Setting up FedEx for Shipping Quotes

This guide explains how to set up a FedEx developer account and integrate it into your BigCommerce store in order to serve your shoppers shipping quotes for FedEx services. See Resources for Shipping with FedEx for more information about service limits, rate calculation, and troubleshooting common issues and errors.

Getting your FedEx Account Details

If you haven't already, sign up for a FedEx account by going here.

1. Go to the FedEx Developer Resource Center's Solution Finder and click on FedEx Web Services (located under Home on the left-hand side).

The FedEx Web Services link.

2. Click the Move to Production link.

Move to Production button under the Web Services section of the FedEx Solution Finder

3. Click on the Get Production Key that appears under the production menu.

Get Production Key button under the production menu of the FedEx Solution Finder

4. On the following page, you will see a license agreement. Check the boxes indicating that you have read and agree to the terms of service, then click I Accept.

Check that you have read and agree to the terms and conditions in the license agreement, and acknowledge that you will not distribute software with the same functionality.

5. Fill out the application profile on the following screen. Choose:

  • Do you intend to resell your software: No
  • FedEx web services you intend to use: Check FedEx Web Services for Shipping
  • Are you a corporate developer or a consultant: Choose Corporate Developer

Click Continue when you are done.

The Application Profile screen.

6. You will be brought to another license agreement. Read the terms and conditions and click I accept when you are finished.

Accept the terms and conditions outlined in the license agreement

7. Now you will need to fill out your contact information. Please note that you cannot have any special characters within the address fields. Watch out for ".", "#", or other non-number or non-letter characters as it may cause a failure. Click Continue when you are done.

Your Account Number can be found by logging into your FedEx account and going to My ProfileAccount Management.

Fill out the contact information form, avoiding the use of any special characters. Click continue when done.

8. If you wish to update your developer account with the information, check the box on the next screen, and click the Continue button.

If you wish to update your developer account with the information you have just provided, check the box.

9. You will now see your Access confirmation. This information, which includes the Authentication Key, will not be accessible later unless you contact FedEx support; we recommend that you print this page for your records.

The FedEx Web Services access confirmation screen.

10. In the email associated with your FedEx account, you should now have received an email from FedEx.com Online Services with the subject line, "Your developer Production Key Registration is complete". It contains your Production Password, FedEx Account Number, and Production Meter Number. Use this production password as your password in the following step, not the one you created to access the FedEx account.

Adding the FedEx Shipping Method in BigCommerce

After following the steps above, you should have the following data:

  • Authentication Key (from Step 9 above)
  • Production Password (from FedEx.com Online Services email)
  • FedEx Account Number (from FedEx.com Online Services email)
  • Production Meter Number (from Step 9 above or FedEx.com Online Services email)

1. Log in to your store's control panel in BigCommerce.

2. Go to Store SetupShipping.

In some versions of the control panel, this is located under Setup & ToolsSet up your storeShipping.

3. Click Configure or Edit beside the zone for which you wish to setup FedEx.

Configure highlighted next to a shipping zone in Shipping Manager

4. Turn on the toggle switch beside FedEx.

Fedex enabled in shipping zone details

5. In the Settings tab, you can adjust your Display name, which your shoppers see when selecting the delivery method at checkout and when estimating shipping and tax on the cart page. Configure your settings for Drop-off Type, Packaging Type, Packing Method, Rate Type, Include Package Value and Destination Type. For Delivery Services, check the box next to the services you want to provide quotes for.

If no package value is declared, by default, FedEx is only liable up to $100 for each package in a shipment.

6. Under the Connection tab, enter your Key, Password, Account Number and Meter Number provided by FedEx.

7. Save your changes. You can test your settings are working by editing the FedEx shipping method and going to the Get Quote tab. You should also do some front-end testing so you can see what the quoting process looks like to your shoppers.

Resources

FedEx Support

FedEx’s dedicated support site has answers, information, and resources to assist you will all your shipping needs. There you can find service details and contact information.

FedEx Weight, Length and Girth Limits

ServiceWeight LimitDimensions Limit
FedEx Express US150 lbs119" length; up to 165" length + girth combined
FedEx Express International150 lbs108" length; up to 130" length + girth combined
FedEx Ground*150 lbs108" length; up to 165" length + girth combined
FedEx Home Delivery**70 lbs108" length; up to 165" length + girth combined
FedEx Express FreightIndividual skids of 150 lbs or moreSkids exceeding 2,200 lbs or 70" height, 119" length, or 80" width require prior approval

FedEx also includes good information on their website regarding general packing and shipping best practices and recommendations.

Service Specifics and Rate Calculation

FedEx details delivery times and service availability areas for all services in their FedEx 2016 Service Guide (PDF). FedEx Ground is for commercial shipments, while FedEx Home Delivery is for residential shipments. Home-based businesses do not qualify as a commercial address.

FedEx also provides a Rate and Transit Time Calculator. Using this in conjunction with the Service Guide can prove useful when trying to which FedEx services make the most sense for you, your products, and your customers. This tool can also help identify any additional handling fees or surcharges that are being returned with your quotes, which are not expressly lined out to customers on the storefront, or you in the control panel.

  • weight
  • length
  • girth (2 x width) + (2 x height)
  • dimensional weight
  • distance traveled (fuel surcharge)
  • declared value (the combined retail value of all the items inside a package)
  • the origin zip code
  • destination type (residential or commercial address)
  • destination zip code (Delivery area surcharge)
  • packaging type (yours or FedEx-supplied)
  • service type (e.g. Ground, Express, Home Delivery)
  • negotiated pricing for your specific FedEx account
  • any additional handling fees or surcharges for shipments exceeding FedEx's limits (see Fees and Other Shipping Information in FedEx's Service Guide)

FedEx Real Time Quotes Common Issues and Errors

Common Issues

Symptom: Returned quotes on the storefront are higher than what is displayed on FedEx's Rates and Transit Times Calculator.

Possible causes:

  • The package calculated by BigCommerce is heavier or larger than the dimensions you've entered into FedEx's Rates and Transit Times Calculator for comparison.
  • One or more of the packages dimensions is exceeding FedEx's limits and has additional handling fees or surcharges included in the returned quote. These charges are lined out on FedEx's calculator but are not explicit when returning a quote on the BigCommerce's storefront or control panel. (See Fees and Other Shipping Information in FedEx's Service Guide)
  • Declared value wasn't inputted/considered when calculating the shipment on UPS's Time and Cost Calculator.
  • Declared value isn't enabled in your FedEx control panel settings.
    • Some merchants who sell small yet expensive products, like jewelry, prefer to use cost instead of price for package value. Disabling Include Package Value may result in more accurate quotes in this case.
    • Some Canadian merchants prefer to use USD as their default currency. Shipping from Canada to Canada will cause an error and prevent the quote from being generated. Disabling Package Value can solve for this.
  • The Packing Method in your FedEx settings is set to "Each item in its own package".

Symptom: Certain services completely fail to return a quote.

Possible causes:

  • The package may exceed FedEx's maximum serviceable length for that particular service. Minor overages will trigger additional handling fees and surcharges as mentioned above, but extreme overages may render the package completely incompatible, thus failing to return a quote at all.
  • The destination address or country may fall outside of that particular service's specific service area.
  • The origin zip code may be wrong or incomplete. Where possible, use the full nine-digit zip code for your origin address ("shipping from" address) in the Shipping Manager.
Errors

Common causes for errors include:

  • Incorrect credentials
  • No service selected or a setting not selected
  • Using FedEx Ground instead of Ground Home Delivery
  • Trying to send to an unserved country

For a complete list of FedEx errors, see FedEx's Appendix O: Error Codes.

Troubleshooting

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