What is a Packing List?

Packing List

Share This...

Packing List

A packing list, also known as a packing slip or shipping list, is a document that accompanies a shipment of goods and lists the details about the items in the package. This list is generally included inside an outbound shipment and allows the recipient to verify that the correct items have been delivered.

A packing list typically includes the following details:

  • Seller’s and Buyer’s Information: This includes the names, addresses, and contact information of the seller and buyer.
  • Order Information: This includes details such as the order number, date of the order, and date of shipment.
  • Item Details: This includes a list of each product being shipped, often with details such as the item number, description, quantity, and sometimes the weight and dimensions of each item.
  • Package Details: This includes information about the package itself, such as the total weight, number of packages, package type, and other relevant details.
  • Special Instructions: If there are any special instructions for the handling or delivery of the goods, these are often included on the packing list.

It’s important to note that while a packing list and a commercial invoice may contain similar information, they serve different purposes. A packing list is used to verify the contents of a shipment, while a commercial invoice is used to determine the value of the goods for customs and taxation purposes.

Example of a Packing List

Here is a simple example of a packing list for a business that sells office supplies:


From: Office Supplies Inc. 123 Business St. New York, NY 10001 USA

To: XYZ Company 456 Corporate Blvd. Los Angeles, CA 90001 USA

Order Number: 56789 Date of Shipment: July 26, 2023


  • Item: Ballpoint Pens (Box of 50)
    • Quantity: 2
    • Item Number: BP001
  • Item: Letter-Size Copy Paper (Ream)
    • Quantity: 10
    • Item Number: CP001
  • Item: Stapler
    • Quantity: 1
    • Item Number: ST001
  • Item: Staple Remover
    • Quantity: 1
    • Item Number: SR001

Total Quantity of Items: 14

Number of Packages: 3

Total Weight: 25 lbs

Special Instructions: None

This example packing list gives the receiver of the shipment (XYZ Company) the ability to check that all the ordered items have been included and that the quantities are correct. It also provides a reference for the sender (Office Supplies Inc.) for any queries or issues that might arise regarding the shipment.

Other Posts You'll Like...

Want to Pass as Fast as Possible?

(and avoid failing sections?)

Watch one of our free "Study Hacks" trainings for a free walkthrough of the SuperfastCPA study methods that have helped so many candidates pass their sections faster and avoid failing scores...