Third-Party Billing Overview

Explains what third-party billing is, what its requirements are, and which Postage Providers support this feature.

Third-party billing allows you to charge a label to a postage account you have not connected to ShipStation. If you have an arrangement with one or more of your customers that they will pay the shipping fees, you'll want to use the ShipStation third-party billing feature.


To use third-party billing, ShipStation requires that you first configure the order with the correct service. That means you must already have connected your own account with that carrier to ShipStation.

For example, to bill a recipient's UPS account, you must have your own UPS account connected to ShipStation. You then select a UPS service for that order and enter the third-party's account details. ShipStation will send the billing details to the selected carrier (UPS, in this example), and the carrier will then bill the correct account.

Supported Carriers

Third-party billing is not supported by all carriers. The following carriers currently support Third-Party Billing in ShipStation:

Third-Party Billing Limitations

Below is a list of suggestions and limitations to consider with third-party billing.

  • No Estimated Rates: When you use the third-party billing option you will not see an estimated rate in ShipStation.

  • Approval: The third-party account must be approved by the carrier for third-party billing. If you receive an error when attempting to create a label with third-party billing, check with the account owner to ensure it has been approved by the carrier.

  • Automation Rules: If third-party billing is something you will do regularly, consider using Automation Rules to automatically apply it to your orders. Be sure the rule first sets the shipping service and package type for the order, then adds the third-party account details! Learn how to use automation rules to apply third-party billing to orders.

  • Returns: When you or your customer create a return label, the charges for returns will default to your primary account. This happens even if you selected third-party billing in the Other Shipping Options dropdown.

  • Lost or Damaged Packages: If something happens to a package and the carrier can't charge the third-party account you chose, the shipping charges default to you for payment.

  • The Recipient and Third-Party designations are for information and reporting purposes only. Either option will tell the carrier to charge the entered account.

Please see our articles about how to apply third-party billing to orders, as well as how to assign third-party billing with automation rules.