Handling Carrier Downtime


ShipperHQ works directly with our integrated carriers to ensure that they meet both uptime and response time (how long it takes for them to respond to a rate request from ShipperHQ) requirements. However, there are still times where a carrier API may be unavailable either due to scheduled downtime for maintenance or unscheduled outages due to an unexpected issue.

Since it is critical to ensure customers have shipping options at checkout in order to complete their orders, ShipperHQ offers a number of ways to help you handle carrier downtime.

This document addresses cases where ShipperHQ is unable to communicate with a live rate carrier’s API. For options available when your eCommerce platform is unable to communicate with ShipperHQ, see our eCommerce Platform docs.

Backup Carrier Rates Advanced Feature

ShipperHQ’s Backup Carrier Rates Advanced Feature lets you configure a backup carrier to use in case of downtime of one of your primary carriers. Your backup carrier can be a different live rate carrier or a custom carrier. When ShipperHQ is unable to communicate with your primary carrier’s API, it will automatically attempt to use your backup carrier.

Automatic Backup Rates

For certain commonly used FedEx domestic services, ShipperHQ has built in backup rates that will be used if the carrier’s API is unavailable and you do not have a Backup Carrier configured. There are limitations to the services covered by these rates and the rates returned will not reflect your negotiated rates with the carrier. However, all handling fees and shipping rules will apply the these backup rates as they do to live rates.

Carrier Downtime Notifications

Many carriers do not send proactive notifications for unscheduled downtime. However, most will send email notification of scheduled downtime. We recommend signing up for notifications from your carriers to ensure that you’re aware of these before they occur.

For major carrier downtime notifications, we will also send email updates to the email address on your ShipperHQ account. To ensure you receive these, check your Account Email on your Profile in your ShipperHQ Dashboard. You can request changes to this email by submitting this form. We also recommend whitelisting shipperhq.com with your email provider to ensure you receive our messages.

Carrier Status Monitoring

Most carriers do not provide a status page for their APIs. However, for FedEx, UPS, USPS, and Canada Post, LexiConn Internet Services provides a free Shipping API Monitor service with current status and downtime notifications for these carriers. Shipping API Monitor does not identify all types of outages but you can sign up to receive email notifications of the types of outages they can identity.

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