Generating returns labels

This topic tells you how you can create returns consignments and print the associated returns labels for packing inside your shipments.  

The use of returns labels allows your consumers to easily return their orders without having to contact your customer services or print the labels themselves.

Finding a returns carrier

In order to offer this service, you will need carriers that provide a returns shipping service. You can find such carriers by using our carrier match tool.

There is some initial setup required in relation to the carriers that you wish to use, and this is covered in Setting up the returns carrier services below.

Setting up the returns carrier services

Log into the Delivery Manager Delta environment using either the Administrator Login and Password or one of the user accounts that were created:

Now proceed as follows:

  1. Select the required returns carriers and services.

  2. Configure the services as normal but pay special attention to the following:

    1. When adding the Number ranges, select Pick-up as the type (for returns labels), and ensure that the numbers you enter for parcel returns have been agreed with the particular carrier.

    2. When adding the Carrier Connection Details, be sure that, if you wish to add the returns to a manifest, you select Add new manifest carrier connection, and, when you enter the details, select Pick-up as the type.

  3. Set up the returns-specific costs.

  4. Activate the newly configured carrier services.

  5. Create one or more carrier 'service groups' containing the carrier services.

  6. Move to Creating and allocating the returns consignment.

The steps below take you through creating the returns consignment, allocating it, and creating the label, all via the GUI.


If you would prefer to carry out all 3 steps using a single API call, then refer to despatchConsignmentWithBookingCode (Return). Using the Shipping API is the recommended means of proceeding.

Creating and allocating the returns consignment


If you would prefer to carry out these 2 steps using a single API call, then refer to either createAndAllocateConsignmentsWithBookingCode (Return) or despatchConsignmentWithBookingCode (Return).

To create and allocate the consignment via the GUI, proceed as follows:

  1. To create the consignment, follow the steps in Creating a Return.

  2. With the consignment open in the GUI, click on the Options tab, to display the screen shown in the following example:

  3. The items listed under Carrier Selection Method allow you to filter the options that are available following verification of the carrier service attributes and carrier allocation rules:

    1. Delivery days by service type. This option displays a pop-out window of the available return days for each service type (e.g. Untimed, Economy, etc.).

    2. Delivery days by group. This option displays a pop-out window of the available return days for each carrier 'service group'.

    3. Advanced Allocation. This option displays a pop-out window of tabbed, advanced search options. You can filter carrier services using acceptable and unacceptable collection times, delivery times, carriers, service types, services, and carrier 'service groups', and by other miscellaneous options (e.g. scoring and PUDO radius). Once you have filtered the services using the various tabs, select the required service.


      The Advanced Allocation option also allows you to filter by Booking Code. This is the recommended means of filtering delivery options, as it can be done using a single entry. It is described in Using a Booking Code as an Allocation Filter.

    4. Show Carriers. This option is described in step 4, providing the best visual means of verifying the costs and charges that you have configured for each carrier.

    5. Choose Best Carrier. This option makes the selection for you, using the following hierarchy:

      1. Prioritised service (if one has been selected automatically via the Carrier Allocation Rules).

      2. Shipping cost (the system will always try and select the cheapest service where there is no prioritised service).

      3. Earliest despatch (if two services cost the same, the one that leaves the warehouse first will be chosen).

      4. Earliest delivery (if two services cost the same and leave the warehouse at the same time, the one that can deliver first is selected),

  4. As we wish to focus on costs and charges, click Show Carriers. A pop-out window is displayed showing the costs and charges associated with each available carrier service, as in the following example:


    Select the required carrier service on the left, followed by the required return option on the right. The selected option is displayed on the right of the screen shown at step 2.


    If any of the costs are not as required, given the weight and number of parcels, then you should stop now and re-enter them in accordance with Setting up the Carrier Costs. You can then resume from step 2 to resdisplay the modified costs and/or charges.


    The Why Not? button on the bottom right of the screen shown at step 2 allows you to see why any non-displayed carrier services are not available. This feature is especially useful for flagging any services that do not have costs associated with them.

  5. Click Save Changes in the top right hand corner of the screen, to generate a Carrier Consignment Code, used to identify the shipment within Delivery Manager.

  6. If you do not wish to proceed, click the Cancel Allocation button that now appears at the top of the screen. Otherwise, proceed to Generating the returns label.

Generating the returns label

Proceed as follows:

  1. Click Home and then select the Ready to Manifest status and the relevant returns carrier service, before clicking Search.

  2. In the left hand column, tick the boxes against the consignments for which returns labels are to be printed.

  3. Click on the Advanced button shown above to display the available bulk options.

  4. A Print dialog is displayed to allow you to select the required printer/output format.

  5. Click Print to output the labels, e.g.

  6. Proceed to Generating a Returns Manifest.