Top 5 Shipping Automation Rules to Save You Time & Money on Shipping


We know that most e-commerce retailers don’t have the luxury of a “one-size fits all” shipping process. Depending on where your package needs to ship, its weight, the customer-requested shipping speed, etc. you may need to adjust shipping settings or the fulfillment process for your order(s).  These intricacies to online shipping are inevitable, but often tedious and error-prone.

What if I told you ShipStation can automate almost any shipping-related task for your online store? It’s true! We’ve built automation rules—which are basically “If This, Then That” statements—into our app to help you get what you need done, without costing you a ton of grunt work and stressful mistakes.

What Are Automation Rules?

Shipping automation rules are actions that you want to apply to a set of orders that meet a certain criteria. Here are some things you should know about ShipStation’s automation rules:

  • Only apply to newly imported orders
  • Take priority over Product Defaults and Service Mappings
  • Rules are hierarchical in nature and can be written to overwrite each other given certain circumstances (rules can be re-arranged by moving them up or down in the menu)
  • The activity tab on an order shows you which automation rules have applied to each order
  • Automation rules are different from settings, where you can choose settings for Customs Forms, default packing slips and more

Itching to get started? Here are five automation rules you can put to work now to save you time and money on shipping. Each rule begins with navigating to Settings and then Automation Rules in your account. Once there, click Create a Rule, and set them up like you see in the screenshots below.

Use First Class Mail for Shipments Under One Pound

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  • Criteria:
    • Weight =  Is Less Than 16 ounces
    • Country = United States
  • Action:
    • Set Carrier/Service/Package = USPS First Class Mail/Package

Choose a default international shipping settings

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  • Criteria:
    • Country ≠ United States
    • Weight = Over 4 lbs
  • Action:
    • Set Carrier/Service/Package = USPS Priority Mail Int’l/Package
      (This could be whatever you wish to use to ship your packages, we’ve just used Priority Mail here as an example. )

Insure international orders over $100

  • Criteria:
    • Country ≠ United States
    • Order Total ≥ $100
  • Action:
    • Insure the Package with Shipsurance
Use Priority Mail for Certain Weight Range
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  • Criteria:
    • Weight = Over 1 lb
    • Weight = Less Than 5 lbs*
  • Action:
    • Set Carrier/Service/Package = USPS Priority Mail/Package


Shipping can be expensive and time-consuming. Automating the  process for both you and your customers can increase cart conversions and keep costs down. Frequently, you or the customer are going to end up overpaying. However, there are options to make charging for shipping fairer. If you sell on BigCommerce or Shopify, you can expose and adjust live carrier rates for your customers to see in checkout. Because ShipStation offers discounted,  you can choose to pass these discounts on to your customers at checkout. Or, you can adjust the cost to reflect any additional handling fees. Click here to find out more.

These five rules can start saving you time and money today. They’re basic examples of the kinds of things you could set up for your orders. ShipStation’s automated shipping software is extremely useful to making the shipping process run smoothly. Automation can be used for all sorts of occasions such as for the holiday season. You can get more detailed information on automation rules and more on our knowledge base.

Get organized and efficient with ShipStation the best online shipping platform for your ecommerce business.