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How-To: FedEx Production Key Certification

Colin Updated by Colin

FedEx Web Services is the FedEx service which allows ShipStream to communicate with FedEx to create shipping labels and more. Every shipper must use their own FedEx Account and Web Services access keys. This article assumes that you already have a business account with FedEx.

Although you can obtain a FedEx Web Services Test Key and generate test labels using the Test Key without any special certification from FedEx, creating shipping labels with a Production Key requires the certification process be passed before it is fully activated. Otherwise, the requests will fail with an "Authentication Failed" error message until FedEx has activated your Production Key.

This article will help guide you through the FedEx Web Services Label Certification Guide and ShipStream will make it as easy as possible to generate the test labels needed to pass certification.

Obtain Test Credentials (Step 1 and 2)

The first step is to obtain a Test Key (not a Production Key) from the FedEx Developer Resource Center.

Make sure you have disabled any ad blockers in your web browser for these steps as the ad blockers may "break" some features of the FedEx website.
  1. Login to the FedEx Developer Resource Center and click FedEx Web Services > Develop and Test.
  2. Navigate to "Obtain Test Key" and click "Get Your Test Key".
  3. Complete the wizard and check your email for the credentials.
  4. Add a Shipping Account into ShipStream using these credentials. It is recommended to add them to a separate group such as "Test" so they are easy to choose in the next steps. Be sure to select "Test Environment: Yes" when adding the account.

You should now be able to generate FedEx test labels as if they were real labels using this account. The test labels will be clearly identified by the text in the second address line: **TEST LABEL - DO NOT SHIP**

Register for Move to Production (Step 3)

  1. Return to the FedEx Developer Resource Center and click FedEx Web Services > Move to Production.
  2. Click "Get Production Key" and complete the registration process.
There is no need to share the Production Password with anyone, the only place you need to use it is when adding the FedEx account credentials to ShipStream.

Fill out the Label Cover Sheet (Step 4)

The last page of the FedEx Web Services Label Certification Guide has a single-page cover sheet. Print this on paper or to a separate PDF document and fill out the form for later use.

Generate and submit test labels to the Label Analysis Group (Step 5)

You are required to generate and print physical labels for the FedEx services you will be using, which is the last question on the Label Cover Sheet. ShipStream automates this process for you so that you can generate all of these labels in just a few easy steps:

  1. Login to ShipStream and navigate to System > Shipping Accounts.
  2. Click the Shipping Account Group that you added your Test Key credentials to in the first step.
  3. Click the Shipping Account that has your FedEx Test Key credentials.
  4. Click "Generate Certification Labels" and fill out the form:
    1. Select the Store Name (if there are multiple stores) that the new production account belongs to.
    2. Provide a Recipient Name that will appear on the labels.
    3. Provide a Product SKU for a fully configured product that belongs to the Merchant of the selected Store. The weight and dimensions of this product will be used as the package weight and dimensions so it should have realistic dimensions for shipping, such as 3lb and 10x8x6 in. Weights and dimensions that are too low or too high may cause validation errors.
    4. Select all of the Services for which you would like to generate a test label. Note, the (Saturday Delivery) options may not be possible to use on all days of the week depending on the origin and destination. If you do not submit a Saturday Delivery label you should still be able to use Saturday Delivery.
  5. Click "Submit". If you have scanned a Label printer the labels will be sent to the printer, otherwise they will be downloaded in a PDF file which you can then print using Adobe Reader or your PDF printer of choice.

Label Evaluation (Step 6)

Now that you have the labels you must either scan them using a scanner or mail them to FedEx with your cover sheet. For the fastest response, scan them and email them along with the cover sheet to The Bar Code Analysis group will evaluate the labels and either accept or reject them. To move to the next step they must first be accepted.

Inspect your labels and the scanned document for problems like label alignment, elements overlapping the watermark on the thermal labels, or poor quality that may be related to the print software scaling the print job (the bars of the barcodes should be crisp).

For best results scan the labels with 300DPI resolution and monochrome settings and save with an efficient file format like PDF or PNG. The filesize must be reasonably small (no more than a few megabytes) or the email attachments will be rejected by the FedEx email server. Using color or greyscale typically does not offer good results and your file sizes will be larger and the labels are more likely to be rejected.

Enable the Application (Step 7 and 8)

Your FedEx Production credentials are now ready to be added to ShipStream with "Test Environment: No" and so long as ShipStream is properly configured to resolve the correct Shipping Account you are ready to begin generating production labels!

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How-To: Brand-Specific Shipping Account