Calculate Rates

Explains the Rate Calculator, how to create labels with it, use Natural Language Processing (NLP) in it, & notes about labels w/out orders.

ShipStation's Rate Calculator lets you view estimated rates across multiple services and carriers so you can determine which service is best for different shipments. Additionally, you can use the Rate Calculator to create labels (both outgoing and return labels) without creating an order.

There are two ways to view rates with the Rate Calculator:

  1. Toolbar Rate Calculator

    Use the Rate Calculator in the top toolbar to compare rates based on Ship From and Ship To postal code, weight, package dimension, and service class. 

    V3 Toolbar with rate calculator icon highlighted.
  2. Shipment Rate Calculator

    Use the Rate Calculator in the Configure Shipment Widget to view rates for a shipment on a specific order.

    V3 shipping sidebar. Red box highlights the rate calculator next to the Ship From drop-down

The Shipment Rate Calculator returns rates from the carrier based on the following shipment details:

  • Postal Codes for the Ship From and Ship To Addresses

  • Address type: Residential or Commercial

  • Shipping Confirmation Type

  • Package Type, Weight, and Dimensions

  • Service Class (the type or speed of service)

USPS Shipping Calculator

To compare currently available USPS rates, check out ShipStation's USPS Shipping Calculator.

Toolbar Rate Calculator

Use the Toolbar Rate Calculator to view and compare rates based on Ship From and Ship To postal codes, shipment weight, package dimensions, and service class. 

Rate Differences Between Toolbar and Shipment Calculator

Because the Toolbar Calculator sends fewer details to the carrier rate API, you may sometimes see different rates for the same shipment between the Toolbar Calculator and the Shipment Calculator.

The Toolbar Calculator does not take into account the address type (residential, commercial), package type, or confirmation type. The Shipment Calculator will provide more accurate rates when such details affect the rate returned from the carrier's rate API.

From here, you can proceed to creating a label without creating an order, if desired. 

Create a Label With the Rate Calculator

The Rate Calculator allows you to create both outgoing and return labels without creating an order first. 

ShipStation will create the label at this point and, depending on your printing setup, will either send it to your default printer or ask you to print the label. 

If ShipStation is not able to create the label, we'll display any relevant errors so you can correct the shipping details and attempt to create the label again.

You can print the label immediately or print it later from the Shipments tab. Review the Print Labels article in this help guide for more details on available print options.

Rate Calculator Return Labels

To create a return label from the Rate Calculator, follow the same steps to create an outbound label but select the Create a Return Label option above the address fields.

Then choose to either Email or Download the label.

Rate Browser pop-up. Arrow points to Return Label checkbox, box outlines option to email & field for email address

Notes About Labels Without Orders

Labels created through the Rate Calculator in ShipStation's toolbar will not have orders associated with them. You should be aware of the following when creating labels this way:

  • Creating a label through the Rate Calculator will not generate an order or customer record. A shipment record will be available in the Shipments tab.

  • You cannot create International labels or any labels requiring customs information from the rate calculator.

  • Shipments created through the Rate Calculator do not allow you to define the shipment's line items. Packing Slips and Pick Lists printed from the shipment will not contain any product information.

  • Notification e-mails are not available for shipments created through the Rate Calculator.

  • You cannot create USPS test labels.

  • All labels count against your subscription plan's shipment limit.

  • You cannot specify a custom RMA number for return labels created with the Rate Calculator. ShipStation will auto-generate the RMA.

  • Since each of these labels is a standalone label, a return label cannot be made from the shipment record for an outbound label that doesn't have an order. See Return Labels for steps to create standalone return labels. 

Shipment Rate Calculator

The Shipment Rate Calculator will take the details configured for that shipment and display the rates for all carriers and services available for that shipment.

The carrier and service you selected will be set in the Configure Shipment Widget so you can proceed to create the label. 

Calculate Rates Legacy Layout

ShipStation's Rate Calculator lets you view rates across multiple services and carriers so you can determine which service is best for different shipments. Additionally, you can use the Rate Calculator to create labels (both outgoing and return labels) without creating an order.

Rate Calculator pop-up. Shows sample information with FedEx Services, Packages, Delivery Times, & Rates

Open the Rate Calculator by clicking the calculator icon Calculator icon, opens Rate Calculator pop-up on the toolbar or in the side panel of an order in the Shipping Info section. 

To view rates, enter the following details about the shipment:

  • Postal Codes for the Ship From and Ship To Addresses

  • Address type: Residential or Commercial

  • Shipping Confirmation Type

  • Package Type, Weight, and Dimensions

  • Service Class (the type or speed of service)

When using the Rate Calculator on an order, these details will auto-populate.

Click Get Rates and a list of services and the associated rates will appear. Switch between the different providers to compare rates and delivery times to find the best option. 

Create Labels with the Rate Calculator

The Rate Calculator's two locations follow slightly different processes to create labels.

The Toolbar Rate Calculator
Close-up of Rate Calculator popup. Red box highlights Create Label for first, lowest rate: $8.13

Enter the necessary details into the form and adjust as necessary. Click Get Rates to populate a list of rates. Click Create Label in the column next to the rate you want. You can then enter the full Ship To address and create the label.

The Order Rate Calculator
Rate calculator pop-up. Red box highlights rate of $6.35

ShipStation will auto-populate the shipment details from the order into the Rate Calculator. Click on the rate for the service you'd like to use.

Note

If you make any changes to weight or the Service type, you will need to update the rate by clicking Get Rate after you have made the change. 

Click Create Label to finish. 

Create Label pop-up. Shows rate with Rate calculator. Red box highlights Create Label button.

Return Labels

Tick the check box Create a Return Label to make it a return label. 

Notes About Labels Without Orders

Labels created through the Rate Calculator in ShipStation's toolbar will not have orders associated with them. You should be aware of the following when creating labels this way:

  • Creating a label through the Rate Calculator will not generate an order or customer record. A shipment record will be available in the Shipments tab.

  • You cannot create International labels or any labels requiring customs information from the rate calculator.

  • Shipments created through the Rate Calculator do not allow you to define the shipment's line items. Packing Slips and Pick Lists printed from the shipment will not contain any product information.

  • Notification e-mails are not available for shipments created through the Rate Calculator.

  • You cannot create USPS test labels.

  • All labels count against your subscription plan's shipment limit.

  • You cannot specify a custom RMA number for return labels created with the Rate Calculator. ShipStation will auto-generate the RMA.

  • Since each of these labels is a standalone label, a return label cannot be made from the shipment record for an outbound label that doesn't have an order. See Return Labels for steps to create standalone return labels. 

Create a Label With NLP (Natural Language Processing)

Natural Language Processing (NLP) allows you to copy and paste a customer's shipping details in a single chunk of text. ShipStation will then automatically parse the address into the correct fields.

NLP uses machine learning to know what information should go where. The more addresses it searches, the more efficient it gets at quickly mapping information to the appropriate field!

Important

Currently, this process only works in the Rate Calculator.

Notes about NLP

NLP (Natural Language Processing) parses the following information into the appropriate fields:

  • Recipient Name

  • Address

  • City

  • State

  • Postal Code/Zip Code

  • Carrier Service

  • Carrier Package Type

  • Shipping Weight

  • Dimensions

  • Insurance/Insured Amount

For example, you could copy and paste the following text into the NLP header and ShipStation will parse it correctly:

4oz 5x10x10in 3800 North Lamar, suite 200 austin, tx 78652 Margie McMiller FedEx ground $201 value shipsurance

A form of artificial intelligence that analyzes the human language to help machines understand and communicate with human speech.

In ShipStation, this new feature allows you to enter a customer's shipping information in a text format for ShipStation to extract the appropriate shipping information and put it in desired fields.

Rate Calculator

A form of artificial intelligence that analyzes the human language to help machines understand and communicate with human speech.

In ShipStation, this new feature allows you to enter a customer's shipping information in a text format for ShipStation to extract the appropriate shipping information and put it in desired fields.

Rate Calculator

The widget in ShipStation where all shipping options are set. The widget appears in the Orders grid Shipping Sidebar, as well as the Order and Shipment Details screens.

Rate Calculator

A form of artificial intelligence that analyzes the human language to help machines understand and communicate with human speech.

In ShipStation, this new feature allows you to enter a customer's shipping information in a text format for ShipStation to extract the appropriate shipping information and put it in desired fields.