It's super important that you include box dimensions to get the most accurate pricing on your rate quotes and shipping labels now that two of our most popular carriers, FedEx and UPS, have broadly adopted dimensional pricing.
Most marketplaces don't send us this information, but it's simple to enter it on an order-by-order basis via the Order Sidebar or the Order Details pop-up.
However, there are faster ways to go about it within ShipStation! Create and then apply a custom package type that has the dimensions built in, or use our Shipping Presets to save different sets of dimensions to specific keyboard commands.
If your business process allows, you can set up Product Defaults/Product Preset Groups or Automation Rules to apply custom package types or dimensions to orders as they import into ShipStation. Before you start setting up these features, you may want to consolidate your boxes sizes down to the smallest ones that fit your products, and even swap out boxes for poly bags wherever possible (like for apparel).
Another option is to set up custom boxes in the Your Packaging area in the Packages tab in Settings.
Take a look at the methods below to help you decide on which method is the right one for you:
The easiest of our features to set up to help process your orders with dimensional weights is called Shipping Presets. Basically, we can save certain pieces (or any combination thereof) of a shipping setting–service/package type, dimensions, weight, etc.–based on your criteria. So, in addition to setting how you’ll ship something out, you can also save your box sizes and apply them one-by-one or in bulk to your orders. (You can even set it to a keyboard shortcut to make it an even easier application process.)
Check out our dedicated support article on Shipping Presets if you need step-by-step instructions on getting them set up.
If you sell a lot of single-item orders, this one’s for you. On each of your product records, you can specify product dimensions that we’ll use if an order contains just one of that product. Much like a shipping preset, you can save a lot of information using these product defaults, including weights, default service/package type, and even tags. If you have a lot of the same type of products, you can create what we call a Preset Group. It’s basically the same thing as a product default, but you’re able to apply a type to multiple products.
We've got dedicated support articles for Product Defaults and Product Preset Groups in case you need more detailed instructions to get those set up.
Automation rules are the most flexible and automatic of the options we have for easily applying dimensions to your orders. But they also take the most amount of prep to make sure they apply in the right order. Automation rules are hierarchical, so if you have an order that matches two rules, the latter rule will override the first. This means, you’ll have to sit down and think through the criteria of how you assign each of your orders a box size, and then build that ruleset in ShipStation. The nicest thing, though, is that you’ll only have to change the set when your business practices change, and until then all your orders will have their dimensions set automatically.
If you're not sure where to get started with Automation Rules, check out this short video.
Your Packaging is a good way to set up custom packages. This is a good option if you have a specific package type that you use frequently.
Head to your Account Settings (the gear icon in the upper right).
Next, select Shipping and then Packages from the sidebar on the left.
On the page that appears, click Create a new Package...
Create the name and dimensions for the package that appears.
Click Save Changes and now the package will appear as a package option throughout your ShipStation account, be it in the order sidebar or in automation rules, etc.