Print shipping labels

Printing shipping labels and shipping labels is the most commonly used label printer application there is. Use within the application is relatively simple and not demanding, but there are still a few points to consider when choosing a label printer for this application.

Unfortunately, we notice that, whether or not due to incorrect advice, label printers are used that do not meet the requirements, do not communicate correctly with the relevant API or are not suitable for the amount of print work.

Below are some tips, some explanation about label printers, and problems with solutions.

Which printer

A much-seen printer is the Zebra GK420D, the choice for this model is often advised by the transport company and / or the automation company. If we ask these companies why this choice, the answer is invariably: because it works, or, we have experience with it. Although the Zebra GK420D is a good printer, this does not always mean that it actually meets the wishes of the customer.

In this blog we go through a number of important points which influence the choice of a correct printer and which considerations must be made.

How many labels

Of course it is important to know how much will be printed. With a desktop printer there are usually 300 labels on a roll. It becomes difficult when the label roll runs out in the middle of the print order, the roll needs to be replaced and you do not know whether all shipping labels have been printed, so you have to check! For relatively large quantities, it is better to consider choosing a label printer with a higher capacity label roll of 900 labels with the additional advantage that these printers are faster.

For many companies, it works great to use one or, in some cases, multiple, desktop label printers. We recommend the Godex DT4x, why? it is low in purchase, standard with ethernet connection and standard more complete than a Zebra GK420D.

The ZPL emulation (Zebra printer language for thermal printers) makes it possible to use a Godex label printer for every application aimed at Zebra.

Wrong choice?

We regularly see a choice for a Dymo & nbsp; LabelWriter XL. Usually this choice appears to be purely based on the purchase price of the printer without the user realizing that the consumption costs are approximately 6 times higher than with a Godex or Zebra printer.

A4 printers

Use A4 sheets to print shipping labels … in the long run it turns out to be an expensive solution but a solution for starting companies that send few packages in the beginning and who cannot / do not want to invest directly in a label printer. In addition to the cost of ink or toner, the price per label is cheaper, but consider the wasteful waste of labels that are usually thrown away because they are not printed exactly in numbers.

Way of printing

Is going to be printed by using a pdf file, will a solution be provided with an API from the carrier or will other software be used? Important points that determine which printer is suitable.

A pdf

A PDF file can be printed with any Windows printer and is therefore not a problem, for the best result our advice is “open the files in a PDF reader and not in the web browser.”


The API, or software solution, is usually supplied by the carrier. An API provides a locally running software solution that is linked to the transporter’s database. Printing from an API can be done in different ways, for example there are APIs that work by using creating a pdf file (so you can work with any windows printer) but most APIs work by sending the print order directly to the printer. The way in which these two communicate depends on the API.

ZPL code

For example, a ZPL code can be generated that is sent directly to the printer. Explanation: A ZPL code is a “printer language” developed by Zebra for thermal printers. Because of this “printer language”, a Zebra printer seems the most logical choice but does not always seem to be the best solution.

BASE64 code

Another example is a print job in so-called BASE64 code that is sent to the printer. There are printers that can convert this to a label themselves, but usually an emulation (say translation) must take place in order for the label to come out of the printer correctly. Want to know more about BASE64? Feel free to call us!

Printer type

All that remains is the choice of printer in which the number of labels is leading. The option is subdivided into three categories below:

Desktop label printer.

Godex DT4x and G300 – small printers, easy to use but only process small label rolls as standard. The processing of large label rolls can only be done by using. extension with the optionally available label stand.
Suitable printers for SMEs up to max. 150 labels per day.

Godex DT4X

This is the cheapest model but suitable for 150 labels per day. The printer is standard equipped with Ethernet and USB port and can be expanded with the following options: label stand, cutter module, rewinder and label dispenser.

Godex G300

Robust version comparable to the DT4x. This G300 is also standard equipped with Ethernet and USB port and can work with the following options: label position and rewinder. Maybe nice to know … this model also prints Thermal Transfer as standard.

Mid range label printer
Godex ZX420 Mid range label printer

This printer has a high capacity and requires little maintenance. The specifications make the printer look like an industrial printer for a desktop price. The printer processes large label rolls. In addition to a standard USB and Ethernet port, WiFi and / or Bluetooth can be installed. Suitable options for the ZX420 are: cutter module, rewinder, parallel port module and label dispenser.

Suitable for companies that want a reliable printer up to 2000 labels per day.

Industrial printers

Industrial printers, the ZX1000i series from Godex, process in high speed labels and are very reliable. When we get the demand for industrial printers, we usually first discuss the possibility of choosing for example 2 Godex ZX420 label printers. With this, there is often sufficient capacity in house and complete downtime is prevented in the event of a label printer failing or failing.

Our conclusion

So you can work in multiple ways, but our conclusion is that the price / quality ratio with a Godex is the best.

Curious about more or more questions? Call us, we’re ready.

Labels / Labels


Most transporters work with 100x150mm shipping labels. DHL on the other hand uses two label sizes: 100x150mm and 100x210mm. Ask your carrier for the size.


The most commonly used printing method is Thermal Direct, shipping labels do not require a long service life, so Thermal Direct is sufficient.

The adhesive type can be important or useful in some cases. A permanent variant is cheaper but a removable label can be useful in practical terms if you send a lot to resellers. They can easily remove the label in its entirety without “hassle” and then send or deliver the package again without “old” label residue.

Format of the role

The format depends on the printer and any options. Desktop printers only process small label rolls by default and large ones only by using them. label stand extension.

Midrange and industrial label printers only process large label rolls.