Automate Selecting the Lowest Rate

ShipStation can select the lowest-cost shipping service for your shipments with our Shipping Strategies feature. With Shipping Strategies, you pre-define which services you'd like ShipStation to compare, and when you select that strategy for a shipment (or group of shipments), ShipStation automatically applies the service with the lowest rate.

Here are a few examples of different service strategies you could create:

  • Compare different carrier services that all deliver within 2-3 days

  • Compare different overnight or 1-day services

  • Compare different economy services

Once you've defined which services belong in each strategy, you either select the strategy when you configure a shipment manually or create an Automation Rule to do it for you. Once a Shipping Strategy is applied to a shipment, ShipStation compares the rates of each service defined in the strategy, then assigns the service with the lowest cost to the selected shipments.

To start using Shipping Strategies, you'll first create a strategy (or multiple strategies) in your ShipStation Shipping settings. You can then select the strategy from the Service menu when configuring a shipment or create an Automation Rule to do it for you. Review the sections below to learn how to create and use Shipping Strategies.

Shipping Strategies Requirements

  • A US, Canada, Australia, or New Zealand-based account. Shipping Strategies is not yet available for accounts in other countries.

  • Your account must be on a High Volume plan.

Create a Shipping Strategy

To create a lowest-cost shipping strategy:

  1. Go to Shipping and select Shipping Strategies.

    Settings sidebar with Shipping section open and Shipping Strategies section highlighted.
  2. Click the Create a Strategy button.

  3. Name the strategy.

    This name will be what appears in the Services menu when you configure a shipment.

  4. Click Add a Service.

  5. Choose a carrier service from the drop-down, then click Add.

  6. Click Add another service to include more services in the comparison.


    The services you define here are the set of services ShipStation compares when you select this strategy for a shipment.

  7. Click Edit to change a service selection, or click the trash can icon to delete a service from the strategy.

  8. Click Save to finish.

Create as many different strategies as you need. Be sure to give them descriptive names so you and your shipping staff can easily identify which strategy is best for a shipment.

Using Shipping Strategies

Once you have created a strategy, it will appear at the top of the Services menu drop-down. When you select a strategy, ShipStation will compare the services you defined for that strategy and apply the lowest rate to the shipment. The "winning" service will appear in the rate section of the shipment widget.


You can manually apply a strategy to any shipment either individually or in bulk. Or, you can automate this selection with an Automation Rule.

Manually Apply a Shipping Strategy

You apply a strategy the same way you apply a service. Select an order and click the Service drop-down menu. The strategies appear at the top, and the rest of the available services below. Choose your desired strategy.


Apply Shipping Strategy in Bulk

To apply the same strategy to multiple shipments, select the desired orders and choose a strategy from the Configure Shipment Widget or the Bulk Actions menu.


ShipStation will apply the chosen strategy to all selected orders.

Automate Your Strategy Selection

Shipping Strategies can also be applied via Automation Rules. When you create an automation rule, select Set Shipping Strategy from the Action Type drop-down menu, then select the strategy you want the rule to apply.


Notes about Shipping Strategies

  • Shipping Strategies is currently only available to US, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand-based accounts on a High Volume plan.

  • Shipping Strategies is not available in the ShipStation Legacy layout.

  • Shipping Strategies does not compare different package types - only services.

  • You can view the strategy, carrier, and service selected for a shipment in the Orders grid. Make sure you have enabled those columns in your Orders grid view.

    Orders grid showing the Shipping Strategy, Carrier, and Services columns
  • Bulk updates to package type and confirmation type will not apply to orders with Shipping Strategies.