How to Set Up ELEX WooCommerce USPS Shipping Plugin with Print Label? (with Video)

This article intends to provide detailed, step-by-step instructions that’ll help you understand, how to set up ELEX WooCommerce USPS Shipping Plugin with Print Label. Refer the product page to know more about other various features of the plugin.

The United States Postal Service (USPS; also known as the Post Office, U.S. Mail, or Postal Service) is an independent agency of the United States federal government responsible for providing postal service in the United States, including its insular areas and associated states. It is one of the few government agencies explicitly authorized by the United States Constitution.

Our WooCommerce USPS Shipping Plugin with Print Label provides easy, seamless integration of WooCommerce with United States Postal Services. In addition to accessing real-time shipping rates, the plugin also provides shipping label generation, shipment tracking, and box packing facilities.

 

Overview

Some of the major highlights of the plugin include:

  • Real-time shipping rates: Based on the shipping destination address, product weights, and dimensions, the plugin fetches real-time rates from USPS.
  • Printing shipping label: You can print shipping labels from order pages in the back-end of your WooCommerce store.
  • Shipment tracking: The tracking number returned from USPS while generating the label will be added to order notes and sent as part of the order completion email. Shipments can be tracked by customers as well as shop owners.
  • Box Packing: You can select the desired box packing method. This will also affect the shipping rates displayed on your cart/checkout page.

All these features (and many more!) are bundled into one solution to serve your WooCommerce-USPS shipping integration needs for your online store.

 

Getting started with WooCommerce USPS Shipping Plugin with Print Label

Read an article to know how to complete the checkout process on ELEX. You can also read how to download, install, activate ELEX plugins.

Once the plugin is installed and activated, you can navigate to plugin settings in two ways:

  • Dashboard > WooCommerce > Shipping >USPS (or)
  • Dashboard > Plugins > Installed Plugins > USPS WooCommerce Shipping > Settings.

Now that we know what the plugin has to offer, and have installed the same, let’s get down to configure the plugin.

General Settings

The general settings are as shown below.

WooCommerce USPS Shipping | General settings

General settings

Real-time Rates: Tick this checkbox to access USPS real-time rates.

Common API Settings

The API Setting fields are as follows.

  • User ID: For accessing USPS APIs, you need to register for a USPS account. After successful registration, you’ll receive User ID that you need to enter in this field. If you are shipping a high volume of packages, you can avail the e-VS facility.  More on e-VS service here.
  • Origin Postcode: Enter the postcode of the sender. This postcode will be used for calculating shipping rates.
  • Debug Mode: If you are not getting proper rates ( lesser or higher than expected), not getting all the available shipping options, or not getting any rates at all, then you can tick the Enable debug mode checkbox to find the error(s). You can also see the warning(s) by our WooCommerce USPS Shipping plugin.
    By enabling debug mode, you can trace issue using log. You can see information about debugging at the top of the cart and checkout page. After enabling debug mode, add a product to cart. Go to cart or checkout page to see the debugging information.
  • Test Mode: You can enable test mode to try out your plugin settings(for checking real-time rates or so), and disable it when you go live for accepting real order transactions.
  • Restrict Media Mail: Select the Shipping class(es) for which you want to include Media Mail Rate. Read more about Media Mail, here.

Click Save Changes once all settings are configured.

Rates & Services

This section contains settings that will determine the services that will be made available to the customers in your WooCommerce store. The settings are as shown below.

WooCommerce USPS Shipping | Rates & Services settings

Rates & Services settings

  • Method Title: Allows you to set a custom title for USPS shipping method. This title will be visible on cart and checkout page under Shipping options.
  • Method Available to: This field allows you to select countries, for which you want to offer USPS shipping method.
    There are two options:

    • All Countries: Choose this option if you want to offer USPS shipping method to all over the world. This option is selected, by default.
    • Specific Countries: Provides option to select desired countries. The USPS shipping method will be available only in selected countries.
  • Show Rates: Allows you to choose when the real-time rates should be displayed for the customer. You can choose to show rates whenever they are available or choose to display only when customers enter their destination postal code on the cart page.
  • Shipping Rates: Allows you to choose the type of shipping rates you want to offer.
    There are two types –

    • Use Click-N-Ship Rates: If this option then shipping rates are same as what you get while printing postage online using Click-N-Ship for specific services. Online rates are discounted prices. Read more about them here.
    • Use OFFLINE Rates: If this option is selected, then shipping rates are normal post office rates.
      Note: Online rates are lesser than offline rates.

Rates API Settings

The following settings determine the rates you offer to your customers.

WooCommerce USPS Shipping | Rates API Settings

Rates API Settings

  • Standard API Services: USPS provides standard services for domestic and international shipments which are listed in USPS Service section. Tick this checkbox to enable standard services provided by USPS API. This option enables non-flat rate services.
  • Rates Preferred: This setting allows you to choose the types of rates of your choice.
    The available options are as shown below:

    • Retail Rate: If this option is selected, then only retail rates are shown to the customer.
    • Commercial Rates: If this option is selected, then commercial rates(rates for bulk shipping) are shown to the customers. In case if the commercial rates are not available for shipping service, then retail rates are shown to customers.
  • Fallback: If USPS API fails to return any rates, the fallback rate will be applied. This allows your customers to checkout the process even when USPS does not return any rates.

Flat Rate settings

Flat rates are not supported for label printing. The settings are as shown below:

WooCommerce USPS Shipping | Flat Rate settings

Flat Rate settings

  • Boxes & envelopes: This field offers the option to use USPS Flat rate service for shipping. It charges a single fixed rate for a service, regardless of any destination within the country.
    The available options are as shown below:

    • Yes – Enable flat rate services: This option enables flat rate services which in turn enable support for USPS flat rate boxes. Flat rates are hardcoded in our WooCommerce USPS plugin. There are no USPS API calls made to get Flat rates.
    • No – Disable flat rate service: This option disables Flat rate service.
    • Enable Priority flat rate services only: Enables only Priority flat rate services.
    • Enable  Express flat rate services only: Enables only Express flat rate service.
  • Express Flat Rate Service: Specify the customized name for Express Flat Rate Service.
  • Priority Flat Rate Service: Specify the customized name for Priority Flat Rate Service.
  • Flat Rate Fee: Enter Flat Rate Fee which is the additional charge on flat shipping rate. If you enter a negative amount value, then that entered amount gets subtracted from flat shipping rate. This amount is per-box excluding tax. For example, amount 2.50, or a percentage value of 5%.
    Tip: Leave this field blank to disable Flat Rate Fee.

USPS Services

Offer Rates: You can choose to offer all returned rates from USPS or offer the cheapest rate only.

Services: USPS provides different types of shipping methods which are suited to different needs of the customer. Our WooCommerce USPS shipping plugin supports the following services –

USPS Domestic service:

  • First-Class Mail® Parcel
  • First-Class™ Postcard Stamped
  • First-Class™ Large Postcards
  • First-Class™ Keys and IDs
  • First-Class™ Package Service
  • First-Class Mail® Metered Letter
  • First-Class™ Package Service Hold For Pickup
  • Priority Mail Express™ Hold for Pickup
  • Priority Mail Express™
  • Priority Mail Express™ Sunday/Holiday
  • Standard Post™
  • Media Mail
  • Library Mail
  • Priority Mail®
  • Priority Mail® Keys and IDs
  • Priority Mail® Hold For Pickup
  • Priority Mail® Regional Rate Box A
  • Priority Mail® Regional Rate Box B

USPS International services:

  • Priority Mail Express International™
  • Priority Mail International®
  • Global Express Guaranteed® (GXG)
  • Global Express Guaranteed® Envelope
  • Global Express Guaranteed® Non-Document Rectangular
  • Global Express Guaranteed® Non-Document Non-Rectangular
  • USPS GXG™ Envelope
  • First Class Package Service™ International Letters
  • First Class Package Service™ International Large Envelope
  • First Class Package International Service™
  • International Postcards

You can enable the desired services. For more details on the services provided by USPS, go to https://www.usps.com/ship/mail-shipping-services.htm.

The USPS services settings are as given below:

WooCommerce USPS Shipping | USPS Services

USPS Services

You can select services as per your requirement. Non-selected services are not shown to the customer even if they are available services from USPS.

The services table is divided into the following four columns:

  1. The first column allows you to set a custom name for the USPS services.
  2. The second column lists all the USPS services. You can tick the checkbox of desired service(s) that you wish to offer to your customers.
  3. The third and fourth column allows you to set price adjustments(positive or negative), in terms of amount value or percentage value.

For example, consider shipping cost of First-Class Mail Parcel returned by USPS is $5.

Case 1:  Price adjustment of $5, for First-Class Mail –

WooCommerce USPS Shipping | Amount Adjustment

Amount Adjustment

Total cost displayed for First-Class Mail is $10 ($5+$5).

Case 2: Price adjustment of 10%, for First-Class Mail –

WooCommerce USPS Shipping | Percentage Adjustment

Percentage Adjustment

Total cost displayed for First-Class Mail is $5.5 (the 10% of 5 is added to 5).

Case 3: Price adjustment of $5 and 10%, for First-Class Mail –

WooCommerce USPS Shipping | Amount & Percentage Adjustment

Amount & Percentage Adjustment

Total cost displayed for First-Class Mail is $10.5  (the 10% of 5 is added to 5 + 5  to get the actual).

Save your settings once they are configured.

Packaging

The packaging settings are as shown below.

WooCommerce USPS Shipping | Packaging settings

Packaging settings

Parcel packing

Our WooCommerce USPS shipping plugin provides four methods for parcel packaging. They are:

  • Pack Items Individually:  In this option, each item in the cart is packed separately. Total shipping cost is calculated by adding shipping cost for each item. This option is selected by default.
    For example, the shipping cost of Item X is $10. If the customer adds two quantities of Item X to the cart, the total shipping cost is $10 x 2, which is $20.
  • Pack into boxes with weight and dimensions: If packing items individually does not suit your business, then you can define custom box sizes under Box Dimensions section. All the cart items are packed into custom boxes defined in Box Dimensions settings. The best fit box is automatically chosen from the defined boxes. This is the recommended option.
    You can read through setting up box dimensions to understand box packing in detail.
WooCommerce USPS Shipping | Based on Weight & Dimension

Pack into boxes with Weight & Dimension

Box Dimensions: This setting is applicable only when Pack into boxes with weight and dimension is selected. Here, you can define the outer and inner dimensions of boxes. Outer dimensions are the dimensions of the package. Inner dimensions are the dimensions of the product.

For heavy packing box, enter the weight of the box so that it is added to product weight, to calculate shipping rates. You can tick the respective Letter checkbox if you want to mail letters. Based on your requirement, you can add or remove box dimensions.

  • Weight-based: In this option, items with maximum 12 inches in length, width, or height are grouped together for packaging. Total weight of these grouped items is passed to USPS API to get the real-time rates. But Items which are larger than 12 inches in length, width, or height are packed individually.
  • Weight-based(improved): Enter the maximum weight limit for packages. In this option, the weight of all the cart item is summed up and items are packed with maximum weight limit in the box(es) and passed to API to get rates. In addition to this, you can specify the process of packing, that is, you can pack heavier items firstpack lighter items first or pack items purely divided by weight. Below is a screenshot showing the order total weight settings.
WooCommerce USPS Shipping | Pack based on Maximum package weight

Pack based on Maximum package weight

Unpacked Item

There is a possibility that an item(s) may remain unpacked because available box(es) cannot accommodate it. It is also possible that item size/shape is not regular so it cannot be clubbed together with other items. To take care of such unpacked items, use one of the options as given below:

  • Get a quote for the unpacked item by itself:  This option gets the shipping rate individually for each unpacked item.
  • Ignore the item – do not quote: This option neglects the unpacked item. But you get the quotes for the packed items.
  • Use the Fallback Price: This option uses the Fallback price which is mentioned in the Rate Option Settings.
  • Abort – do not return any quotes for the standard services: This option does not give any quotes. You do not even get the quotes which are returned according to the customized Box Dimension.

Lastly, click on the Save Changes button.

Label Generation

The Print Label API Setting fields are as shown below:

WooCommerce USPS Shipping | Label Generation settings

Label Generation settings

  • Hold for Manifest: Select either (yes) or (no) for holding the manifest record for possible inclusion in SCAN request. Shipment Confirmation Acceptance Notice (SCAN) Form is a single form containing a master barcode which links all the labels you have printed for the packages that are ready for drop off or pick up service. Once the master barcode is scanned, it will show the package volume to be picked up. Hence, it should match the shipment notice and the number of packages you have to be picked up. But if it doesn’t match the volume, it will still be picked up and shipped. Read how to generate SCAN Forms.
  • Shipping Label: You can choose to enable or disable label generation option by selecting the required option from this drop-down list.
  • Default Service for Print Label: With this field, you can set default Print Label service according to requirement. The available options are as given below:
    • Automatic: In this option, whatever service customer selects is automatically selected from the admin side also. You as the Admin do not need to change the service type as per the customer selection. If Automatic is not selected and you select one of the available services as a default but customer selects some other service than default service, then you must change to the same service manually in admin order page.
      Note: This feature is not available for international shipping.
    • Priority: Delivering 7 days a week, this is the fastest domestic service for time-sensitive letters, documents, or merchandise.
    • First Class: Fast and affordable service for standard-sized, single-piece envelopes and small packages weighing up to 13 oz with delivery in 3 business days or less.
    • Standard Post: Reliable and economical ground service for less-than-urgent deliveries and over-sized packages.
    • Media Mail: Media Mail is a cost-effective way to send educational materials. This service has restrictions on the type of media that can be sent.
    • Library mail: Used by qualifying institutions like libraries, universities, zoos, and research institutions to mail educational and research material.
  • Print Label Size: With this field, you can set the size for Print Labels.
    The available options are as given below:

    • Default: This option generates labels with a size of 8 x 11 inches.
    • Compact: This option generates labels with a size of 4 x 6 inches for international shipping. For domestic shipping, if the shipment is too small, then only the barcode is displayed on labels.  For domestic shipping, labels get generated in bar-code mode only.
      Note: In the bar code mode, the address is not displayed in the label generated by USPS.
  • Print Label Type: With this field, you can set a required file format for printing the labels.
    The available options are as given below:

    • PDF: This option prints the label in Portable Document Format which is used to present document in an independent manner of application, software, hardware, and operating systems.
    • TIF: This option prints the label in Tag Image File Format which is a common format for exchanging raster graphics (bitmap) images between application programs, including those used for scanner images.
  • Sender Details: Enter sender name, company name, address, email address(to trigger email notification while creating shipment) and contact number.

Click Save Changes to save the settings.

Tracking

The Shipment Tracking API Setting fields are as shown below:

WooCommerce USPS Shipping | Shipment Tracking settings

Shipment Tracking settings

  • Shipment Tracking: It provides information to customers about the route of a package and the anticipated date and time of delivery.
    The available options are as given below:

    • Disable for Customer: This option disables tracking information only at customer end. That is, in order page of the customer. The store admin can still utilize this feature.
    • Enable: This option enables USPS shipment tracking for you(store admin) as well as customers. Once the ordering by the customer is complete, it sends an automatic email to the customer with tracking information.
    • Disable: This option disables USPS shipment tracking for you as well as for customers.
  • Mode to Enter Tracking ID: Tracking ID is given to packages when they are shipped. Tracking IDs are useful for knowing the location of time-sensitive deliveries.
    The available options are as given below:

    • Automatic: The tracking ID  is generated while creating labels. This tracking ID is populated the Enter Tracking ID textbox under USPS Shipment tracking on the Order page.
    • Manual: As Admin you must enter shipment tracking ID manually after generating labels. You can get the tracking ID from the particular Order details page in the Admin area (WooCommerce > Orders).
  • Custom Shipment Message: Allows you to set a custom shipment tracking message. Leave the text field empty for default message.

Finally, click on Save Changes to save all the settings.

Demonstration

Let us now move to our WooCommerce cart page to see the applied changes.

The following screenshot shows USPS Domestics rates and services.

WooCommerce USPS Shipping | Domestic Rates and Services

Domestic Shipping Rates and Services

The USPS International rates and services will be displayed as shown in the screenshot below.

WooCommerce USPS Shipping | International Rates and Services

International Rates and Services

USPS Label Generation

Once your customers place an order, move to your WooComemrce admin order page to generate shipping labels.

Following screenshot shows a sample order page.

WooCommerce USPS Shipping | USPS Shipping settings in Order Page

USPS Shipping settings in Order Page

Next, click on Generate Packages. Further settings appear where you can update the previously selected service. Click Create Shipment Label to proceed.

WooCommerce USPS Shipping | Create Shipment Label setting

Create Shipment Label setting

Once the label is generated, you receive the shipment tracking ID as well. Next, click on the Print Label button to print the shipping label.

WooCommerce USPS Shipping | Print Label setting

Print Label setting

Following is a screenshot of a sample Domestic Label.

WooCommerce USPS Shipping | Domestic Shipping Label

USPS Domestic Shipping Label

The USPS Shipment Label instruction and online e-Label Record are as shown below.

WooCommerce USPS Shipping | Online e-Label Record

Online e-Label Record

For international shipments, the label is generated as shown below.

WooCommerce USPS Shipping | International Shipping Label

USPS International Shipping Label

In addition to this, the international shipping document also includes Custom declaration and Dispatch Note. Sample documents are as shown in the below screenshot.

WooCommerce USPS Shipping | Customs Declaration

USPS Customs Declaration

WooCommerce USPS Shipping | Dispatch Note

USPS Dispatch Note

USPS Shipment Tracking

Shipment tracking information is available for Domestic Shipment only. To get the shipment tracking information, customers can go to their My-Account page. Under Order, click required  #OrderNumber, the tracking information appears as shown in the screenshot below.

WooCommerce USPS Shipping | Shipment Tracking ID

USPS Shipment Tracking ID

USPS SCAN Form Generation

The SCAN Form generation settings are placed separately from the plugin settings. You can find these settings under WooCommerce  > USPS SCAN Form section, as shown in the screenshot below.

WooCommerce USPS Shipping | USPS SCAN Form settings

USPS SCAN Form settings

There are three settings in this section:

  1. SCAN Method: A SCAN API request is submitted. There are three ways the SCAN request can be submitted.
    They are –

    • ALL – Include all PICs for the USERID submitted regardless of the SHIPDATE on the held PICs. In other terms, select this option to print SCAN forms for all shipment orders for which you haven’t printed. Please note it will only include the order(s) for which you have generated the labels and the scan form was not printed for that shipment previously.
    • Order ID – Submits the specific PICs of the WooCommerce Order IDs that are entered. You can specify the order IDs separated by commas without any space, for which you want to print the scan form. Make sure the shipments are created for those orders.
    • Date of Label Generation – Include all PICs for the USERID submitted on the request for the specified date. The SCAN form will include all the orders you have created the shipment(s) for the selected date.
  2. Form: Designates desired label option selected by the customer.
    Select one of the valid entries –

    • 3152 – Generates PS Form 3152 and prints only the shipper’s address and the master barcode.
    • 5630 – Generates PS Form 5630 and prints the total number of packages and the services used for shipment. It also has the master barcode and the shipper’s address.
  3. Mail Time: Enter the mail time. This denotes the time of mail to be tendered to Postal Service.
    For example, 02:30 PM should be entered as ‘143000’ in HHMMSS (24 hours) format.

Once you configured your required settings, click on the Generate button. After the form is generated, click on Download link.

Below is a screenshot of a sample 3152 form.

WooCommerce USPS Shipping | Sample USPS SCAN Form 3152

Sample USPS SCAN Form 3152

A sample 5630 form will be as shown in the screenshot below.

WooCommerce USPS Shipping | Sample USPS SCAN Form 5630

Sample USPS SCAN Form 5630

 


To know more about the product, check out ELEX WooCommerce USPS Shipping Plugin with Print Label.

Or check out documentation section for more related articles.

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