The Rate Calculator is a tool that lets you compare rates between your connected postage providers so you can find the best rate for your shipments. You can also create outbound and return labels from the Rate Calculator without creating an order first!
Open the Rate Calculator by clicking the calculator icon on the tool bar or in the side panel of an orders in the shipping info section.
To view rates, enter relevant information about your shipment. The information below auto-populates when you open the rate calculator from an order. Your default options are:
Postal Codes for the Ship From and Ship To Addresses
Residential vs. Commercial for the Ship To Address
Shipping Confirmation Type
Package Type, Weight, and Dimensions
Service Class (Basically, the type or speed of service)
Click Get Rates and it will populate a list of rates. Switch between the different Service providers to compare rates and delivery times to find the best option.
The Rate Calculator's two locations follow slightly different processes to create labels.
Fill out the address form and adjust any information as necessary. Click Get Rates to populate a list of rates. Click Create Label in the column next to the rate you want if you accessed the Rate Calculator from the toolbar.
Click on the rate price itself if you access the Calculator from an order. Some of the information entered into the Rate Calculator will already be filled in such as the address and total weight of the order.
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.
Tick the check box Create a Return Label to create a return label for the order.
Natural Language Processing (or NLP, for short) is a new feature in ShipStation that allows you to copy and paste a customer's shipping details in a single chunk of text and ShipStation will parse the address into the correct fields automatically.
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!
Currently, this process only works in the Rate Calculator.
To use NLP to create a label:
Click the Calculator icon in the toolbar to open the Rate Calculator.
Enter the information needed to get a rate, then click Create Label.
Type in or paste the text into the header bar.
ShipStation will interpret it and add the information into the appropriate fields.
Click Get Rate to verify the address and continue to the next step.
NLP (Natural Language Processing) parses the following information into the appropriate fields:
Postal Code/Zip Code
Carrier Package Type
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
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:
You cannot create International labels or any labels requiring customs information from the rate calculator.
You cannot create documents such as Packing Slips and Pick Lists.
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.