Steps to take if the rate you see in ShipStation does not match the rate displayed in your postal account web portal.
Follow the steps outlined below when you see that the rate in ShipStation does not match the rate a carrier offers on their web portal for the same shipment.
Before you begin troubleshooting, it is important to know how ShipStation gets an actual estimated rate.
The estimated rate you see in ShipStation is dependent upon the carrier account you use for the shipment.
ShipStation Carrier Services: Rates are based on the ShipStation contracted discount rate with the carrier.
All other carriers:ShipStation receives rates from the carrier based on the connected account information. This means you should expect to see the same rates in ShipStation as you'd see if you used the carrier's online portal (or, in the case of Amazon Buy Shipping, the same rates you'd see in Amazon.com's shipping portal).
If possible, log into the online portal for the carrier to compare with the rates you see in ShipStation.
Desktop programs vs. online portals
Some carriers offer desktop programs to create labels like UPS Worldship. While these programs can be used to compare rates, it's best to use the online portal if available.
Desktop programs often require updates or a new rate table if rates have been modified. However, the online portal should always be up to date.
If the estimated rate 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.
Review the sections below when the rate in ShipStation does not match the carrier's online portal.
Ensure that both the weight and the dimensions entered in ShipStation match the weight and the dimensions entered in the carrier's online portal. Since many carrier rates are dependent upon the weight and dimensions of the package, any variations can lead to discrepancies in the estimated rates.
In addition, keep the following in mind when it comes to weights and dimensions:
When not using a flat-rate shipping service, most carriers will bill the shipment based on either actual weight or dimensional weight, whichever is greater.
When comparing estimated rates on the carrier's online portal, make sure both the weight and dimensions match the shipment information in ShipStation.
When comparing the estimated rate in ShipStation with the rate a carrier billed you for a shipment, make sure the weight and dimensions match the weight and dimensions determined by the carrier for the shipment.
When dimensions are not included, ShipStation will only base the rate 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.
Make sure that the confirmation type, carrier insurance, and other shipping options are configured the same in ShipStation and in the carrier's shipping portal.
The default confirmation type for a shipping service is free, but when a more advanced confirmation option is selected (like Signature on delivery) the estimated rate may include an additional fee.
Other options like Carrier Insurance, Saturday Delivery, or Cash on Delivery may also cause the estimated rate displayed in ShipStation to include an additional fee.
When creating labels on a Saturday, some carriers will also include a Saturday Pickup Fee. This fee will only be charged if the package is actually picked up on Saturday, but when included in the estimated rate displayed in ShipStation it may account for a rate discrepancy when comparing rates with the carrier's shipping portal.
Check to see if the shipment is going to an international address with the "Bill Duties and Taxes to Payor" option selected. In most cases, the VAT, duties, and taxes are not included in the estimated rate returned from the shipping carrier. This can cause the estimated rate displayed in ShipStation to not match the actual carrier fee.
Make sure that you use the same address type as indicated within ShipStation when comparing the rate displayed in ShipStation to a rate displayed in the carrier's online portal.
Some shipping carriers will offer different rates or add fees when shipping to a residential address versus a commercial address. See our article on Address Validation for more details on how ShipStation determines if an address is residential or commercial.
For example, if ShipStation determines an address to be residential or commercial, but the carrier determines the address to be the opposite, a rate discrepancy will occur between the estimated rate in ShipStation and the rate displayed on the carrier's online portal.