There’s a lot to love about Puerto Rico: the food, the beaches, salsa dancing.💃 But what you might not love are the discrepancies in determining live rates for shipping to Puerto Rico, depending on what carrier you use. 📦
See, the USPS ships to Puerto Rico using domestic rates. But other carriers (like UPS and FedEx) ship to PR using international rates. This can cause display issues on your store and rate discrepancies that need to be explained to your customers. It’s stressful enough that you might need to take a vacation there! 🌞
To make life (or at least business) easier on yourself, you may consider only offering live shipping rates from USPS for Puerto Rico. Here’s how:
Adding Puerto Rico as a U.S. State
Puerto Rico may be a territory of the U.S., but you still have to add it to your store to get domestic live shipping rates for it. 🇺🇸
- Go to Settings > Shipping
- Under Ship To Location, click Edit Available States/Provinces
- At the top of the States/Provinces page, click Add
- Select  United States from the Country ID menu
- Fill in the State Name with PUERTO RICO (all caps) and the State Code with PR
- Click Save
Applying USPS Shipping Methods
If you’ve selected shipping methods for individual states (under USPS Shipping Methods > Apply This Shipping Method To), then you will need to apply it to PR.
- Go to Settings > Shipping and click the USPS tab under Choose Carrier
- Click the Edit (pencil) icon beside your first active USPS shipping method ✏️️
- Under Apply this Shipping Method To, choose the United States (234) or add Puerto Rico to the Apply To States/Provinces section
- Click Save
You will also need to list Puerto Rico (as a “country”) in the However, Do Not Apply to section of your USPS shipping methods, so that USPS rates will only be calculated for the "state" of Puerto Rico.
Other Shipping Methods
Whether or not you choose to also offer international (non-USPS) shipping methods to the “country” Puerto Rico, you will need to ensure that Puerto Rico is not available for domestic rates with other carriers.
- Select an active, non-USPS carrier under Choose Carrier
- Click the Edit icon
- Expand the However, Do Not Apply To bar
- In the DO NOT Apply to States/Provinces section, find and add United States > Puerto Rico
- Click Save
- Repeat these steps for all active non-USPS shipping methods
Testing USPS Shipping Rates
Practice makes perfect. So be sure to first test out your store to make sure it’s ready to provide USPS live shipping rates for order to Puerto Rico.
- Navigate to the Test Shipping Rates section at the bottom of the Settings > Shipping page
- Fill in the To: fields with test information for Puerto Rico as a state (ex.: Country: "United States," State: "PR," Postal Code: "00901")
- Click Run Test
- Scroll past the debugging code, back to the bottom of the Shipping page, and click Show/Hide Debugging Information
- If you see "Live Rate Returned" for USPS shipping methods, then you’re all set
- If you see "Custom / Backup Rate Returned," repeat the steps above to double-check you configured the settings properly (mistakes happen, which is the point of testing).
Shipping Address Format for Puerto Rico
To complicate shipping to PR a little bit more, you need to use a specific address format. Make sure you follow these regulations to avoid additional costs or delayed shipments when fulfilling orders to Puerto Rico. 📫
All of this shipping complexity can cause some serious headaches. Relax, pour yourself a rum drink with a tiny pink umbrella, and find your happy place. 🍹 We’ll help you get your packages to PR, problem-free.