How to configure live shipping rates?

Live Shipping Rates is the feature that dynamically displays shipping services with their cost in the cart and checkout pages. The way it works is that shipping plugin will automatically calculate total dimensions and weight of the contents of the cart and then request a quote from all the supported carriers, the result of this quote is then displayed to the customers.

In this document we will go over available Live Shipping Rates settings as well as possible troubleshooting steps that you can take when things aren’t working as you would expect.

Enable / Disable #

This checkbox controls whenever plugin will automatically display live shipping rates in the cart and checkout pages. It is enabled by default.

Please note that some of the Shipping APIs charge per number of requests sent to them, so offering live shipping rates, especially without purchasing shipping labels might cost you some money. You will have to verify that yourself with the service you are integrating with.

Shipping Zones #

This checkbox controls whenever Shipping Zones feature of the plugin is enabled and once enabled it will let you add plugin to selected shipping zones and display live shipping rates only for them.

Shipping Zone Fields #

If you have Shipping Zones feature enabled and would like to overwrite selected global settings for every shipping zone, then you can choose what fields you would like to overwrite here.

Use Cases

  • Ship products from different warehouses for different destinations.
  • Use different boxes for domestic and international shipments.
  • Offer different shipping services for different destinations.

Page Condition #

In some cases WooCommerce might call live shipping rates plugin just after product has been added to the cart, which, depending on your WordPress setup, might cause a little bit of delay.
If this is something that bothers you, then you can limit pages where live shipping rates are getting quoted.

Available conditions are: Any, Cart and Checkout and Checkout pages.

In most cases Any should work fine and the next recommended option is Cart and Checkout.
If you don’t offer shipping calculator in the cart and want rates to be quoted and displayed only when customer will be at the checkout page, then you opt to use Checkout page condition.

Please note that if shipping rates have stopped working after you’ve changed Page Condition, then we will recommend to revert it back.

Min Shipping Rate Cost #

This value will define min shipping rate cost (fee) requirement for the quoted rate to be displayed in the cart.

For example:

You’ve set Min Shipping Rate Cost to $5 and carrier has returned 3 shipping rates as follows:

  • First Class – $3
  • Priority Mail – $7
  • Express Mail – $15

Then plugin will only display Priority Mail and Express Mail as they are more expensive than the min rate cost set in the settings of the plugin.

Max Shipping Rate Cost #

This value will define max shipping rate cost (fee) requirement for the quoted rate to be displayed in the cart.

For example:

You’ve set Max Shipping Rate Cost to $8 and carrier has returned 3 shipping rates as follows:

  • First Class – $3
  • Priority Mail – $7
  • Express Mail – $15

Then plugin will only display First Class and Priority Mail as they are cheaper than the max rate cost set in the settings of the plugin.

Max Displayed Rates #

This value defines Max number of the shipping rates that will be displayed in the cart.

For example:

You’ve set Max Displayed Rates to 1 and carrier has returned 3 shipping rates as follows:

  • First Class – $3
  • Priority Mail – $7
  • Express Mail – $15

Then plugin will only display First Class.

Please note that if you’ve defined Min / Max Shipping Rate Cost conditions as well, then they will be applied prior to Max Displayed Rates.

Display Delivery Time #

When enabled estimated delivery time will be displayed next to the name of the offered shipping service.

Troubleshooting #

Live shipping rates are not displayed #

There are a number of reasons why shipping rates might not be displayed:

1. Shipping plugin does not have correct API credentials and can’t communicate with a service API.
2. From Address is not set or incomplete / invalid.
3. Destination is not set or incomplete / invalid. If you are using shipping calculator in the cart, then make sure to fill all the fields, including Country, State, City and Postal Code.
4. Products don’t have weight set. In this case plugin won’t be able to estimate total weight of the parcel and get any rates.
5. Products don’t have dimension set. If you have not pre-configured any boxes then plugin must know dimensions of the products, so it can estimate total size of your parcel and get the quote.
6. Shipping Zones feature is enabled, but plugin has not been added to a matching shipping zone.
Please remember that shipping zones can’t overlap, so if you have two shipping zones that cover the same region then only one shipping zone will be called by WooCommerce.
7. Services table contains services that aren’t offered by the carriers and Enable / Disable Services checkbox is unchecked.

Validate plugin settings #

1. Go to shipping plugin settings.
2. Enable Validate Products.

3. Hit Save changes button.

After settings have been saved and page has refreshed, look at the top of the page to see if any Validation Errors have been displayed:

If you see any of the similar error messages then you will have to correct them, before plugin will be able to display live shipping rates.

Live shipping rates with all services enabled #

If you have Services configured, but Enable / Disable Services unchecked:

Then check Enable / Disable Services and hit Save changes button.

If after that you can see live shipping rates, then you will have to adjust the list of the services to reflect what is actually returned by the carriers. The reason for it is that Services table only works as a filter and it does not dictate carriers to return specific services.

Live shipping rates with debug mode enabled and use cache disabled #

1. Enable Debug Mode and disable Use Cache.

2. Hit Save changes button.
3. If you had Debug Mode already enabled, then remember the name of the log displayed next to Debug Mode checkbox and then go to WooCommerce -> Status -> Logs.

4. Click on the dropdown on the right hand side and choose a file name from Step 5.

5. Hit View button.

6. Once log file will be displayed, hit Delete button.

7. Go to the cart and either change postal code or a quantity of an item and then hit Update Cart.

8. If any of the carries have returned an error, it will be displayed at the top of the cart.

Based on the error message you can try to adjust your settings or destination address and see if it will resolve the issue.

Please note that error messages are only visible to the Administrators of the website and might be displayed even when rates are returned, so they don’t always means a fatal error.

If nothing from above has helped, then follow the steps from Debug Mode documentation to get a debug log and send it to us for review.

Live shipping rates don’t match what you see on a carrier’s website #

There are a number of reasons why shipping rates might not match what you see on a carrier’s website:

1. Dimensions or Weight of a final package do not match what you use to quote on a carrier’s website.
2. Type of either From or To address is Residential, but rates are quoted for a Business address.
3. Plugin has Signature or Insurance features enabled, but these options aren’t requested during the quote on a carrier’s website.

Dimensions or Weight do not match #

1. Verify that dimensions and weight set in Shipping settings of a product are correct.

2. Verify that dimensions of the boxes boxes you’ve configured match what you have used on a carrier’s website.

3. Verify that Min Weight, Min Length, Min Width and Min Height aren’t higher than your box / expected package dimensions or weight.

Type of the address does not match #

The way plugin works is that it considers address to be a business when company name is specified. When API offers a possibility to verify a type of an address then plugin will do it as well.

Carriers in comparison to an API can automatically detected if address is actually business or residential and then display different rates from what API would return.

Signature or Insurance service is enabled #

Try to enable / disable Signature or / and Insurance checkboxes to see how it will affect returned rates and if at any point they will match what you see on the carrier’s website.

In some cases enabling Insurance can increase rates for the services that include signature by default, it is due to API services using 3rd party insurers instead of the carrier itself.

If nothing from above has helped, then follow the steps from Debug Mode documentation to get a debug log and send it to us for review.

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