Table of Contents

External Shipping Methods

Colin Updated by Colin

In addition to the officially supported carriers and shipping methods, ShipStream allows you to create your own custom shipping methods called "External Shipping Methods". These can be used for many purposes such as:

  • Completing shipments that don't require a traditional shipping label
  • Implement your own integrations with other carriers that are not supported by ShipStream
  • Internal operations like kitting projects or random product inspections


Like other shipping methods, you can control which methods are allowed at the Global scope and also at the Merchant scope. Manage the configuration at System > Configuration > Shipping Methods > External Processing.

Create a New Method

You can add and manage the External Shipping Methods from System > Shipping > External Shipping Methods. Click "Create New External Shipping Method" to start creating a new one.

After the shipping method is created it must be selecting in "Allowed Methods" in the configuration before you can assign it to orders. See "Configuration" above.

An external shipping method named "Local Pickup" in the example above will appear in the Shipping Method list after it is enabled:

General Information Fields


This is the suffix to the shipping method code that will uniquely identify this shipping method. The full code will be prefixed by external_ when referenced throughout the System. For example, if local_pickup is specified as the Code, the full shipping method code referenced via scripts and APIs would be external_local_pickup.

This value cannot be changed once it is saved.


The title is the user-facing shipping method name that will appear throughout the UI and it can be changed at any time.

Manifest Courier

Choose a Manifest Courier which is used to determine Target Ship Date for new orders and valid Load Locations during Loading.

Primary Tracking Description

If provided this will be the description for the primary tracking number. Example: "Bill of Lading".

Alternate Tracking Description

If provided this will be the description for the alternate tracking number. Example: "Bill of Lading".

Tracking URL Pattern

If provided will allow users to track the shipment on a third-party website. The text {track} in the URL will be replaced with the Primary Tracking Number.


Enable Target Ship Date

If enabled, a Target Ship Date will be determined using the appropriate Service Level.

Allow for Batching

Set this to "No" to prevent orders with this shipping method from being included in automatically generated picking batches. They will still be included when creating batches from the order grid.

Require Tracking Number

When a tracking number is required and if one is not automatically supplied through the API Endpoint URL or the user uses "Ship Offline", the Package status will become "Tracking Required" until a tracking number is added making it easy to identify which packages are still lacking a tracking number. See Tracking Numbers for Offline Shipments for more information on the processes for adding tracking numbers after a shipment is already packed.


Rating and Surcharge Formulas

Specify which formulas to use for determining shipment rate quotes and surcharges.

Default Dimensional Weight Divisor

Specify a dimensional weight divisor to apply dimensional weight for rating.

Remote System Integration

Please see the External Shipping Method API guide for more information.

API Endpoint URL

If not specified, this shipping method will be treated as an "offline"-only method. You may still add tracking numbers to the order but the order will be considered complete as soon as it is packed and it is left up to the user to generate a shipping label if needed.

If an API Endpoint URL is specified then ShipStream will POST an HTTP request to the URL when it needs to fetch a shipping label, a return label or tracking information. This allows your custom methods to create shipping labels automatically with the same level of integration as the officially supported shipping methods.

API Endpoint Capabilities

Specify which actions the API Endpoint URL is capable of handling.

Combine Requests

If the API Endpoint URL is specified, this option will determine if requests sent to your API Endpoint URL are combined into one request for multi-package shipments, or if each package should be in a separate request.

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Shipping Accounts

Third Party Billing