Setting Up Carrier Rules


Carrier rules is a highly flexible part of ShipperHQ. Carrier rules are used to set, surcharge, or override live shipping methods or custom carriers like table rate or flat rate carriers.

Bear in mind that used wrongly your rates can show incorrectly, so just ensure you think about what you’re setting up and test the rule afterwards on your site.  At ShipperHQ we have many years of experience of our clients using Carrier Rules with great success.

Examples of Carrier Rules

Here are some example carrier rules we see:

The list goes on….

For more examples on how to setup other specific Carrier Rules check this out.

Creating a New Rule

  • In the ShipperHQ Dashboard, click on Carrier Rules > Add New
  • When you create a new rule please try to give it a name that accurately represents what it does. This will help you as then you can search on the rule name.
  • A rule applies to Shipping Methods, and is made up of Conditions and Actions. That’s it.

Which shipping methods, conditions, or actions you set differs depending on what you’re trying to do. Insight below.

Applicable Shipping Methods

The Shipping methods your rule will affect.

For Example: if you are hiding UPS Air methods, you will select those as the applicable methods. If you are surcharging UPS 2nd Day Air, you will select that.


Specify the conditions under which you wish the rule to apply. Conditions can be Zones, Shipping Groups, or Filters.

For instance if you want to surcharge UPS 2nd Day Air when BULK items are in the cart, you will select the BULK shipping group as a required condition.


The action is what you want to happen when the rule applies. You can choose to hide methods, set rates, or surcharge rates.

Advanced Conditions and Actions

You can set rules against advanced conditions such as customer groups, boxes, or delivery days. Some of these may be found under Carrier Rules->Settings. Some require certain advanced features to be enabled. You can also set advanced actions on the rule, such as increasing shipping per added quantity.

You can remove condition or actions you do not need, for instance if you do not use customer groups then you can disable in the Settings and then these are no longer shown in your dashboard.

Rule Processing Order

Rule Types Order (Set and Surcharge)

By default, Surcharge Rules (that is, rules which are set to Surcharge Rates in the Actions panel) will apply before Set Rules (rules set to Set Rates in the Actions Panel). This allows you to do things like set up a surcharge rule for a handling fee but allow that to be overridden by a Set Rule which sets free shipping.

You can change the order so that Set Rules are processed first followed by Surcharge Rules by changing the “Run Surcharge Rules before Set Rules” option to “No” under Carrier Rules > Settings > Apply Actions.

Order Within Rule Types

Within each Rule Type (Set and Surcharge as described above), you are able to define a specific order in which your rules are processed. This option is less common so disabled by default but can be enabled under Carrier Rules > Settings > Apply Actions by setting the “Rule Processing Order” option to “Yes.” With this enabled, you’ll see several additional fields in the Advanced Actions panel on each of your Carrier Rules.

  • Rule Processing Order The order in which you wish rules to be processed. Set a number between 0 and 999 where 0 will be processed first and 999 processed last. The numbers you set on your rules do not need to be sequential.
  • Stop Further Rule Processing With this option selected, if the Conditions for this Carrier Rule are met and therefore the rule is processed, no further rules will be processed.
  • Overwrite Set Rate By default, Set rules are cumulative (that is, if you have multiple rules setting rates the result will be the sum of the rates set for all applied rules). With this option selected, if multiple Set rules apply to a certain shipment, you can tell ShipperHQ that this rule will override all previously processed Set rules.


If a carrier rules does not seem to be working, here are our recommendations:

  1. Go check all the conditions in the rule and ensure you are happy they will match
  2. Switch off other rules so that you can focus on just testing the 1 rule
  3. Remove as many other variables out of testing, e.g. other carriers, origins, etc
  4. Within the rule itself remove as many conditions, get back to a point where the rule is working, then add in the conditions 1 by 1

By following this you should be able to determine what is not working. As you get more confidence in the system you will find the rule creation becomes easier.