1. Overview of eCommerce Shipping Rate Calculators
Shipping Rate Calculators help eCommerce businesses provide the best shipping costs to its customers. Shipping costs can play a big role in customer conversion rates. Looking at high shipping prices at the time of checkout can lead to cart abandonment. Of course, being able to provide free shipping on all orders is the ideal solution to this problem.
But offering free shipping can easily eat into business profits. This is why calculating shipping costs is so important for eCommerce couriers and businesses. The goal of figuring out shipping costs is to arrive at a cost that is bearable both for the customer and the eCommerce businesses while not impacting the dependability, quality and speed of the shipping services.
Now the question is, how do you calculate shipping costs? To help you on this accounting journey, we have enlisted the 10 best shipping rate calculators for couriers and businesses. But, before that, let’s find out what shipping costs are exactly.
2. What are Shipping Costs and how are they calculated?
Shipping cost covers Shipping & Handling. Shipping is the cost of postage and transportation when moving an order or shipment from the seller’s storage unit or warehouse to the customer’s doorstep. Handling covers labor costs associated with the order fulfillment process such as inventory collection, packaging, label generation, loading and other warehouse activities.
While Shipping & Handling processes are quite complex and differ from business to business, listed below are a few common factors to get us started.
Packaging : Packing a product requires boxes, bubble wrap, tape etc. While standard packages would suit most non- perishable products, perishable items may require special packaging material including insulation, dry ice and foil pouches. That said, two non-perishable products with the same dimensions can still have different costs associated with packing. For example, a glass figurine and a metal one will require different box sizes as the glass figurine requires packing peanuts as well as bubble wrap whereas just the bubble wrap would suffice for the metal one.
Distance & Speed : The farther and faster a package has to travel, the higher the cost will be. This includes fuel charges and other transportation related fees. Fuel prices in particular, are subject to multiple changes and this volatility is something to keep in mind when you calculate costs. Finding the sweet spot between price and speed is key to having good shipping solutions to please your customer while keeping your cost margins happy.
Location : While many services have serviceable area limits, those that do offer deliveries outside the city zone and to remote addresses will invariably charge a premium for their service. Even costs associated with order pick-ups vary based on whether your address is an apartment complex in a residential area, or a commercial building in a business locality.
Personnel : Fair compensation of warehouse and courier agents who pick, pack, load and deliver orders as well as payment of drivers involved in the movement of orders are accounted for in the calculation of shipping rate.
Errors : To err is human, and those packages involving wrong addresses can cost you in the form of delivery reattempt charges and return fees. Under-declaring on your invoice can also lead to delayed deliveries and fines.
Miscellaneous : Other fees such as duties and taxes when it comes to international orders can add up. Shipping special products to states that have restrictions and regulations will require you to shell out for warehousing charges and other costs till you receive clearance from the concerned departments.
3. Top 10 Best Shipping Cost Calculators for Ecommerce Couriers [2023 Updated List]
Calculating shipping prices is crucial to providing a good delivery experience to customers. Many eCommerce couriers and businesses do not realize it but shipping costs influence product pricing. If an eCommerce business offers free shipping, it would include shipping charges in the product price itself.
Therefore, whether it’s an eCommerce business or an eCommerce courier, shipping rate calculation is absolutely necessary. Here’s the list of the 10 best shipping rate calculators for eCommerce couriers.
3.1) Shiprocket Shipping Rate Calculator Software
ShipRocket is an eCommerce courier aggregator that provides various order management services to eCommerce businesses. Their services include inventory and warehousing solutions, multiple pickups, and hyperlocal delivery services.
ShipRocket hosts a shipping rate calculator on their website that calculates shipping costs for both domestic and international orders.
ShipRocket’s shipping rate calculator determines shipping costs on the basis of delivery and pickup pin codes and zip codes. For domestic deliveries, Shiprocket calculates shipping based on actual weight, whereas for international deliveries it measures both volumetric and dimensional weights.
3.2) Gati International Shipping Cost Calculator
Gati is a leading eCommerce supply chain management and courier company that helps businesses reach out to a wider market across the world with the help of its extensive warehousing space and delivery operations. It features a shipping rate calculator on its official website that calculates shipping costs for both domestic and international shipments.
Gati’s shipping rate and transit time calculator has a field where eCommerce couriers and businesses can enter an estimated value amount for the purposes of shipping insurance. Other fields include origin and destination addresses including pin codes/zip codes, destination country, the actual weight of the consignment, the volume of shipments, and finally a check box for determining owner or carrier risk.
3.3) FedEx Shipping Rate Calculator
FedEx needs no introduction for eCommerce couriers and businesses. FedEx is one of the world’s leaders in providing shipping-related services to individuals and businesses. It provides racking, temperature-controlled transportation and manages the world’s largest delivery fleet.
FedEx also has a shipping rate calculator on their website that eCommerce couriers can use to calculate domestic and international shipping costs based on actual and dimensional weight. FedEx shipping costs can be affected by the kind of delivery service an eCommerce courier opts for, like urgent/priority shipping, overnight express, same-day delivery, etc. FedEx also offers DDP or Delivery Duty Paid international shipping.
3.4) ParcelMonkey ECommerce Shipping Rate Calculator
ParcelMonkey is a shipping and delivery management eCommerce courier that integrates with several other third-party logistics and courier providers like Aramex, Purolator, USPS, etc. With ParcelMonkey eCommerce couriers and businesses can get access to exclusive discounted shipping costs.
ParcelMonkey provides shipping to both domestic and international locations and features a shipping rate calculator that’s pretty easy to use. The shipping rate calculator has 2 modes - Full Quote and Quick Quote.
The Full Quote mode asks for the dimensions of the shipment (length, width, and height), actual weight in lbs, contents of the shipment, item value for insurance, and origin and destination locations.
The Quick Quote only requires the origin and destination countries and the weight of the order.
3.5) DHL ECommerce Shipping Cost Calculator
DHL or Dalsey, Hillblom and Lynn is a German multinational parcel delivery and supply chain management courier that offers eCommerce solutions to businesses worldwide. It has a shipping rate calculator on its website for individuals and businesses.
DHL’s shipping rate calculator will ask you to fill in origin and delivery destination addresses with city and pin codes. Once the pin codes are verified, the next step is to describe your shipments. This is where eCommerce couriers can enter item weight, item dimensions, and the number of items. If you are unsure about the dimensions of your items, DHL also offers package box options you can choose from, like, moving box, 121cmx80cm pallet box, etc.
3.6) UPS Shipping Rate Calculator Tool
UPS is one of the most popular logistics and eCommerce shipping couriers in the world. Ecommerce couriers can use the UPS shipping rate calculator to calculate shipping costs of all their domestic as well as international packages and freights.
UPS partners with many independent carriers as well. The UPS shipping rate calculator figures out shipping costs on the basis of Ship From and Ship To countries. It also asks for the pick-up date to determine the transit duration and provide an estimated delivery date. For freight shipping, you can choose from air or ocean freight services.
3.7) USPS Shipping Costs Calculator App
USPS is the national postal service of the United States of America. It is bound to pick and deliver private and business shipments to all parts of the United States. Additionally, it also offers shipping and delivery services to 190+ countries worldwide. USPS allows transportation of live animals including poultry from one place to another. Customers can choose to collect their orders from a post office.
USPS has a shipping cost calculator on its website that asks for the destination country, mailing from and to zipcodes, and date of transportation. It also needs eCommerce couriers to fill in any specific type of package they are sending, cremated remains, live animals, poultry, dangerous goods, etc. In the following sections, you can fill in whether the package requires ground transportation and the kind of box it will need for packaging. The United States Postal Service also provides amazing shipping discounts and flat rate shipping options.
3.8) ShipBob Shipping Cost Calculator Software
ShipBob is an eCommerce fulfillment and shipping courier software that caters to eCommerce couriers and businesses in 220+ countries. ShipBob offers a shipping and fulfillment pricing calculator on their website.
Ecommerce couriers need to fill out their first and last names, company profile, eCommerce platform, and the number of monthly shipments they would send to get a quote. ShipBob also has clearly demarcated rates for receiving, storage, and standard packaging.
3.9) EasyShip Shipping Rate Calculator In ECommerce
EasyShip is an eCommerce courier software that provides integrated shipping options to eCommerce businesses all around the world. EasyShip picks up orders from 28 countries of the world including most of Europe, the Americas, and some parts of Asia and Africa.
However, it makes deliveries in over 200 countries. The Easyship shipping calculator works on the actual package weight model. Ecommerce couriers can fill in the source country, the destination country, zipcodes, and weight. It also provides deeply discounted rates when shipping internationally to save money.
3.10) Shoppre Shipping Costs Calculator
Shoppre is a pickup and delivery eCommerce shipping carrier company that ships orders to both domestic and international locations. To get a shipping estimate, Shoppre uses a shipping calculator on their website that first categorizes orders to document or non-document categories.
Then businesses and couriers can enter the destination country, the actual weight of the package, and the dimensions of the package. It offers flat rate services, dimensional weight pricing, and fast shipping with major carriers.
4. How to Calculate Shipping Costs with These Best 10 Shipping Calculators?
Now that you have a fairly good idea as to what a shipping rate calculator does and which fields it includes in calculating shipping rates, it’s time to understand how certain factors can affect ecommerce shipping rates. Get the lowdown below.
4.1) Distance Of The Delivery Address
Shipping rates tend to increase as the delivery address grows further away in distance from the source. Shipping rates are calculated based on shipping zones, where Zone 1 is the nearest delivery or serviceable location, usually located within a radius of 0-50kms from the eCommerce courier company’s warehouse or central hub.
As the order delivery location moves further away, the shipping rates increase. This is partly why international shipping is so costly. However, international shipping does come with its own set of shipping regulations that make it such a high-value service.
4.2) Weight Of The Package (Volumetric Weight)
Calculating shipping rates via the weight of the package is pretty straightforward. All you need to do is find a good shipping rate calculator, weigh your order, fill in the shipping address and check the shipping rates. That’s it. But, keep in mind that the weight of the order consists of the item and the packaging that goes along with it.
If your item weighs 0.5kgs and you use solid packaging like bubble wrap and cardboard to wrap it, the weight and therefore, the entire shipping rate of your order would go up. Calculating shipping rates by weight is a good method but weight discrepancies are common. Be mindful of that and you’re good to go.
4.3) Size Of The Package
Another way a shipping calculator determines shipping fees is by dimensional measurements of a package. Dimensional measurements include the length, breadth, and height of an order. Most top carriers like FedEx, UPS, USPS, BlueDart, etc, take into account both the dimensional measurements and the weight of the order to determine the cost of shipping. Using dimensional measurements can lead to cheaper shipping rates if you are transporting small but heavy packages. Box sizes can also create unexpected issues.
4.4) Mode Of Delivery
The kind of delivery method a customer chooses directly affects the shipping fees. For instance, FedEx, UPS, USPS, and most couriers offer overnight express shipping, next-day shipping, same-day delivery, and various other expedited forms of shipping services.
Naturally, these expedited shipping services will cost more than standard shipping services because of the sheer automation and effort it requires on part of the eCommerce couriers. On the other hand, if an eCommerce courier or business offers hyperlocal delivery, it can do so at cheaper shipping costs because of the logistic costs it saves by sourcing products directly from the local marketplace.
4.5) Customs Duties And Taxes
Most eCommerce couriers that handle international or cross-border orders, also manage customs clearance, brokerage, and other duties on behalf of the eCommerce businesses. Such types of orders are marked Delivery Duty Paid or DDP. Those duties and taxes are included in their rates.
This is one of the reasons why international shipping can become exceptionally expensive. The other type of orders, Delivery Duty Unpaid or DDU, are the ones where all customs duties, taxes, and handling charges are to be paid by the importer at the time of clearance.
4.6) Shipping Insurance
Another factor that can influence shipping rate calculation is having shipping insurance. The cost of insurance is 2%-3% of the total order value. Some eCommerce couriers also allow an increase in the shipping insurance value with extremely high-value products.
Even though insurance may seem like an added cost, it’s advantageous in the long run, in the case of any shipping accident. If you are an eCommerce business trading high-value items, losing even a single item can cost you a fortune. Shipping insurance is a failsafe in case something goes wrong in transit.
4.7) Handling Fees
This is another factor that a shipping rate calculator takes into account to calculate shipping costs. Handling fees are usually charged in the case of shipping large and heavy items like air conditioners, furniture, refrigerators, or machinery parts. Basically, anything that is so bulky that it requires the assistance of two or more people for loading and unloading.
Handling fees may also be charged when orders require specific crates for transportation or during the delivery of dangerous or flammable goods like lithium batteries, etc.
5. Final conclusion
Are you convinced now how important shipping rate calculation is for maintaining the profit margins of e-commerce couriers and businesses? Free shipping is an enviably good option to offer but it’s not always the most viable option. This is why an eCommerce courier must use a shipping rate calculator to find out the cheapest shipping costs for order fulfillment.
Cheap shipping costs do not translate to a bad shipping experience. It only shows the amount of research an eCommerce courier has invested in streamlining its shipping operations. We are certain that with the above list of the best 10 shipping rate calculators, you will always find the best rates on shipping.
6. FAQ's About Shipping Cost/Rate Calculators
6.1) Which Are The Best Shipping Rate Calculators To Calculate Shipping Costs?
Calculating shipping fees is critical to providing clients with a positive delivery experience. 1.) ShipRocket, 2.) Gati, 3.) FedEx, and 4.) ParcelMonkey are your top recommendations for software that provides the finest shipping rate calculators for eCommerce carriers.
Some of the software mentioned above includes a basic shipping rate calculator that can be used to estimate domestic and international shipping charges based on real and dimensional weight. Others specialize in calculating shipping charges based on pin codes and zip codes for delivery and pickup.
6.2) How Are Ecommerce Shipping Costs Calculated By These Best 10 Shipping Calculators?
There are four important elements to consider when you are about to calculate shipping costs.
1. Delivery Distance : As the delivery address becomes further distant from the source, shipping charges tend to increase.
2. Package Dimensions : Weight/Size, as well as the item and packaging, all have a role in calculating the delivery cost.
3. Delivery Mode : Overnight express shipping, next-day shipping, same-day delivery, and so on have a direct impact on shipping charges.
4. Fees : Customs duties and taxes i.e. DDU and DDP orders decide who bears the duties, the importer or the eCommerce enterprise.
6.3) What are the best ways to reduce shipping costs?
Hybrid : Consider hybrid shipping to reduce your cost. Hybrid services pick up packages from your facility and use a courier service to drop them off at the post office closest to the destination. This way, the last leg of your shipping is carried out by the local post office delivery man. Although this will bring down your costs, the delivery itself can be delayed.
Supplement : Factor in all possible additional costs and fees when you propose the shipping cost to your customer. This way, you won’t have to reach into your own pocket to pay the extras.
Some of the common services that can add up quickly are :
1)Package delivery outside delivery area
2)Packages requiring special handling in terms of size or content
3)Return Label surcharge
4)Additional fees for international shipping, warehousing and freight
- Insurance : Consider insuring your package with the best and most economical option possible. Even differences in pennies can soon add up in pounds. Look at third-party agencies to secure your packages.
Prepay : If you operate with limited SKUs and have a fairly decent forecast of shipping quantity and cost, you can use the prepaid services many courier companies offer to bring down your costs.
Go Local : Look at regional carriers. Although their reach is often limited, their services cost much less compared to bigger shipping companies.
Shipper’s Box : Most shipping services have their own packaging boxes designed to optimize cargo hold space. By using their boxes, you can save money as opposed to using your own which might result in additional fees if it exceeds their size regulation.
Shipping Number : By encouraging your suppliers to use your shipping account, you can increase your business’s shipping value and use this power to request your courier company for discounts, or better prices.