Compare Rates

Use ShipStation's Rate Browser to view rates for all of your connected carriers, as well as create labels without creating an order.

ShipStation's Rate Browser lets you view estimated rates across multiple services and carriers to determine which service is best for different shipments. Additionally, you can use the Rate Browser to create labels (both outgoing and return labels) without creating an order.

There are two ways to view rates with the Rate Browser:

  1. Toolbar Rate Browser

    Click Rates in the toolbar to compare rates based on Ship From and Ship To postal code, weight, package dimension, and service class. 

    Toolbar with Rates highlighted.
  2. Shipment Rate Browser

    Use the Rate Browser in the Configure Shipment Widget in the Orders tab or Order Details to view rates for a specific shipment.

    Configure Shipment Widget with rate calculator next to the Ship From drop-down highlighted.

The Shipment Rate Browser returns rates from the carrier based on the following shipment details:

  • Postal Codes for the Ship From and Ship To Addresses

  • Address type: Residential or Commercial

  • Shipping Confirmation Type

  • Package Type, Weight, and Dimensions

  • Service Class (the type or speed of service)

The default view is to browse rates by Carriers. This lets you choose a carrier and see only rates for that carrier’s services, starting with the lowest rate.

Rate Browser carrier view with carrier view drop-down highlighted.

The All Rates view lists all the rates for all of your connected carriers. This list starts with a recommended service and then displays rates from least to most expensive.

Rate Browser All Rates view with the All Rates drop-down highlighted.

Recommended Service

The Recommended label is assigned to the carrier and service that will provide a timely delivery at the best price. It takes into consideration price, delivery time, tracking, and overall carrier rating.

Toolbar Rate Browser

Use the Toolbar Rate Browser to view and compare rates based on Ship From and Ship To postal codes, shipment weight, package dimensions, and service class. 

From here, you can create a label without creating an order, if desired. 

Rate Differences Between Toolbar and Shipment Rate Browser

Because the Toolbar Browser sends fewer details to the carrier rate API, you may sometimes see different rates for the same shipment between the Toolbar Rate Browser and the Shipment Rate Browser.

The Toolbar Rate Browser does not consider the address type (residential, commercial), package, or confirmation type. The Shipment Rate Browser will provide more accurate rates when such details affect the rate returned from the carrier's rate API.

Create a Label With the Rate Browser

The Rate Browser allows you to create both outgoing and return labels without creating an order first. 

ShipStation will create the label at this point and, depending on your printing setup, will either send it to your default printer or ask you to print the label. 

If ShipStation is not able to create the label, we'll display any relevant errors so you can correct the shipping details and attempt to create the label again.

You can print the label immediately or print it later from the Shipments tab. Review the Print Labels article in this help guide for more details on available print options.

Rate Browser Return Labels

To create a return label from the Rate Browser, follow the same steps to create an outbound label but select the Create a Return Label option above the address fields.

Then choose to either Email or Download the label.

Arrow points to Create a Return Label box, checked. Box highlights email address, Authorize and Email button.

Notes About Labels without Orders

Labels created through the Rate Browser in ShipStation's toolbar will not have orders associated with them. You should be aware of the following when creating labels this way:

  • Creating a label through the Rate Browser will not generate an order or customer record. A shipment record will be created in the Shipments tab.

  • You cannot create international labels or any labels requiring customs information from the rate browser.

  • Shipments created through the Rate Browser do not allow you to define the shipment's line items. Packing Slips and Pick Lists printed from the shipment will not contain any product information.

  • Notification emails are not available for shipments created through the Rate Browser.

  • All labels count against your subscription plan's shipment limit.

  • You cannot specify a custom RMA number for return labels created with the Rate Browser. ShipStation will auto-generate the RMA.

  • Since each of these labels is a standalone label, a return label cannot be made from the shipment record for an outbound label that doesn't have an order. See Return Labels for steps to create standalone return labels. 

Shipment Rate Browser

The Shipment Rate Browser will take the details configured for that shipment and display the rates for all carriers and services available.

The carrier and service you selected will be set in the Configure Shipment Widget so you can proceed to create the label. 

Rate Browser

The widget in ShipStation where all shipping options are set. The widget appears in the Orders grid Shipping Sidebar, as well as the Order and Shipment Details screens.