What is a Manifest?

A manifest is a physical or electronic document that is required by some carriers to streamline the pickup process. It typically contains a barcode that the driver can scan when they arrive to pick up your packages.

Example Manifest

example manifest

Why Create a Manifest?

Some carriers require manifests it makes the pickup process must faster. The driver simply scans the barcode to process all the packages at once. Without the manifest, the driver would need to scan each package individually. When picking up hundreds of packages from a warehouse, scanning a manifest is far more efficient than scanning each package individually.

INFO While ShipEngine uses the term manifest, some carriers use other terminology, such as:

  • Shipment Confirmation
  • Shipment manifest
  • SCAN form
  • Order Summary
  • End of Day form

Do I Need a Manifest?

If your carrier requires a manifest, then you must create a daily manifest - whether you have one package or hundreds.

Creating a Manifest in ShipEngine

Creating a manifest in ShipEngine consists of sending a request that specifies the labels you would like to include in the manifest. You may explicitly or implicitly specify the labels.

Electronic vs Physical Manifests

You will need to consider whether the carrier you are using supports electronically submitted manifests or requires you to download and print a physical PDF document.

If your carrier supports electronically submitted manifests, ShipEngine will automatically create a daily manifest in the format required by the carrier and submit it on your behalf.

If a physical manifest is required, you will need to make a request to ShipEngine to create the manifest. The response will include a URL where you can download the PDF file. You will then need to print it and present it to the carrier when they come to pick up your package(s).

Manifest Daily

You must create your manifest on the same calendar date as the date on which your labels were created. If you try to generate a manifest that includes labels that were created on a prior date, you will get an error.

Warning USPS has a cutoff date of midnight CST for creating manifests.

If you create a manifest later than than midnight CST (ie 11:00PM PST), it will be considered the next day and you will receive an error.

Explicit vs Implicit Manifests

ShipEngine has two different ways to create manifests:

  1. Explicit Manifests
    Specify exactly which labels to include in the manifest.

  2. Implicit Manifests
    Specify criteria for including labels in the manifest, including the ability to indicate specific labels to exclude from the manifest even if they meet the criteria. We refer to this as implicit manifests since you do not specify the exact labels to include.

Manifest Requirements by Carrier

Not all carriers require a manifest, and some may make them optional.

Many carriers require you to print a PDF document and present it to the driver upon pickup. Some carriers support electronically submitted manifests, in which case ShipEngine will automatically submit the manifest for you.

Carrier Name Manifest Required? Manifest Method
Access Worldwide REQUIRED
Australia Post REQUIRED [^1] PDF download
Canada Post REQUIRED PDF download
DHL eCommerce REQUIRED PDF [^2]
DHL Express AU NO N/A
DHL Express Canada NO N/A
DHL Express UK REQUIRED Electronically submitted
DHL Express (US) NO N/A
FedEx (US, CA) Optional [^3] PDF download
FedEx UK REQUIRED PDF download
FedEx International MailService NO
FirstMile REQUIRED Electronically submitted
Globegistics REQUIRED PDF download
Hermes NO N/A
IMEX REQUIRED [^4] PDF download
LSO (Lone Star Overnight) NO N/A
Newgistics REQUIRED Electronically submitted
OnTrac NO N/A
Parcelforce NO N/A
Purolator Canada REQUIRED [^4] PDF download
Royal Mail REQUIRED PDF download
RR Donnelley REQUIRED PDF download
Sendle NO N/A
UPS (CA, UK, US) Optional [^5]
UPS Mail Innovations NO
USPS Optional PDF download

[^1]: Australia Post calls this form Order Summary Report.

[^2]: PDF available via Endicia and ShipEngine, but not DHL eCommerce.

[^3]: _FedEx provides a PDF only for FedEx Ground Shipments that meet certain criteria. For certain kinds of FedEx Ground and FedEx Home Delivery shipments, a FedEx Ground Manifest will be available to print from ShipEngine. Print this form within the End of Day section in the Shipments tab. To be included in the FedEx Ground Manifest, a shipment must meet one or more of the following criteria:

  • Collect on Delivery Amount (COD Amount)
  • Declared Value greater than $100 U.S. dollars
  • Oversize (Length + Girth greater than 84")
  • Additional Handling applied to shipment
  • Acknowledgment of Delivery (A.O.D)
  • Residential delivery address_

[^4]: Submitted electronically through ShipEngine

[^5]: Optional via EDI apply to UPS via their Paperless Invoice Enrollment Page