When it comes to doing business, there’s no time ⏱️ for anything or anyone that can slow you down — certainly not a shipping carrier. If your products aren’t getting to customers, that’s big trouble. 

Just like your own business, third-party shipping carriers need to conduct routine maintenance or may have issues from time to time. But this can slow down your store’s checkout page. 

You don’t want to win 🏁  a customer only to lose them as they’re about to cross the finish line! So to keep sales and shipping options running smoothly when a carrier goes down, you’ll want to disable any live rates associated with the relevant shipping carriers. Temporarily, you can enable replacement flat rates until the carrier is back online. Here’s how:

  1. Go to Settings > Shipping.
  2. In the Live Rates table, deselect check boxes in the Active column to disable live rates for a particular carrier. For example, if you're seeing inaccuracy or slowness related to USPS rates, deselect USPS methods only. You'll know you've disabled a method when it appears dimmed in the Live Rates table.
  3. Click Save.

Disabling live rate shipping methods for a specific carrier will help eliminate any related slowness at checkout. You can still make these methods available to shoppers, but you'll need to recreate them as flat rate methods and assign your own pricing.

  1. Go to Settings > Shipping.
  2. Click Add Rate next to the Flat Rates heading.
  3. In the Label field, enter the name of one of your disabled live rates.
  4. In the Rate fields, enter the cost you want to charge for this shipping method (Base), and an additional Cost Per Lb if desired.
  5. To avoid undercharging shoppers for this shipping method, you may also wish to apply cost, weight, or location restrictions in the Qualifying Locations and Qualifying Orders sections. 
  6. Select Active to enable the shipping method.
  7. Click Save.

Repeat the above steps for any additional flat rate methods you create as live rate replacements.

Once the third-party shipping carrier is back online, you can go to Settings > Shipping to deselect your replacement flat rates and make them inactive. Be sure to enable your original live rate shipping methods in the Live Rates table, and click Save.

Summary

Navigating unexpected roadblocks is part of the challenge and thrill of running your own business. Switching from live shipping rates to flat rates in a jiff, if a shipping carrier goes offline, should appear seamless to your customers and shouldn’t slow down sales or shipments at all. 🚚 📦 🙌

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