Automation Basics

Explains the different types of automation available, when and how automation applies to orders, and how to reprocess automation in ShipStation.

ShipStation's automation features allow you to automate certain tasks so you do not have to do them manually.

In ShipStation, automation can perform many of the repetitive tasks you must take to prepare your orders for shipping. The automation features available in ShipStation can work independently or together. How you configure your automation will depend on your specific workflow needs.

Tasks you can automate include (but are not limited to):

  • Split orders into multiple shipments (called Auto-Split)

  • Select shipping service, package type, and insurance

  • Set shipment weight and dimensions

  • Set customs content type and non-delivery options

  • Add tags to orders

  • Assign orders to a specific user

  • Send the order to a connected fulfilment provider

  • Assign a custom packing slip or email notification template to an order

In other words, ShipStation automation does the tedious work and lets you focus on getting your packages out the door!

Types of Automation

ShipStation provides multiple types of automation, which can be used independently or in conjunction with each other. If you have set up more than one type of automation in your account, the automation will apply to orders in the sequence they are listed here:

  1. Auto-Split

    Auto-Split will split orders into multiple shipments based on the products included in the order. Requires the Enterprise Plan. Review our Automatically Split Orders help article for details.

  2. Product Preset Groups

    Preset Groups are ideal if you ship many of your products the same way. You can add multiple product records to a Preset Group and set shipment and customs defaults for the entire group rather than one product at a time. Review our Preset Groups help article for details.

  3. Product Defaults

    The details set for each product record in your Product Catalog are considered the product's default settings. These defaults include product weight and dimensions, domestic and international shipping service, and customs information. When that product is the only item included in an order, the product defaults will automatically populate for the order. Review our Product Defaults help article for details.

  4. Service Mapping

    Service Mapping will automatically set the shipping service and package type in ShipStation based on what your customer chose as their shipping option during checkout. Review our Service Mapping help article for details.

  5. Automation Rules

    Automation Rules use IF/THEN logic to identify what orders to perform an action to, and then apply that action (or multiple actions) to the qualified orders. Automation Rules are the most customizable of all automation features. When you create a rule, you determine what criteria the order must meet (from an extensive list of possibilities) and what actions the rule will then take. You can create as many rules as you like, and even create rules that rely on actions taken by previous rules! Review our Introduction to Automatoin Rules help article to learn more.

When does automation apply to orders?

Automation applies to orders when one of the following occurs:

  • An order imports into ShipStation in the Awaiting Shipment or On Hold status, or you create a manual order in the Awaiting Shipment or On Hold status.*

    *Auto-Split does not apply to manual orders.

  • An order that imported or was created in the Awaiting Payment status updates to the Awaiting Shipment status for the first time.

  • You click the Reprocess Automation Rules button.

If an order imports to, or is created in, either the Shipped or Cancelled status, then automation will not run on that order unless you manually Restore it to Awaiting Shipment and click the Reprocess Automation Rules button.


Reprocess Automation Rules

If you ever need to re-apply automation to orders in the Awaiting Shipment status, click the Reprocess Automation Rules button located in Settings > Automation > Automation Rules.

Automation Rules. Arrow points to Reprocess Automation Rules button.

This will cause ShipStation to re-run Product Defaults, Service Mapping, and Automation Rules to the orders in the Awaiting Shipment status.

However, ShipStation ignores the following automation when reprocessing automation rules:

  • Auto-Split

  • Product Preset Groups

  • Product Default shipping services if they were manually configured on an order

  • Email notifications

  • Fulfilment provider requests

  • Order weight adjustments (if an Automation Rule exists to add or subtract weight, reprocessing automation rules will NOT add or subtract the weight again)


Depending on how many orders are in Awaiting Shipment and how many automated processes you have, this process could take several minutes to complete. To prevent shipping errors, we recommend you stop creating labels until you receive the Reprocess Complete notification pop-up.