When creating labels in ShipStation, you may notice that the rate you're seeing in ShipStation does not match the rate a carrier offers for the same shipment. When you see this type of discrepancy, follow these troubleshooting tips:
ShipStation does not directly affect the rates your customers see when they checkout from your store, and therefore we can offer only basic assistance when troubleshooting rates your customers are seeing at checkout. We recommend you contact the selling channel for any assistance with customer-facing rates.
In addition, ShipStation will not inherit discounted shipping rates from your store or marketplace. Any discounted rates you may receive for using a store or marketplace's internal shipping portal will not be available in ShipStation.
Determine the actual estimated rate
There are two ways ShipStation will get rates for your shipments:
For carriers added to ShipStation Carrier Services to create prepaid labels, rates are based on ShipStation's contracted discount rate with the carrier. See the Integration Help Guide for a rate chart, or contact the ShipStation User Success team if one isn't available. If the rates you see for the shipment are incorrect based on the provided rate chart, please contact the ShipStation User Success team so we can review it.
For all other carriers, ShipStation will get rates from the carrier by using the connected account information. This means you should expect to see the same rates in ShipStation as you'd see if you used the courier's online portal. If possible, log into the online portal for the courier to compare with the rates you see in ShipStation.
Some carriers offer desktop programs to create labels. While these programs can be used to compare rates, it's best to use the online portal if one is available. Desktop programs often require updates or a new rate table if rates have been modified, but the online portal should always be up to date.
If the estimated rate you see in ShipStation matches the estimated rate provided by your carrier's online portal, ShipStation is working as expected. If you still feel the rate is too high or that they're charging you an incorrect amount, please contact the carrier for additional assistance.
If the rate in ShipStation does not match the carrier's online portal, continue following the steps below to locate the cause of the discrepancy.
Ensure both the weight and dimensions match
If you're not using a flat-rate shipping service, most carriers will bill the shipment based on either actual weight or dimensional weight, whichever is greater.
If you're comparing estimated rates on the carrier's online portal, make sure both the weight and dimensions match the shipment information in ShipStation.
If you're comparing the estimated rate in ShipStation with the rate a carrier billed you for a shipment, make sure the dimensions are present in ShipStation and match the dimensions determined by the carrier for the shipment. If dimensions are not included, ShipStation will only be able to get the rate based on weight. If the carrier determines that the dimensional weight is higher, the carrier will charge you based on the dimensional weight, and the estimated rate in ShipStation will be inaccurate.
Ensure the confirmation type, carrier insurance, and other shipping options match
The default confirmation type for a shipping service is free, but if using a more advanced confirmation option (like Signature delivery) the carrier may charge an additional fee. Other options like Carrier Insurance, Saturday Delivery, or Cash on Delivery may also incur additional fees. If you're using these options on the shipment in ShipStation, make sure they're also applied when getting the estimated rate on the carrier's shipping portal.
If you're creating labels on a Saturday, some carriers will also include a Saturday Pickup Fee when ShipStation gets rates for the shipment. This fee will only be charged if the package is actually picked up on Saturday. If you're creating labels on a Saturday but intend to ship the packages on Monday (or a different day) the fee will not be applied when the carrier bills the shipment.
Set the address indicator to Commercial to match ShipStation
Some shipping carriers will offer different rates or add fees when shipping to residential or commercial addresses. At this time, ShipStation is not able to determine if an address as residential, so all estimated shipping rates in ShipStation assume a commercial address. If your shipping carrier lets you indicate an address is Residential or Commercial, choose Commercial to try to get the rate to match ShipStation.
Your shipping carrier will still charge you based on their designation for the address, so if they consider an address Residential you may see a different actual charge than ShipStation's estimated rate which assumes Commercial.
Contact the ShipStation User Success team
If you are still unable to determine why the estimated rate in ShipStation does not match the estimated rate provided by your carrier, contact the ShipStation User Success team and we'll review the rate discrepancy with you. When contacting the ShipStation User Success team, include a screenshot of the estimated rate displayed on the carrier's online portal, or a picture of the billed amount for the shipment by the carrier.