How to set up real-time shipping carrier rates
This feature is available for users on the 2019 Advanced plan and the legacy Pro plan.
With real-time shipping, you can give your customers real-time carrier rates at checkout, from all the major carriers like USPS, FedEx, DHL, Canada Post, Deutsche Post, Aussie Post and much more.
Once set up real-time shipping rates will help create a great shipping experience for your customers, leading to more sales for your online store.
On this page
How real-time shipping rates work
During the checkout process, we'll contact your connected shipping carriers to obtain the real-time cost of shipping the order. As part of this we pass the following information:
- Origin and destination address
- Order weight
- Default parcel dimensions
Your connected carriers then return the rates and available services. During checkout, your customer will simply select the service that they would like and the selected shipping rate will be added to the order total.
We'll contact your connected shipping carriers to obtain rates. If rates are not available the order will not be processed.*
*If we cannot obtain real-time rates we can use the manual rates that have been configured for that country. See our guide to creating manual shipping rates.
You'll need the following to set up real-time shipping rates:
- An account for a carrier who operates within your country. For some countries and carriers, you can use our default account to obtain retail rates from the carrier.
- Item weight added to all your items
- Default parcel size
First, need to ensure that your address has been entered. This ensures we have your address when we request rates from your connected carriers. In some countries, we'll also validate your address with the carriers to ensure it is correct.
Default parcel size
As part of the real-time shipping rate calculation, we need to send the default parcel size to the carrier so that they can calculate the appropriate rate.
Most carriers use a dimensional weight which is determined by the carrier based on the height, width, and depth of your packages.
If the dimensional weight for the order is larger than the order's weight, your customer will be charged for the dimensional weight of their order.
Dimensional weight calculations vary between carriers.
To get real-time rates within the checkout you need to connect to a shipping carrier. Options available vary by country. See our list of supported shipping carriers.
There are two ways to connect and return rates from shipping carriers, available options vary by carrier and country:
- Default account - Uses the your default account to calculate retail rates from carriers
- Own account - Uses provided account details to calculate account rates from carriers
Default account (retail rates)
For some carriers, we can calculate rates using our default accounts. These accounts will return retail rates i.e. the rate you would pay in the shop.
If this option is enabled we'll contact the carrier to return retail rates during the checkout process.
To use your own rates you'll first need to create your own account with a carrier that operates within your country.
Once your carrier account is approved you'll need to connect the carrier account within our platform. Once you have entered the required information click Save.
If the option to connect your own carrier account is available you can enter your account details to get the rates you have negotiated with the carrier.
The information required varies by carrier.
Within the shipping settings page, you need to configure how rates are calculated for each country that you ship to. For more detailed instructions, see our guide to configuring manual rates.
During checkout, we'll contact your connected carriers for real-time shipping rates and display these within the checkout.
If multiple carriers have been connected we'll display rates from each carrier. If we cannot contact the carriers for real-time rates and you have selected Real-time & Manual rates for the country, then we'll use your manual rates to calculate shipping for the order.