The possibility to display real FedEx rates in your WooCommerce store is certainly one of the main benefits of using our FedEx WooCommerce plugin. To get proper rates, you have to configure the plugin correctly. Let’s have a look at how the selected features affect the displayed FedEx rates in the free and PRO version of our FedEx WooCommerce Live Rates plugin.
This article is based on several queries from our customers who were wondering how to properly configure the FedEx WooCommerce plugin to receive actual shipping rates. In this article, we would like to provide you with some more details about what exactly affects the live rates it displays.
To better understand what affects the FedEx rates you should find out how the plugin works in general. How the FedEx WooCommerce plugin calculates the shipping rates? All the “magic” happens in just three steps:
The key element is the API request. So, if it does not match your FedEx account settings, the returned rates may not be accurate. That’s why it’s so important to set the plugin correctly. Now, let’s go through all the setting that affects the FedEx shipping rates.
To get to the FedEx WooCommerce settings, go to WooCommerce > Settings > Shipping > FedEx. As you have probably noticed there are plenty of features on the configuration screen, however, let’s focus now only on these affecting the FedEx live rates directly. Most of them are available in the Rates Adjustments section.
This option enables or disables your shipments’ insurance. If you want to include shipment insurance in the shipment amount just check this option. As you can easily guess, it will affect the rate returned by the plugin. Have in mind that insurance will be included only for services where the insurance option is available. The declared value of a package is FedEx’s maximum liability for loss or damage due to their mishandling of the shipment.
The FedEx WooCommerce plugin allows you to use different types of rates. For example if you select List rates, the FedEx API will return standard rates. If you would like to receive the rates assigned to your account (you have better terms and conditions), choose the Account rates. Remember that to obtain the Account rates on your FedEx account you should contact FedEx support to activate them first.
This option will grant you the possibility to define if the customer should be charged with any additional fees. It can be set as a percentage or fixed value. If you want to reduce your shipping cost by offering a discount, you can use a negative number. It will be applied to the live rates.
You can choose which type of destination address – Business or Residential should be used by default. FedEx API takes into consideration while calculating the shipping cost is the destination address the parcel is going to be shipped to. It recognizes the entered data which is being validated next if it is Business or Residential. Choosing the right default option here will prevent the incorrect calculation from happening in case of unsuccessful validation.
The parcel packing method allows you to divide the customer’s order into packages according to your preferences and the actual packages used in your warehouse. Each automatically added package will affect the FedEx rates, but configured correctly allows you to receive more accurate shipping rates. In the FedEx WooCommerce PRO plugin you can choose between the three options:
Pack into one box by weight – all the products in the shopping cart will be treated as if they are packed into one package. Their weight will be summed up. That’s why in this option, the only important factor is the total weight of all products. If you want to use it, please make sure all the products have their weight entered in the products’ settings.
Pack items separately – the shipping cost of all the ordered products will be calculated as if each of them was packed into its separate box. It means that if your customer will order five products, the FedEx plugin will calculate the shipping cost for five packages. It can highly increase the shipping rate, so use that option with caution. In this case, all the products’ dimensions and weight need to be filled in as well.
Pack into custom boxes – products will be divided and matched to the created custom packages using the most effective way. FedEx WooCommerce plugin allows you to set your own custom boxes or use predefined standard FedEx boxes. The plugin will calculate rates as a sum of the shipping cost for each standard or custom box used. To work properly, all the products need to have their weight and dimensions entered first.
An additional feature that might affect the FedEx rates is the custom origin. Shipping rates are calculated based on the store’s address. By default, the plugin gets the origin from the WooCommerce settings. If you change it in the Custom Origin field, the plugin will calculate rates based on that address.
If you want to check the API request which is sent by the plugin, you can use Debug Mode. You’ll find it on the plugin’s settings page.
When you enable it, as the result the API request and FedEx API response will be displayed on the checkout page. To see its entire content, click on the Show Content button.
We hope you will find this article helpful to understand better how our plugin works and to realize what affects the FedEx rates it displays. If you have only the free version of the plugin you can test the PRO version of the plugin in our Demo.
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