Discover The Difference Between Dispatch And Shipping 

Dispatch and shipping are two logistics terms commonly used interchangeably. However, both terms describe different aspects of a shipping process. So, what is the difference between dispatch and shipping? 

Dispatch describes the preparation and sending of a package to a courier or delivery company. Shipping, however, means the order is coming to you from the courier. 

In simpler terms, dispatch begins a shipping process. Once the package leaves the delivery company, it has been shipped. How long it takes or the number of stops it makes does not matter. What matters is that you get to your package in due time. 

This guide explains the difference between dispatch and shipping and the processes associated with both logistics terms. 

What is Dispatch? 


Dispatch is a logistic term that describes sending an item from a retailer or warehouse to a delivery company. It is the process that comes after the confirmation of an order. 

Dispatching a package involves a series of processes: 

Picking, packing, and labeling 

This involves selecting the item(s) that has just been ordered, inspecting it for accuracy, and carefully placing them in a box or pallet. Once the item is packed, include all the necessary documents and label it. 

The label should contain the address of the recipient and other essential information. 

Arranging for transportation 

This stage involves selecting a carrier for the package. Your choice of carrier will depend on the buyer’s location and the shipping option selected (standard or express). In most cases, you must choose between a postal service, courier service, or freight company. 

On paper, a dispatch process ends once the shipment arrives at the shipping or delivery company. However, once a tracking ID is issued for the shipment, it is still the responsibility of the dispatch team to track the package until it gets to the consignee. 

What is Shipping? 


After picking up, preparing, and dispatching a package to a carrier’s warehouse, the next course of action is shipping. Shipping means moving goods or packages from the shipping company to the customer. 

In other words, it is the physical transportation of goods via road, sea, air, or rail. Procedures that occur before shipping are mainly inspection activities such as: 

  1. Checking the item for proper labeling and packaging to avoid damage during transit. 
  2. Scanning the package for compliance with regulations and providing extra documentation when necessary. 

Shipping options with most carriers usually range from standard to express shipping. Standard shipping is the economical and budget-friendly option but not the fastest. 

If your package is time-sensitive or needs delivery as early as possible, express shipping options should suffice. 

Difference between Dispatch and Shipping 

Dispatch is the process of preparing a package for shipment. Shipping is the actual movement of the package from one location to another until it gets to the recipient. 
Dispatch relates to the administrative side of shipping that involves processing, labeling, and tracking. Shipping focuses on the inspection and logistical side of delivery. 
The dispatch team attends to dispatch activities.Carriers or logistics companies deal with shipping processes.


What is the meaning of the item dispatched?

Item dispatched means your package has been sent to a delivery company or carrier who will get it to you. 

Why is your package stuck in dispatch?

Your package may be stuck in dispatch should it get lost or damaged. Delay may also be due to a system failure. 

Does shipped mean delivered? 

“Shipped” means the package is on its way to you. When you recover it is when it becomes” delivered.”

In a Nutshell 

Dispatch and shipping both play a crucial role in any shipping process (regional or international). The former refers to the transportation of a package to the carrier or logistic provider. Before dispatch, such a package has to be prepared, well-packaged, and labeled. 

After arriving at the carrier’s warehouse, the item will be inspected for compliance and get supporting documents for easy delivery. Immediately it leaves the warehouse, shipping begins. Receiving a tracking ID also means shipping has begun. 

Understanding the difference between both terms usually also helps with misconceptions, which can make you feel like your shipment is taking too long to arrive. 

I hope you found this guide helpful. If you are shipping or expecting an international shipment, you must understand what customs clearance means

Thanks for reading.