Using our Allow Hazardous Shipping Restrictions setting, you can specify a method to always be used for Hazardous Material Shipping, and then apply that method to a specific product. As a result, when that product is added to the shopping cart, the Hazardous Material Shipping method will be automatically applied.
To set up Hazardous Material shipping follow these steps:
- From the dashboard, navigate to Settings > Shipping. Scroll down to the Advanced Settings section.
- Locate the field labelled "Allow Hazardous Shipping Restrictions" and click the "Enabled" radio buton.
- Click "Save" in the top right of the page.
This will enable the use of Hazardous Material specific rates. Next, we will build our Hazardous Materials Shipping method:
- Locate the section on the Settings > Shipping page labelled "Flat Rates" and click the "Add Rate" button.
- Give your rate a name such as "Hazardous Material Shipping" or something similar. This will alert your customer to the reason for the special shipping rate.
- Make sure to check the "Active" box to make your rate live and visible upon checkout.
You may set a simple rate on your Hazardous Shipping, but be mindful that a flat rate will apply only once, regardless of quantity or weight, unless specifically set up to do so. This means that if multiples of the items covered by the rate are purchased, the rate would apply only once to the entire purchase. For setting up Hazardous Material flat rates, you may want to consider using both a rate and a cost per pound. This will ensure that if multiple items are purchased, the rate can scale to cover the additional cost.
Merchants should also contact their preferred shipper to determine appropriate rates to use for Hazardous Materials. USPS, UPS and FedEx all have specific rules regarding what shipping method must be used for shipping Hazardous Material, and should also be able to provide more specific pricing information.
Set the Qualifying Locations for your rate based on your carriers specific HazMat rules as well. Some carriers will only ship within the United States, while others may also include Canada, Puerto Rico and other locations.
As a final change to our shipping method, we need to designate it specifically for Hazardous Materials.
- Locate the Advanced Settings section of the rate and check the "Allows Hazardous Product" checkbox.
- You can now save the rate using the blue "Save" button at the top right of the page and move on to the product portion of the setup.
So, we have enabled the ability to designate Hazardous Material shipping rates and we have built a specific rate to meet those needs. What is our next step? We need to specify a product that will use the Hazardous Material rate.
- Navigate to Inventory > Products and locate the product(s) that will use your new Hazardous Material shipping rate.
- Click that products code to access it.
- Scroll down and locate the Advanced Info section and navigate to the Shipping tab.
- Scroll down and you should see a checkbox marked "Hazardous Product".
- Check this box and click the blue "Save" button at the top right of the product page.
So, you now have a specific Hazardous Material only shipping rate, and at least one product that the rate should apply to. What would the process of adding that product to the shopping cart look like for your customers?
When a customer chooses to purchase your Hazardous Material designated product, and adds it to the shopping cart, they will be offered your Hazardous Material specific shipping method. Regardless of any other items in the cart, only the Hazardous Material Shipping Method will be used if there is even a single product in the cart that is designated as Hazardous Material.
A single Hazmat shipping rate will apply to ALL products marked for Hazmat. To add specific HazMat rates to individual products, it will be necessarily to use the selections located in the Qualifying Orders section of the Hazmat shipping method. You can set ranges using the Price Range or Weight Range settings to force specific rates to apply to specific products. Be careful with this option, as multiple items in the same cart will change both the Price and Weight totals of the cart, often negating the ability of the specific rate to apply.
Although the "Allows Hazardous Product" setting is available on ALL shipping methods, it is designed specifically for use with flat rates. Using this designation with Live Rates may not work. If you decide to try this option, it is recommended to test it thoroughly to make sure the correct Live Rate will apply.
You should consult with your shipping providers to determine the correct amount to charge for Hazmat shipping. The following links may provide some additional information:
USPS Hazardous Materials Guide
UPS Hazardous Materials Guide
FedEx Hazardous Materials Guide