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How to configure real-time shipping

Last updated on 2020-09-28 3 mins. to read

Configuring real-time shipping (FedEx, UPS, USPS, etc.) is easy and usually free of charge, but there are some key steps you need to follow:

  1. You need to register an account and obtain the API credentials from your real-time shipping provider. Often times, the API credentials are different than your login credentials.
  2. Enter a valid address under Configuration > General menu settings. Your real-time shipping provider uses your business address to determine the outgoing sender address. If you use the seller or warehouse functionality, make sure they too have valid addresses.
  3. Make sure your product variants have the "Require shipping" checked and have a valid Weight, Width, Height and Depth measurements specified. Your real-time shipping provider uses the information to calculate shipping cost.

    For the dimensions and weight, we recommend testing with a small product first that isn't too big and doesn't weigh too much since over-sized items don't qualify for many shipping methods (e.g. a very large product won't be allowed for services intended for small parcel delivery. FedEx and UPS have a max weight of 150 lbs. USPS has a max weight of 70 lbs. On the other hand, if you're shipping by freight, your product weight should be over 150 lbs.)

    For the package type, we recommend using "Unspecified" because certain types of packages are not allowed by the shipping method (e.g "Box" cannot be shipped by a letter mail service). It's best to leave it to the shipping method to decide what default type of package to use.

    If you're using shipping by freight, you normally need to enter a shipping code that corresponds to your freight class (e.g. "50").

    Please remember to clear your shopping cart and re-add the item to your cart after each time changing the product dimension or weight. You can also visit the shipping provider's Web site directly and enter the same dimension/weight and compare the results.
  4. If you have trouble obtaining rates from your shipping provider or you are new to real-time shipping, we recommend that you remove any packing rule under Configuration > Packing to simplify your tests. Once your shipping works, you can add back the packing rule to optimize your shipping costs.
  5. Configure the allowable shipping services under Configuration > Shipping menu by adding the appropriate shipping methods. Make sure to add services that make sense (e.g. ground shipping cannot ship to Alaska, or International etc.). Your real-time shipping provider will determine which of the configured shipping services are available for shipping so it's a good idea to configure as many shipping services while testing even if you don't intend to use them in production (you can remove them later).
  6. For the selected Type, click on the edit icon to enter the API credentials for your shipping provider. Do not use Test mode unless you've been explicitly given test credentials by your provider.
  7. When testing and checking out as a customer, make sure to enter a valid address. Your real-time shipping provider will use it to determine if they can service this request. For example, if you're using USPS, you probably want to test with a valid address shipped from and to the United States. You want to avoid testing international addresses to make your testing simpler.
  8. Check your DNN Event viewer for any errors.
  9. You can enable Debug logging to capture additional shipping related information from your shipping gateways. Please see Log Level for more information on how to enable debug mode.

By default, the Storefront assumes you ship each product separately. For example, if you added 2 quantities of the same products to the cart, you would expect the shipping rates to double. If you frequently ship multiple products in a single box, you can reduce shipping cost by telling the Storefront how you intend to pack your products. Please see Packing for more information.


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