UPS – UPS Live Rates shipping method configuration

Once the UPS Live Rates shipping method has been added within a proper shipping zone following the previous instructions, let’s now move on to its configuration screen and learn how to set it up.

Method Settings

Method Title

– the title of the method will be displayed to your clients if an emergency rate is applied. The title is also displayed in the list of methods in the shipping zone.

Access Points

– here you can choose whether you want to send packages to UPS Access Points. The list of collection points will be available on the order page, and the point chosen by the customer can be checked in the order edition.In the PRO version of the plugin, a full list of collection points is available along with the point search engine on the order page. In the free version of the plugin, the order page shows one collection point nearest to the shipping address.

Available options:

  • Disable Access Points
  • All services and Access Points
  • Only Access Points
  • Access Points and Flat Rate

A flat rate for Access Points is a setting for stores that want to share pickup points but do not want to show live rates. Selecting this option hides all other settings and displays the flat rate field.


– Fallback cost will be applied if there are no UPS services available. Once the checkbox was ticked the following Fallback Cost field will appear below:

The services may be unavailable for the order parameters: weight, shipping address and receipt, but also due to incorrect data or no connection to the UPS API.

If fallback is applied to the WooCommerce order, the reason for the application will appear.

Fallback cost will run if there are no UPS services available for shipping between your store address and the customer’s address.You can check the available UPS services (and their cost) for the given destination and destination addresses on the UPS page: Calculate time and cost.

Free shipping

– Tick the Enable the free shipping over amount checkbox in order to offer your customers the free shipping once the defined order total value threshold is reached. If selected the additional Free Shipping Amount field will appear below:


– tick this checkbox to manage which UPS services should be available for your customers to choose from. You may also change their names here and set the order of how they are displayed at the checkout.

If the checkbox was not ticked all the services available for the entered shipping data will be displayed by default.Please mind that the UPS services will be displayed only if they are available for selected order parameters: weight and addresses.

Once the Enable services custom settings checkbox was ticked, the following services table will appear below:

Rates Adjustments

Negotiated Rates

– enable this option if you want to use the Negotiated Rates assigned to your account. If not selected or your UPS agreement doesn’t include assigning the discounted rates to your account, the standard rates will be used by default.

PRO Simple Rate

– tick the checkbox next to Enable Simple Rate if you want to display the Simple Rate pricing to your U.S. customers.

Once you enable the Simple Rate, make sure you have chosen and configured Pack into custom boxes in Parcel Packaging Method section. The parcel includes one package based on the criteria specified by UPS. If the order requires more than one package, UPS Live Rates debug mode will return the following message: 

UPS services valid for Simple Rate:

  • UPS Ground,
  • UPS 3 Day Select,
  • UPS Second Day Air,
  • UPS Next Day Air Saver.

UPS criteria for Simple Rate packages:

  • package can’t contain dangerous goods,
  • package weight up to 50 lbs,
  • shipment must be prepaid.

More information about Simple Rate packages here ->


– if you want to include shipment insurance in the shipment amount, check this option. The insurance will be included only for services where the insurance option is available.

Pickup Type

– this option allows to set the pickup type of your shipping. It may affect the live rates. You can choose the Pickup Type which suits your needs best from the following:

  • Not set,
  • Daily Pickup,
  • Customer Counter,
  • One Time Pickup,
  • Air Call,
  • Letter Center,
  • Air Service Center.

In most cases selecting the Customer Counter or One Time Pickup grants the most accurate rates.

If the Not set option has been chosen, the PickupType value will not be sent in the UPS API request, which might also result in getting the more accurate rates returned in some cases.

PRO Destination Address Type

– if UPS API won’t be able to validate recipient’s address, you can select the type of address for which the rate will be calculated.

PRO Delivery Confirmation

– select if you want the rates to include the additional UPS Signature Delivery Confirmation service by choosing one of the following options:

  • None
  • Signature Required
  • Adult Signature Required

Please mind that choosing the Signature Required or Adult Signature Required option above may affect the live rates returned by the UPS API.

PRO Handling Fees

– this option allows you to add a fixed or percentage fee or discount for the returned UPS live rates. The setting works globally which means that the fee or discount you set here will be applied to all UPS rates displayed in the cart or checkout for specific shipping zone.

In order to apply the discount please enter the negative value, e.g. -10 in the Fee value field.

PRO Parcel Packing Method

– choose one of the available packing options from:

  • Pack into one box by weight – this is the default method for calculating bids. The functionality supports matching products to UPS packages that returns API (possible to check on UPS site).
  • Pack items separately – each product is a separate box in one shipping.
  • Pack into custom boxes – allows you to choose which packages you want to use. You can choose one of standard UPS package or set your own custom box. It also allows you to set box weight and padding, that will be deducted from max weight and dimensions of the package. The products in the basket will be adjusted in order from the smallest to the largest to the selected package types. If a product exceeds the size of the package, the plug will return the fallback if it has been set.

Parcel Packing Method – Pack into custom boxes – how the fitting algorithm works

If you chose the Parcel Packing Method: Pack into custom boxes option our UPS PRO plugin will automatically optimize the packing method using the most accurate boxes setup to offer the lowest shipping cost. Besides providing external dimension of a box you can also set padding value to accomodate thickness of a box and protective filling. Padding value is subtracted from the external dimensions. Let’s assume that we have a 10x5x5 box and padding set to 1. The algorithm will use 9x4x4 as space available to fill. For more clarity get familiar with below graphic.

Here’s an example for better understanding on how the fitting algorithm works. We defined 3 custom boxes’ types:

  • 1x1x1
  • 2x2x2
  • 5x5x5

The fitting algorithm in such case will look like this:

[ 1, 1, 1, '1' ], // 1 items 1 square = best fit is 1x1x1

[ 2, 1, 1, '2' ], // 1 items 2 square = best fit is 2x2x2

[ 4, 1, 1, '5' ], // 1 items 4 square = best fit is 5x5x5

[ 5, 1, 1, '5' ], // 1 items 5 square = best fit is 5x5x5

[ 0.5, 8, 1, '1' ], // 8 items 0.125 square = best fit is 1x1x1

[ 0.5, 9, 1, '2' ], // 9 items 0.125 square = best fit is 2x2x2

[ 1, 8, 1, '2' ], // 8 items 1 square = best fit is 2x2x2

[ 1, 9, 1, '5' ], // 9 items 1 square = best fit is 5x5x5 (other algorithm could get 2x2x2 + 1x1x1)

[ 1, 125, 1, '5' ], // 125 items 1 square = best fit is 5x5x5

[ 1, 126, 2, '5' ], // 126 items 1 square = best fit is 5x5x5 + 1x1x1 (two packages, exactly one is 5x5x5)

[ 1, 133, 2, '5' ], // 133 items 1 square = best fit is 5x5x5 + 2x2x2 (two packages, exactly one is 5x5x5)

So it will match the best setup to fit as much products as possible into one box based on the products dimensions.

If you want to learn more how the particular settings from Rates Adjustments section described above influence the displayed live rates, please check our article What affects the UPS rates in UPS WooCommerce plugin? →While comparing the rates coming from the UPS API and displayed by the plugin with the ones from the UPS online calculator, please ensure that:

  1. You are checking the rates in the UPS online calculator while being logged in to your UPS user account,
  2. The default payment method has been defined for your UPS user account at Profile > Accounts and Payment Options.

Otherwise, you may encounter some discrepancies between the prices displayed in the online calculator and the ones returned by the plugin, as a result of the discounts assigned to your account haven’t been applied by the online calculator.

PRO Dates and Time

PRO Estimated delivery

– a feature allowing to display to your customers the estimated delivery time for the ordered products. You can choose from three options here:

  • None – the estimated delivery time won’t be displayed at all.
  • Show estimated days to delivery date – display the amount of days of how long it should take to deliver the ordered products.
  • Show estimated delivery date – display the exact date the ordered products will be delivered.

Once the 2nd or the 3rd option is selected, the following additional fields will appear below:

PRO Maximum Time in Transit

– define the maximum amount of days the products can remain in transit. Especially useful for the perishable goods.

PRO Lead Time

– define the amount of days required to prepare an order to be shipped. The estimated delivery date or time will be updated according to the value entered here.

PRO Cutoff Time

– select the hour after which the date of preparing the shipment will be set for the next day. It can be used only when the Lead Time’s value was set to 0.

PRO Blackout Lead Days

– choose the days of the week when the orders are not being processed in your shop. The days you select here will be excluded from the lead time, e.g. if your lead time is defined as 2 days and the chosen Blackout Days are Tuesday and Wednesday, the order placed on Monday will be first processed the following Friday.

The estimated delivery time will be displayed as a UPS shipping method description in the cart/checkout below its title.

In order to calculate and display the estimated delivery date properly, our UPS PRO plugin needs to know the shop’s exact location so it should be filled at WooCommerce → Settings → General → Store Address or in the UPS settings (WooCommerce → Settings → Shipping → UPS → Origin Settings → Custom Origin).

For some addresses in the U.S., with the Estimated Delivery option selected, to calculate UPS rates, a city name is required. 

You can check recommended city name for the postcode in the Look Up a ZIP Code™ tool →

After configuring plugin settings to offer UPS services, add a new UPS Live Rates shipping method.

After adding the method, UPS services will be displayed automatically on the checkout page together with live rates:

PRO Origin Settings for this Shipping Method

The UPS plugin uses the shop’s origin entered in the WooCommerce settings WooCommerce → Settings → General → Store Address by default. However, you can define a different shipper’s address for each Shipping Method – resulting in multiple custom origins.

For example, if you have one warehouses for each shipping region, you can assign the Custom Origin using the fields below:

Please remember that you can also assign the Custom Origin on the UPS configuration screen. When using this feature the following priority order is used:

  1. Custom Origin for this Shipping Method.
  2. Custom Origin in the UPS configuration screen.
  3. Default WooCommerce Store Address.
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