Carrier-calculated shipping

Carrier services collect and deliver your packaged orders for you. If you use real-time rates, the carrier will charge you their best rate on the day of shipping.

Note

If you've negotiated a reduced shipping rate with UPS, then you can display your reduced rates at checkout. Your carrier-calculated rates won't reflect reduced rates that you've negotiated with any other preferred carriers.

How real-time carrier-calculated rates work

Note

Real-time rates are available only if your store's on an Advanced Shopify plan or higher.

If you’re planning to offer a carrier service, our real-time carrier-calculated shipping rates can protect you from losses. Shipping costs are calculated automatically by the carrier at the exact time an order is placed.

Carriers typically have a wide range of shipping options, but your customers will be offered only those rates that are applicable to their order, based on:

  • the total weight of the order
  • your default shipment dimensions. These are used by your carrier to calculate shipping rates
  • whether or not they enter their Company name at checkout (this can make them eligible for business rates, which are generally lower than residential rates).

If you plan to offer carrier-calculated shipping for your products, make sure that you've entered accurate weights for each variant, either in your product detail pages or your product CSV file. If your weights are not accurate, the calculated shipping costs will be incorrect.

You might need to use dimensional weights if you find that your shipping rates are being calculated incorrectly.

Which carriers to use

When you first set up your Shopify store, three carriers are made available to you on your shipping page:

You can add other carriers by installing their apps from the Shopify App Store.

Basic procedure for offering carrier shipping

The basic procedure for offering a real-time rate for carrier-calculated shipping looks like this:

  1. Register for and set up an account with your preferred carrier.
  2. Obtain your carrier account credentials.
  3. Activate the carrier service in Shopify.
  4. Make sure your shipping origin address is correct.
  5. Make sure your products have accurate weights.
  6. Add rates for this carrier to each of your applicable shipping zones.

Note

If your store is eligible for Shopify Shipping, then you can activate real-time rates for USPS without having to register for a separate USPS shipping account. If your store isn't eligible for Shopify Shipping, then you'll need to sign up with USPS before you can activate this carrier service on your Shopify store.

Add a carrier-calculated shipping rate

To set up a carrier-calculated rate:

  1. From your Shopify admin, click Settings, and then click Shipping.

  2. In the Shipping rates section, find the shipping zone that you want to create the new rate for, and then click Edit:

    Add shipping rate

  3. On the shipping zone's main page, find the Carrier-calculated rates section, and then click Add rate:

    Add cc rate

  4. On the Add carrier-calculated rate dialog, select the carrier that you want to use and the services that you want to offer to your customers:

    Set up cc rate

    Note

    If you've negotiated a reduced rate with UPS, then you can display your negotiated rate at checkout. Your carrier-calculated rates won't reflect reduced rates that you've negotiated with any other preferred carriers.

  5. If you want to add a handling charge on top of the carrier-calculated rate, then enter an amount in either the Percentage or Flat fee field.

  6. When you're done, click Done.

  7. On the shipping zone's main page, click Save to create the new shipping rate:

    Save zone update
    If you don't want to save your changes, then click Cancel instead.

Adjusting carrier calculated rates

You can adjust carrier-calculated shipping rates to mark up or discount the rates that your customers see at checkout. You might want to adjust carrier-calculated shipping rates if:

  • the rate is too high to attract customers
  • the rate is too low to cover your packaging and handling costs.

You can mark up carrier-calculated shipping rates by an additional flat fee or by a percentage of the total shipping rate. If you adjust a carrier-calculated shipping rate to include both an additional flat fee and a percentage markup, then the percentage is calculated before the flat fee is added. For example, a $5.00 rate with 50% markup and a $1.00 flat fee will cost the customer $8.50, not $9.00.

To adjust a carrier-calculated shipping rate:

  1. From your Shopify admin, click Settings, and then click Shipping.

  2. In the Shipping zones section, find the destination that includes the carrier-calculated rate that you want to edit, and then click Edit.

  3. On the shipping zone's main page, find the Carrier-calculated rates section, and then click Edit beside the rate that you want to change.

  4. Adjust each rate by entering a fixed amount in the Flat fee field, or a percentage in the Markup field:

    Adjust shipping cost
    If you want to offer your customers a discounted rate, then enter a negative percentage in the Markup field. Since you will still be charged the full shipping cost that's calculated by the carrier, you might want to recover some of that cost by adding an equivalent amount to your product prices.

    Note

    If you add a percentage markup and a flat fee to a carrier-calculated rate, then the percentage markup is calculated before the flat fee is added.

  5. Click Save.

Note

Your default shipment dimensions will also be used by your carrier to calculate shipping rates.

Deactivate a shipping carrier service

If you no longer want to use a particular carrier service (for example if your account with them has expired), you must make sure the service isn't offered to your customers at checkout:

  1. From your Shopify admin, click Settings, and then click Shipping.

  2. Scroll down to the Carrier calculated shipping section.

  3. Find the carrier you want to remove and click Deactivate next to it.

Note

If your account with the carrier is in good standing, you can reactivate the carrier at any time.

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