Table of Contents

Rate Shopping

Cory M. Updated by Cory M.

Rate Shopping is a feature in ShipStream that allows a user to choose a "virtual" shipping method for an order and ShipStream will evaluate the available shipping options that satisfy the criteria and choose the cheapest one for each shipment for that order for you. Several Virtual Shipping Methods are included out of the box but you may modify these and create your own as well.

  • Cheapest 2 Day - two-day air and ground methods from all enabled carriers
  • Cheapest 3 Day - three-day air and ground methods from all enabled carriers
  • Cheapest All - all enabled methods from all enabled carriers
  • Cheapest Ground - all strictly ground methods from all enabled carriers
  • Cheapest On Time - all enabled methods from all enabled carriers that can reach the destination by the user's provided "Desired Delivery Date"
  • Cheapest Overnight - all 1-day methods from all enabled carriers
  • Cheapest Postal - all postal service methods and last-mile postal service methods enabled (e.g. FedEx SmartPost)

When a virtual shipping method is chosen, ShipStream will use all of the Rating Data provided to it to determine which carrier and service is the cheapest. The rating data required includes:

  • Days In Transit Maps (map country and postal code to a maximum days in transit)
  • Zone Maps (map country and postal code to a carrier's zone)
  • Rate Plans (map package weight and zone to a shipping cost)
  • DAS Maps (optional - tack on Delivery Area Surcharge for greater accuracy of cost to rural areas)

See Rating for more information on setting up the rating data.

Enable Virtual Methods

  1. Navigate to System > Configuration and click the Shipping Methods tab under Sales.
  2. Expand the Virtual Shipping Methods pane.
  3. Set Enabled to Yes.
  4. Select the virtual methods which you would like to enable.
You may change to a specific merchant scope to enable or disable certain methods only for the desired merchants.

Choose the Best Rate

Rate shopping occurs when an order is allocated to a warehouse and any time these allocations are updated. To use this feature, create or open an order and select the virtual shipping method you wish to use from the shipping method list.

Once a Shipment is created it will be assigned to the appropriate shipping method which can be seen in the Shipment section on the Order page. The actual shipping method used may be updated any time an order's key details changes such as when backordered items come in stock, or the address changes classification, etc.

If the Base Rate and DAS/Zone Maps have not been defined for the area or carrier/method combination an error will be visible in the order History with a message such as: "Errors resolving virtual shipping method: {Warehouse}: Could not determine estimated delivery date for {Shipping Method}"

How did we do?

Virtual Shipping Methods