Backup shipping rates

If your shipping rates are calculated by a third-party, such as a shipping carrier or shipping app, then occasionally the third-party can experience downtime or can't return shipping rates fast enough. When this happens, shipping rates won't display at the checkout and your customers can't complete their order.

If no rates are returned from the third-party, then your backup shipping rates display. As a result, your customers can still checkout and continue their order, instead of having to abandon their order due to unavailable shipping rates.

Considerations for backup shipping rates

Shopify-powered backup shipping rates are activated in your Shopify store by default for all delivery profiles and shipping zones that contain third-party shipping rates. If the default backup rates don't meet your business needs, then you can customize the backup shipping rates using order value or item weight conditions. Backup shipping rates are mandatory when you're relying on a third-party to calculate shipping rates at checkout.

When an order uses a backup shipping rate, a banner displays on the order’s page in your Shopify admin and indicates that a backup rate was used, and which third-party failed to provide any shipping rates.

Shopify-powered backup shipping rates

To ensure your backup rates are accurate and complete, the Shopify-powered backup shipping rates include Shopify Shipping as well as Country-specific Backup Rates.

Shopify Shipping backup shipping rates

In shipping zones where Shopify Shipping is available, Shopify Shipping rates show as backup shipping rates at checkout. You can calculate and preview Shopify Shipping rates by using the Shopify Shipping Calculator. You can purchase the corresponding label through Shopify Shipping.

Backup rates support the following Shopify Shipping carriers by default and show the most economic service available in a given context at checkout.

CanadaCanada Post
ItalyPoste Italiane

Learn more about how to purchase a Shopify Shipping label.

Country-Specific backup shipping rates

In shipping zones where Shopify Shipping rates aren't available, country-specific rates display as your backup shipping rates.

The following criteria can determine which backup rates show in your checkout:

  • your fulfillment location's address and priority
  • your customer's shipping address
  • the default currency of your store
  • the item weight
  • the total order value

Country-specific backup rates are based on historical data with the goal to provide accurate rates at checkout.

If Shopify-powered backup rates don't meet your business needs, then you can set custom backup rates using order value or item weight conditions.

Customize backup shipping rates

A Shopify-powered backup rate will be added to every delivery profile and shipping zone for which a calculated shipping rate has been configured. You can customize the backup rates by following these steps.


  1. From your Shopify admin, go to Settings > Shipping and delivery.

  2. In the Shipping section, click the shipping profile that you want to add backup rates to.

  3. Within the shipping zone, select Carrier and app rates and click the pencil icon to edit the backup rate.

  4. Use Shopify default backup rates is selected by default. These rates will either be Shopify Shipping rates or country-specific rates, depending on the shipping zone. To customize your backup rates, choose one of the following and set your conditions:

    1. Define custom backup rates by order value: set your conditions based on order value.
    2. Define custom backup rates by item weight: set your conditions based on item weight.
  5. Click Done.

  6. Click Save to save your backup rates.

Access backup rates history

To access the 30-day rolling history of your backup rates, go to Settings > Shipping and delivery and then click a shipping zone. Within any delivery profile, click backup rates. Backup rates history displays the number of orders and sales recovered when backup rates were accepted. Backup rates doesn't display how often backup rates were shown to your customers.

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