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Set Up Real Time Shipping with Square Online Store

Real Time Shipping is available to sellers based in the U.S., Canada, or Mexico.

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.

Because RTS rates are estimates, they may differ from the actual postage you pay based on final weight and box size.

Note: You can use a combination of Real Time Shipping and manual shipping rates.

Real Time Shipping Prerequisites

To use Real Time Shipping, you need to have the following:

  • Carrier accounts: For merchants based in the U.S., 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 your 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 more 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 STORE > Items > Item Library, 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 .1 (either kilograms or pounds, depending on your store configuration). 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, FedEx, or use DHL to ship from outside the US, you must connect your own accounts.

rts-advanced-settings

To use your own account, go to Settings > Shipping on your dashboard and click Edit in the Advanced Settings area. On the following page, click on a carrier and enter your information, then click Done. Note that for FedEx, you’ll need both your Account ID and Meter number. Check out this guide for more details on 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, go to Settings > Shipping > Advanced Settings. You can edit the dimensions, maximum weight, and optionally set a maximum number of items that will fit into the box. If you want to add more box sizes, use the “Create new” link and enter the information for each box. You can then 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.

How does this work? Here’s an example:

Let’s say you’re selling handmade pottery in varying sizes and weights, such as coffee mugs and large vases. The default box size comfortably fits two of your coffee mugs, so you can set the maximum items to two and the max weight to the same as two coffee mugs. However, you need a much larger box for the vase, so you create a second box that is 18” x 18” x 18” with an item capacity of one and a max weight that matches the vase weight. You would then edit each item and associate them with the corresponding box to ensure that the larger box is used if someone purchases a vase.

Note: 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 to 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:

Go to the FedEx Developer Center for FedEx Web Services.
If you’re not already registered, click the Register Now button to get a developer account.
From the main FedEx developer page, click FedEx Web Services > Move to Production.
Click Get Production Key.
Fill in your account information and submit your data. Your information, including your meter number, will be emailed to the account address.
Check out this guide for more details on connecting FedEx and UPS.

How to Connect 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 for details. If you need help with the API username and password, check out Shippo’s guide to finding this in your Canada Post account.

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