Shipping Provider Live Rate Setup


What are Shipping Provider Live Rates?

Shipping provider live rates come directly from a shipping provider (USPS, UPS, FedEx, etc) via direct integration with the shipping providers own rate estimation system. When a customer selects a shipping provider's service on the shopping cart, our system communicates with the shipping provider's system instantaneously and displays the shipping calculation to the customer. 


Enabling a Shipping Provider's Live Rates

A shipping provider's live rates can be enabled in Settings > Shipping > Shipping Providers. To do so, click the cursor icon next to the shipping provider you would like to enable. This will bring up the Edit Shipping Provider screen. Check Activate, then click Save

After you click Save, the page will reload and the Shipping Provider's services will be visible in the bottom grid: 

By default, when a provider is first enabled, all of it's shipping services will be disabled. To enable a service, click the edit icon next to the desired service, check Active, then click Save. The shipping provider service you just enabled will not be available for selection on the checkout page, and the rate will be automatically calculated through Spark Pay Online Store's direct integration with the Shipping Service Provider's rate estimation system. Repeat this process for each provider and service you would like to enable. If only wish to use the rate providers basic, retail rates, there is nothing else you need to do. However, if you would like to use special rates, for example UPS's negotiated rates, you will need to enter your shipping provider account credentials on the Shipping Provider's Edit screen: 

For more information on setting up negotiated rates for specific providers see: How to get UPS negotiated ratesUPS Freight Ground Integration FedEx Account Setup Getting a new meter number

Registering for an Account with a Shipping Provider

  • Fedex - If you do not have an account, visit to create a user id and password. Otherwise, you will already have a user id and password to use. Also, check out our article on Fedex Account Setup : How To Get A Meter Number
  • USPS – Setting up USPS is a two-step process:
    1. Registering: You can register for webaccess to USPS at: If the above link does not work, you can find the registration page by searching for "USPS WEB ACCESS" at Select Web Tools from Recommended Links in the blue box. Select Sign Up from the Access USPS Web Tools box.
    2. Enabling Production Mode: After you register, you will receive an email with your Username and Password. The email outlines the testing procedures for server access. It also contains a brief explanation on how to activate your account for live use.
      • You don't need to run the test outlined in the email. This step has already been completed by Spark Pay online stores .
      • Please call the number provided in the email and request that your account be moved from test mode to production mode. Moving your account to production mode only takes a few moments with the phone number listed in the email.
  • UPS - Register for UPS at You will receive an email confirming your User ID and activation. If you have an existing UPS account, you can use the existing User ID.
  • DHL - Register for an account at and acquire a DHL Account Number. If you already have an account number, that number can be used.


Obtaining a Shipping Key from DHL

Click on the edit icon for DHL. Next, enter your DHL account number (provided by DHL) in the corresponding box and check active. Don't forget to save. Next, click on the Get Key link.

If the account number is valid, Two Keys will be provided in a pop-up. Click 'OK'. This will populate the keys in the Password/Key 1 and Shipping Key2 input boxes.



You can test your connection to a Shipping Provider in Settings > Shipping > Shipping Providers > Edit Shipping Provider > More Actions > Test: 

If incorrect credentials were entered or if there is a problem connecting to the Provider's rate calculator, and error will be displayed at the top of the Shipping Provider Test screen: 

If you receive an “Unsuccessful” message upon using the Test feature:

  • Check your Username and Password to make sure they are correct.
  • If you are using USPS, Call USPS to ensure your account is in production mode.
  • Make sure you've actually SAVED the info, before hitting test. 

If the cart is giving you an error message stating that there was a temporary problem connecting to the rate calculation service, there are two potential causes:

  • The shipping provider's service is down at the moment. shows if a Shipping service is Online or Offline. 
  • No applicable rates were returned for the specified address.

Most of the time, the latter option is the cause. There are a few things to check when this occurs:

  • Make sure you have the correct services marked as active. Sometimes certain services are not available to certain destinations so an unexpected service may be returned. To test this, go to the provider’s website. Try the calculation there and make sure you have the services that they return marked as active in your settings.
  • Make sure you have your regions set up correctly. A United States region is required to be present in most cases, so if you have deleted it try adding it back and test again. This has to do with being able to ship outside of regions properly.


Shipping Provider Settings: 

In Settings > Shipping > Shipping Providers > Edit Provider, there are several Markup Settings: 

  • Markup TypeSpecifies if the Markup Amount is to be applied as a percentage or as a fixed dollar amount.
  • Markup AmountThe amount of markup, in percent or in dollars, that occurs when this shipping provider is chosen.  See also Markup Types.
  • Addtl Markup %This feature allows you to specify an additional percentage markup for shipping provider rates. With this, you can specify both a flat dollar per package markup and an additional percentage that will be added to the overall shipping fee.
  • Addtl Wt Per PkgThis allows you to set an additional weight that will be added to each package when getting shipping provider rates. You can configure a global amount per shipping provider, and also store level overrides for each shipping provider (In Settings > Shipping > General). This does not affect custom shipping methods.

In Settings > Shipping > General in the Shipping Provider Settings, shipping providers can be activated and inactivated at the store level. Store level markups can also be added here.








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