What is a Shipping Method and a Carrier Account?
In Pressero, you can set up and configure different ways in which to send a package. Perhaps you want small, flat items under 0.25 lbs to be shipped via USPS. Maybe you want larger items that need to be overnighted to go via FedEx. Or maybe you want to send items via UPS, but want to avoid escalating charges for very heavy or very large "oversize" items. Or perhaps you only want managers or high-level employees of a specific company to be able to ship using a certain method, like FedEx Overnight.
You can set up rules/ways to handle all of these scenarios by setting up Shipping Methods.
Important Note: You need to have created at least one Shipping Method globally and have it enabled on each individual Retail or B2B Site before customers can successfully check out.
Working hand-in-hand with Shipping Methods are Carrier Accounts.
Several shipping carriers (such as UPS and FedEx) offer their business customers individualized rates, depending on your shipping volume, and other factors.
You might have an account with UPS that has a better rate for shipping than the publicly shown UPS rates, and when a customer is on your site, you may want them to see shipping prices that reflect your specific rates when Pressero does a lookup for shipping to their location, instead of the default.
Unlike Shipping Methods, it's not mandatory to set up a Carrier Account. Pressero can still do rate lookups, but the shipping rates your customers see won't be the same rates you might get from your actual account with that shipping carrier.
Some carriers also don't give special rates, such as with USPS. With carriers like that, everyone gets the same rate, so no specific account integration needs to be set up. Pressero already knows how to look up shipping rates in these cases, and no additional configuration is needed beyond creating a shipping method using that carrier.
Prerequisites for Setting up Shipping Methods
Pressero needs you to set your location before Shipping Methods will work. This is so the location that items are being shipped from is known when Pressero is calculating shipping rates to your customers.
You can configure this by visiting Preferences > Locations.
See Ch. 008 - Setting Up Your Company Locations for more information.
How to Create Shipping Methods Globally
Shipping Methods are created and enabled in a two-step process. First you create a shipping method globally, under Preferences > Shipping > Methods > + Add New, then you go to an individual Site and enable the specific shipping methods you need for that site.
To complete the first step and create some Shipping Methods globally, go to Preferences > Shipping > Methods. You will be brought to a screen like the below image:
By default it will list all your existing Shipping Methods. There is also a checkbox if you want to see deleted Shipping Methods (in case you need to restore them), and a button in the upper right to export a list of existing shipping methods to an Excel spreadsheet for your records.
Click on + Add New. You will be brought to a screen like this:
Let's take a closer look at each section on this screen.
Shipping Method Settings
The first section you see when you're creating a new shipping method is the Shipping Method Settings. This is where you give your method a name that you will recognize later (when you enable the shipping method on a specific site), and it's also where you set the specific shipping carrier, along with some other options.
The Carrier setting influences all the other sections on this page, so you need to set this first. (If you select different options in the Carriers drop-down, you can see how the page rearranges itself based on each selection.)
Here's a breakdown of the other fields under Shipping Method Settings:
- Method Name (required): The name you want to give this method. Make it recognizable at a glance, so when you go to enable it later on a site, you understand which specific shipping method you're turning on.
- Residential Rates: If checked, this shipping method provides rates for residential destination addresses. Note that this is not available for every carrier, or every carrier's product. Available for FedEx on Express Standard Overnight, Express Saver, 2 Day and Home. For UPS, available for all methods except 2nd Day Air AM.
- Handling Charge (required): This is where you specify a handling charge, if you want this shipping method to have one. Required, but enter "0" for no handling charge.
- Minimum Charge (required): This is the minimum charge for the method, if you want to include one. For example, if the shipping price from the carrier for an item is $2.00, but you want this shipping method to always charge a minimum of $5.00, you would enter "5".
- Carrier (required): The shipping carrier you want this shipping method to use. Select from drop-down list.
- Service (required): This drop-down populates based on the Carrier you chose. You'll be able to select a specific service from that specific carrier to use for this shipping method.
- Markup % (required): If you want to mark up the price that a shipping carrier quotes, use this field to specify a percent. Enter the number only, no percent sign.
- Max Weight Per Package (required): You may not want to send heavy things by this carrier (due to carrier restrictions, or price escalations, or the like). You can use this field to set a max weight for package, so you're only shipping packages by this carrier that make sense. Setting this also prevents customers from encountering errors when shipping is calculated for heavy shipments.
- Integration ID: Integration ID to be used with the Embedded Services Integration.
Options in this section change depending on the specific carrier selected under Shipping Method Settings.
However, at a minimum, you will be able to enable insurance for your Shipping Method, and you will also be able to set the minimum weight and the maximum weight a customer is allowed to use this shipping method on.
For example, if you set a minimum weight of 15, then any package less than 15 will not be able to use this shipping method.
If you set a maximum weight of 50, then any package more than 50 will not be able to use this shipping method.
Used appropriately, setting the minimum and maximum weights can help you (and your customers) avoid a carrier's surcharge for oversize/heavy packages. You can also use it to prevent small packages from being shipped by an inefficient method.
In the image above, which is using USPS as a carrier, you can also specify packaging.
Refer to your specific carrier's documentation in order to learn what their cut-off points are when it comes to certain dimensions and weights.
Other, Carrier-Specific Fields
Sometimes fields will ask you to specify units (inches vs. centimeters, or pounds vs. kilograms). Or, a field may require a code or to select a service type of some sort. Below is an example of the options you have if you select FedEx (V2) as your carrier:
As you can see, it has more options to configure than when you use another carrier, such as USPS.
If you click on the blue help buttons above each field, it will tell you what a specific field requires.
Enter the Length, Width, and Depth of the package using this Shipping Method here.
The unit it uses will depend on the carrier that you have selected.
Some carriers, such as UPS (v2) and FedEx (v2) allow you to set the unit of measure in the previous section on this page, under Shipping Method Settings.
With other carriers, the unit is inferred depending on the norms for the country that shipper is based in.
In this section, you can set this shipping method as "Free Shipping" for your customers. This is useful for when you're running a promotion on a retail site that includes free shipping. You can also use it for B2B.
- None: When selected, Free Shipping is not enabled.
- For Total: When selected, this makes the total shipment free, regardless of destination.
- For Destination: When selected, a field appears called "If More Than" where you can set free shipping ONLY if the total price of the items going to that destination is more than an amount you set. (This helps prevent situations where abuse of your free shipping offer might result in shipping costs exceeding the profit from the sale.)
Setting up the non-integrated zone shipping method
After you select this from the Carrier drop down list, a zone configuration area will appear.
To set up your zones, enter geographical qualifications–at least a country, but you can be as specific as a certain postal code–and a cost per weight unit. The weight unit (lb vs. kg) and currency are determined by the culture setting of your site.
- Country - Each zone must have a country selected
- State / Province - It is not required to specify a state or province. You can leave this option to "none" if you wish.
- City - It is ok to leave blank if you do not wish to include the city in the zone
- Postal Code - It is ok to leave blank if you do not wish to include the postal code in the zone. Wildcards are supported for postal codes. For example, if you enter 60* in the Postal Code field, it will apply that rate to any postal code beginning with 60.
- Cost Per Unit - The cost per unit entered here will be multiplied by the weight of the product. Enter it as a decimal or 0 if no cost per unit is needed. The culture in the store will determine how the weight is calculated (kg vs. pounds, etc.).
When you are done filling in each zone specification, click “Add New Rate To List.” Each rate you add will appear in a list to the right of the zone configuration options. You can click on a rate and use the up- and down-arrow buttons to move the rate higher or lower in priority.
Note* Pressero will recognize that you have a non integrated zone shipping option available in your site, and when we see this, we will add two more options for your customers to complete when getting shipping estimations on the product and the cart pages (state/province and City). Otherwise, only Country and Postal Code are needed to get shipping estimates.
Handling Charge - If you want to add a handling charge to the shipping method enter it here, otherwise leave it to zero. The customer will not know that there is a handling charge included and it will not be displayed on a separate line item in the shopping cart. The fee will be rolled into the final shipping cost they see.
Markup % - If you would like the price from the carrier to be marked up by a percentage amount, enter it here. Do not type in the % symbol. Example: 15% should be entered as .15.
Minimum Charge - If you want to make sure all orders have at least a certain amount, no matter what comes back from the carrier, enter it here. Example: If you want to make sure shipping is at least $10 but the carrier cost comes back at $5, the fee will be shown as $10.00.
Maximum Weight Per Package - If you need to specify a specific weight per package enter it here, otherwise you can leave this blank. Integrated shipping carriers already have the maximum package amounts built into their integrated costs. This is used when you need to specify something specific for your product needs.
Note: setting the Max weight to zero will likely prevent the display of any integrated shipping methods and may prevent checkout since many of them have minimum weights.
Minimum Weight - If you want this particular shipping method to appear as a choice for orders over a certain amount, enter the minimum weight here.
Maximum Weight - If you want this particular shipping method to appear as a choice for orders under a certain amount, enter the maximum weight here.
Package Dimensions - This will appear for shipping methods in which UPS or FedEx is selected as the carrier. Beginning in 2015, both carriers will increase the pricing on packages that do not have dimensions specified. These settings are optional. However, you will receive better pricing by providing package dimensions. You will need to enter the length, width and height of the package in the corresponding field. This is a required field for Couriers Please shipping method (Australian Company). To learn more about setting up Couriers Please you should refer to this article: http://support.aleyant.com/kb/a899/how-do-i-configure-couriers-please.aspx#
Free Shipping - You have the option to offer free shipping if the total price of the order is over a certain amount. Since an order can have multiple shipping addresses for the various items within the order, by selecting "For Destination" in the "Free Shipping" field, you can choose to only offer free shipping if the total amount going to a specific destination exceeds the threshold you set in the "If More Than" field.
Enabling and Disabling Shipping Methods on a Specific Site
After you create a Shipping Method globally (under Preferences), go to Sites > [select site] > Settings > Shipping, and look for Shipping Methods.
Underneath it are listed all the Shipping Methods you made globally already, and the ones that are enabled for this site are green with a check next to the name.
Shipping methods that are not enabled for this site are plain white.
Click on the pencil beside the Method Name to edit a Shipping Method you wish to enable. You will see a form to configure it for the individual site that looks like this:
To enable this Shipping Method for your site, find the Enable field and check it. Then look at the bottom of the window, and click the blue Save button to save the change.
Your change will be saved, and you'll be put back on the General Info tab for the Settings page of your site, so click again on Shipping to confirm your changes. You should see your Shipping Method in green, like this example:
Sort order allows you to determine the order of shipping options that a customer sees.
The lower a number is, the higher it appears in a list. In the example image below, which shows how a customer might see the list of shipping methods available to them, the sort order for "speedee" was 0, and the sort order for "USPS Priority Mail" was 5.
Remember to Save after you make changes.
Pressero also allows you to configure Shipping Methods so they only appear for users that have been assigned to certain Site Groups.
Site Groups are a way to give customers of a particular site varying levels of permissions. For example, you may want Salespeople to only be able to buy business cards for themselves, and ship those using ordinary non-expedited Shipping Methods. You would create one Site Group for them, and configure them to have restricted permissions, while a Site Group for Managers can have different permissions. For example, perhaps you want to allow people in a Managers group to select a more expensive, expedited overnight shipping service.(Learn more about creating Site Groups here.)
If you have already created Site Groups, you can check or uncheck groups as needed to allow (or disallow) them from using this Shipping Method upon checking out.
In the example above, notice there are site groups named "Approvers," "Sales Rep," "Management" and a default "Everyone" (which means EVERYONE) Site Group.
You can use the check boxes to enable or disable this particular Shipping Method for any of those groups.
Remember to Save your changes before leaving the page.
Editing a Shipping Method
To edit a shipping method, select the pencil icon next to the name of the shipping method shown in the Method Name column. The edit window will display. You can review the Shipping Method details and settings. Click Save after making any changes.
Deleting/Undeleting a Shipping Method
Click the Delete button at the bottom of the Shipping Method edit window to delete a Shipping Method.
Check mark the "Include Deleted" box at the top right of the Shipping Method control panel to display all deleted Shipping Methods. Click the Edit pencil and then click Save to un-delete a Shipping Method.
Shipping-Related Questions and Answers