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Tips for formatting international addresses
Tips for formatting international addresses

Some basic principles for formatting addresses when making international labels

Updated over a week ago

International addresses come in a variety of formats, and can vary wildly from country to country. If you're not used to seeing them often, they can cross your eyepatches when they come through 🙈

Here are some basic tips to help you format international addresses:

Use Google Maps

Google Maps is a great way to cross-reference the address that your recipient provided to you. Simply copy and paste your address into Google Maps, and if it exists, Google will auto-format it for you. Oftentimes, Google will clearly list out the city, province/state, and postal code, and you can input all of that information into your recipient field in Pirate Ship.

Once you've got the address that Google auto-formatted, you can also take that address and paste it into Pirate Ship using our Paste Address feature when Creating a Single Label 💪

Look how nearby addresses are formatted

If you can't find your recipient's address in Google Maps, then sometimes it helps to use Google Maps to look at other addresses in the area that belong to businesses. This may give you a clue as to how your destination country formats addresses and can help you piece together helpful information such as the city, the province/state, and the postal code.

Use Roman characters & Arabic numerals in the recipient's name and address information

When entering your recipient's name and address, be sure to use Roman characters (aka the letters of our alphabet that you're reading now). You also want to enter Arabic numerals in your address information (like 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, etc).

Our system may generate different characters in the address auto-fill feature that you can select, but USPS and UPS require shippers to use Roman characters and Arabic numerals when entering your label information.

Use process of elimination to get rid of redundant information

Some international addresses contain redundant information, with the same city or province name popping up multiple times in a single address. In this case, a good place to start is to search for the postal code you were provided in Google Maps, and then see if you can narrow down the city and province from there. When formatting international addresses, you typically only need to provide specific information such as the city name only once.

Getting rid of redundant names might also free up some room for you to add other address-specific information in your "Address" and "Apt / Unit / Suite / etc." fields when making your label, since space in those fields are limited 😅

Write out the address exactly how it was given to you next to your shipping label

In our experience, writing out the address on your package exactly how your recipient provided it to you is a great way to ensure your package gets delivered to the correct address. Doing this helps local delivery workers decipher addresses by providing that information and formatting in the local language. Sometimes an address that doesn't make a lot of sense to you makes perfect sense to someone who lives and works in the area 😉

Pro Tip: When you're writing out these addresses, don't write it on the label itself, and don't try to make any handwritten changes to your label! A safe bet is to find some available space on your box or envelope and use a sharpie there.

Get in touch with us

If all else fails, you're always welcome to get in touch with our Support Crew if you need help formatting your international address! You can reach out to us by clicking the blue chat button at the bottom of your screen, or by sending an email to 👍

Our whole crew is here to lend a hook any time y'ee hit rough international waters!

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