
  • Customer dissatisfaction
  • Increased IT calls, if users frequently assume that their problem must be the printer

Having peace of mind means addressing your packages with labels that are resistant to moisture, abrasion, changes in temperature and the possibility of chemical exposure.

Leasing equipment and purchasing quality supplies from a trusted MPS provider will reduce the worry about thermal printing supply issues having a chance to interrupt your operations and impact customer satisfaction. 

Thermal Printers

Thermal transfer printers are used in a wide variety of applications, including shipping. Heat is applied to a thermal transfer ribbon with ink, which melts and embeds the ink into the label. This method produces a printed image that is more durable than traditional ink methods. And thermal transfer printers can print on a range of label materials including paper, polyester and plastic.

Thermal printers also come in multiple sizes, including mobile, desktop and industrial-sized units.

When researching your options, be sure to look for quality thermal printing materials:

  • Tested for print quality, chemical resistance, adhesive strength and printer wear and tear
  • Using inks, varnishes, tooling, equipment and inspection techniques specifically suited for the special requirements of thermal materials
  • Manufactured by an expert in thermal printers and labels 

How to Create a Better Shipping Label Workflow

In addition to thermal printers and labels, you’ll also need to include a packing list with your shipment. Zebra Technology’s Z-Slip packing solution allows you to simply print, peel and apply to your shipping box. This solution eliminates the need for manually folding an 8 ½” x 11” packing list into a packing list envelope.

The Z-Slip packing solution slashes 29 seconds per box from the traditional packing process: a conventional label assembly process on average takes 40 seconds, while the use of the Z-Slip solution takes only 11 seconds. This solution features a direct thermal paper tag combined with a clear polypropylene label and a permanent acrylic adhesive. Easy to use, just print and apply this all-in-one packing slip.

For example, a business that ships 1,000 boxes per day will save 2,000 hours a year in staff time – an effective way to increase productivity! 

Managed Print Services for Thermal Printers

Gordon Flesch Company (GFC) offers industry-leading thermal printers along with the expertise and resources you’ll need to ensure that your print fleet is operating with optimal performance.

Research by Zebra Technologies has shown that approximately 50 percent of companies don’t know how much their thermal printers are costing them. That’s why GFC has partnered with Zebra to optimize efficiencies with MPS for Zebra’s thermal printers.

In addition, an expert MPS provider, such as GFC, can ensure that security updates are pushed out, default settings changed, and consumable supplies are automatically ordered before you run out. Maximize the efficiency of your thermal printer fleet and reduce the fear of overspending on obsolete or unnecessary thermal printers.

GFC can analyze your thermal printer data to help right-size your fleet and map out the optimal physical location for each printer across your facilities. Data analysis can also estimate when a printer is approaching the end of its effective service life and when it’s time to discuss an appropriate replacement device.

Hassle-Free Print Management

MPS isn’t just for office printers and copiers. At GFC, we can provide the same expert MPS for your thermal printer fleet, too. Let us show you how! Contact us today to see how the Gordon Flesch Company can provide you with the tools, expertise and resources to streamline your logistics. 

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