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Set Up Real-Time Shipping with Square Online

Real-Time Shipping (RTS) offers the most accurate shipping rates and helps avoid under or over-charging for shipping. Carriers provide dynamic rate estimates at checkout, based on distance, weight and the number of boxes needed to ship the items.

Real-Time Shipping rates are estimates and may differ from the actual postage paid contingent on final weight and box size. Additionally, you can use a combination of Real-Time Shipping and manual shipping rates.


To use Real-Time Shipping, you need the following:

Carrier accounts

For merchants based in the US, we provide master accounts with the United States Postal Service (USPS) and DHL Express. You can connect additional carriers such as UPS and FedEx. Sellers in Mexico and Canada can use personal DHL Express, UPS, FedEx or Canada Post accounts. If using your own account, you’ll need to know account information such as ID, password, meter number (for FedEx), etc.

At least one shipping box configured for estimating shipping rates

The dimensions, max weight and item capacity of the boxes are used to determine the total number of boxes needed to ship an order. A default box has been created for you, but you can edit the settings for that box, and add additional box sizes, as needed.

Item weights

RTS provides rate estimates based on the total weight of the items in the order. You can set weights by going to your Square Online Overview page > Items > Site Items, and editing each item to add a weight.

Note: If the weight of all items in an order is 0, the weight will automatically default to 0.1 lb/kg. When setting up RTS, you can also add an adjustment fee to account for packaging or handling costs.

Configure Your Carriers

For U.S. based merchants, there are master accounts with USPS and DHL that offer discounted rates. These carrier accounts are already set up for you to use and require nothing additional on your part.

If you want to use UPS or FedEx, or use DHL to ship from outside of the US, you must connect your own accounts.


To use your own account:

  1. Go to Settings > Shipping on your Online Overview page.

  2. Select Edit in the Advanced Settings area.

  3. On the following page, select a carrier and enter your information

  4. Click Done.

For FedEx, you’ll need both your Account ID and Meter number. Learn more details about connecting FedEx and UPS.

Configure Shipping Boxes

The default box setting for RTS is 10” x 10” x 10” with a max weight of 70 lbs. To change this:

  1. Go to your Online Overview page.

  2. Select Settings > Shipping > Advanced Settings.

  3. Edit the dimensions, maximum weight and set a maximum number of items that will fit into the box (optional).

  4. To add more box sizes, use the Create new link and enter the information for each box.

  5. Finally, edit your items to link them to any one of your box sizes.

The default box will be used for items that don’t have a specific box assigned to them. If a customer places an order where more than one box size is needed, RTS will use multiples of the largest box size needed to accommodate the number and weight of items purchased.

Create an RTS Shipping Rate

Creating an RTS shipping rate is just like setting up a manual shipping rate.

When setting up RTS, you will be prompted to set a fallback rate to ensure that orders are always charged something for shipping. Occasionally, carrier systems may be down and unable to calculate shipping rates – the fallback rate will be triggered in that case.


How do I get a FedEx Meter Number?

In order to use your FedEx account with RTS, you’ll need to enter your FedEx Meter number. This number is given to you when you move your FedEx account from test to production. To get your meter number:

  1. Go to the FedEx Developer Resource Centre for FedEx Web Services.
  2. If you’re not already registered, be sure to sign up to get a developer account.
  3. From the main FedEx developer page, click FedEx Web Services > Move to Production.
  4. Click Get Production Key.
  5. Fill in your account information and submit your data. Your information, including your meter number, will be emailed to the account address.

Learn more about connecting FedEx and UPS to Square Online.

How do I connect to Canada Post?

To use Canada Post, you’ll need your customer number and an API username and password. To get a customer number, you’ll need a business account with Canada Post. See the Canada Post FAQ page. If you need help with the API username and password, check out Shippo’s guide to finding this in your Canada Post account.