How to Troubleshoot Rate Discrepancies


In the event you run into issues where the rate is too high, too low, or altogether incorrect, this doc will outline initial steps to take for diagnosing the problem.

Common Discrepancy Issues

If you are seeing a difference in rates you want to look through the following issues to ensure you have ShipperHQ set up correctly.

Have you looked at your Store Logs?

On all of the supported eCommerce platforms except Shopify, you can view the response information from the rate via the Logs. The logs provide information about the rate calculation, including the packages used for the order, order weights, and shipping costs returned. On Magento you can also see the original shipping price which is the price from the carrier before handling/surcharges/etc have been added.

Looking at the logs and comparing the details to the rates you get from the carrier is a good first step.  Check the rest of the information below about other settings to check before raising a support ticket. In our experience almost all issues are because of a configuration setting.

Check that your rate types set correctly

When you set up your carrier you are able to choose what type of rate you want to use. You can use negotiated rates, listed rates, etc.

To check the settings on this go to “Carriers” in the lefthand navigation, edit the carrier you want to check, and go to the Account Settings panel. We have listed some examples of Carriers with their rate types below.

  • For UPS,  you will find four rate types under the “Customer Classification Code” field:
    • Rates Associated with Shipper Number (invented rates)- inventive rates associated with your account
    • Daily Rates – the listed carrier rates with a small discount for those who ship daily
    • Retail Rates – listed rates
    • Standard Rates – listed rates but in an older style
  • For USPS, you will find three rate types under the “Rate Type” field:
    • Retail Rates – standard listed rates
    • Online Rates – Endicia or rates
    • Commercial Rates – Special incentive rates
  • For FedEx, you will find a check box for “Negotiated Rates”:
    • If you have this checked you will use negotiated rates which are the rates associated with your account

Check any handling fees on the carrier

A handling fee will always bring up your rates to a higher cost than what you get from the carrier. To find whether you have a handling fee on the carrier:

  1. Go to the Carriers in the ShipperHQ dashboard
  2. Edit the Carrier you are reviewing
  3. Scroll to the Handling Fee panel and look at the “Flat Surcharge” and “Percentage Surcharge/Discount fields,” both should be set to zero if you do not want a handling fee to apply to your rates

Check if rating Residential vs Commercial rates

Some carriers charge a few dollars difference depending on commercial or residential addresses. Check to see if you have the carrier set to receive Residential or Commercial rates.

  1. Go to Carriers in the ShipperHQ dashboard
  2. Edit the Carrier you are reviewing
  3. Open the Optional panel and scroll down to ‘Additional Charges’ section.
  4. You will see a dropdown for “Destination Address Type”. Check if you have this set to Business (Commercial) or Residential. Residential often returns higher rates.

Sandbox mode vs Production mode

Enabling Sandbox mode on a Carrier is not recommended, as it will cause a large discrepancy in some rates. You should not use Sandbox mode unless you were instructed to do so by your carrier.

  1. Go to Carriers in the ShipperHQ Dashboard
  2. Edit the Carrier you’re reviewing and scroll to the Account Settings panel.
  3. Uncheck “Use Sandbox” unless you have been previously instructed to use it.

Screen Shot 2016-08-04 at 13.42.07

Check if your Carrier Rules are altering rates

Carrier Rules can be used to add surcharges/discounts based on different criteria. You should check your Carrier Rules to ensure you don’t have any unwanted surcharges, discounts or set rates applying to your orders.

  1. Go to “Carrier Rules” in the ShipperHQ dashboard
  2. Look in the Carriers Attached To column in the list, and find the Carrier Rule that is attached to the Carrier you’re investigating
  3. Edit the Rule and scroll to the Actions panel
  4. Look under Set/Modify Shipping Rate to see if your rule is surcharging the rates

Was the correct packing box chosen for the shipment?

On some occasions, products should be packed into boxes in a particular method. However, the products are not packed into the boxes that are expected, which can significantly affect rates. Please see this document for an explanation of why this might be.

Check your boxes for any surcharges?

When setting up Box-based carrier rules you can add surcharges or discounts to the boxes you have set up. Check to see if you have any rules surcharging a box. This can be found under the Carrier Rules tab.

  1. Go to Carrier Rules > edit the box-based Carrier Rule
  2. Open to the Advanced panel
  3. Under the ‘Advanced Conditions’ section, locate the Applicable Boxes dropdown. Check if the rule applies to any of the boxes you have created.

What will happen when an item in the cart is larger than all possible boxes?

ShipperHQ uses overall volume/dimensions to determine best-fit box to pack all product(s) into. If the system determine that one of the item(s) in cart is larger then all available boxes then default behavior would be is to use dimensions of this item to pack all products into.

For instance, lets say that you have defined boxes 2x2x2, 5x5x5 and 10x10x10 within ShipperHQ and on the cart you have products 3x3x3 and 11x11x11. Product 11x11x11 is larger then all available packing boxes. ShipperHQ in this case will use 11x11x11 item dimensions as the packing box for all other products, and make a “custom” box size. This could result in rate discrepancies. We advise that you ensure you have boxes configured that can account for all item sizes.

Do your weight units match in ShipperHQ and your eCommerce platform?

Without Dimensional Shipping, ShipperHQ only rates off the weight of the product. You can check to see what units you are using in ShipperHQ under Account Settings.

  1. In the ShipperHQ Dashboard, go to Account Settings
  2. Choose the Global Settings tab
  3. The Weight Unit field controls what unit ShipperHQ is using. This should be the same as what you have set in your eCommerce platform settings.


Also, When you’re comparing rates by weight, are you converting fractions of lbs to ounces?

Emailing support about Rate Discrepancies

If you’ve reviewed the above and are still seeing discrepancies in your rates, don’t fret! Reach out to us and we can dig deeper for you. Just send us the below:

  1. Find the Transaction ID/Quote ID in your store’s logger
  2. Check the carriers official page to determine what rates should be
  3. Send the information found from #1 & #2 to with a brief description of the expected and actual results.