How Does Shipping Work On Shopify? A Simple Guide

If you want to sell products online, then you need to have a way to get them to your customers. Shipping is an integral part of e-commerce, and selling with Shopify is no different. 

There’s a lot involved with shipping, including product packaging, branding, and more. 

If you’re still new to the platform, you might not have a solid shipping plan in place. You’ll need to choose:

  • A carrier
  • A delivery method
  • Shipping services
  • More

You’ll need to strike the right balance between what you can provide and what your customers want. That’s why we’re here to teach you everything that you need to know about shipping through Shopify. 

Quick shipping times will do a lot for your online store. Even if you sell the same products as competitors, you’ll get more business if you can ship faster. 

Shopify works with a wide variety of carriers and mail classes to give you as many options as possible.

In this post, we’ll go over Shopify’s shipping options, carriers, and more. You’ll also learn about essential apps that can enhance your shipping experience. If you’re wondering, “How does shipping work on Shopify?” Then you’re in the right place. Read on to find out how you can optimize your shipping strategy through the platform. 

Shopify’s Logistics Program

Shopify Shipping is the name of the platform’s logistics service. It makes it effortless to fulfill orders and solve common shipping issues. Shopify allows you to:

  • Buy shipping labels
  • Print multiple labels at once
  • Select from multiple carriers
  • Choose from different mail classes

Thanks to these services, you have everything that you need to ship products in one place. The differing mail carriers and classes also accommodate varying budget levels. 

Shopify works with the following carriers in the United States:

  • USPS
  • UPS
  • DHL

Each carrier will have multiple mail classes. Shopify also uses Canada Post in Canada and Sendle in Australia. 

Shopify Shipping has a ton of handy features you can use to make shipping a breeze. Merchants can:

  • Schedule overnight delivery and package pickups
  • Sign up for shipping insurance
  • Get detailed tracking information 
  • Ship internationally
  • More 

With these flexible options, you can quickly ship anywhere with Shopify. The added benefit of being able to sign up for shipping insurance is a huge plus. 

That way, you won’t be held accountable for any issues that occur during shipping. 

You can also access tracking information to stay on top of all your orders. The tracking data will also help you improve your delivery times. 

Another perk of the platform is that they have negotiated special competitive rates. These are prices that you won’t find anywhere else. You gain access to these special rates at no extra cost to you. 

Not only is shipping through Shopify convenient, but it’s also very cost-effective. 

Selecting a Shipping Carrier and Service 

It would be best if you were strategic about which carrier that you choose for your orders. Your shipping carrier is the company that will physically deliver your packages. They’re companies such as UPS that have fleets of trucks, warehouses, and drivers. 

You’ll find multiple e-commerce shipping services offered at each carrier. That’s handy for you, as you’ll have different options for your unique needs and budget. Here’s an example:

  • One mail class offers a five-business-day delivery for an affordable rate. 
  • A more expensive mail class offers delivery within two days or less. 

As you can see, you have a few options to select from for your shipping. If you can spare the money, a quicker delivery will always make customers happier. If you can’t spare it, going for the standard delivery times will save you some money. 

That’s how you can be strategic with selecting your carrier and mail class. Always consider not only your budget but the needs of your customers as well when making a selection. 

Here are a few questions you should ask yourself when selecting a shipping carrier on Shopify:

  • Where are you shipping the products to in the country?
  • Where are you in relation to the customer’s location?
  • What type of products are you shipping to them?
  • What type of packaging do you intend to use?
  • What’s the total weight of your package?
  • Are you going to offer free shipping or flat-rate shipping?
  • Do your customers demand quick shipping times? Will you lose out on business if your shipping is too slow?

These are all essential questions to ask yourself before shipping your products. They will help you form an air-tight strategy that works with your budget and your customers’ needs. 

It would be best always to strive to achieve the quickest shipping times while being realistic about your budget. Lightning-fast shipping times are great, but they aren’t worth bankrupting your business over. 

Remember, you don’t have to go with only one shipping carrier. If your business calls for multiple carriers, then don’t be shy about using more than one. 

Let’s say that you don’t want to use USPS, UPS, or DHL in the United States. Instead, you want to use FedEx to ship products to your customers. That’s no problem for Shopify, as you can use any carrier available today. 

The main benefits of using Shopify’s carriers are the rates and shipping labels. 

Shopify won’t have a discount rate for FedEx, and you won’t be able to buy and print labels through the platform. Despite that, you’ll still be able to use FedEx if you desire. If you have your own negotiated rate, then using FedEx or another carrier, for that matter, can benefit you. 

Shopify Shipping Carriers in the United States 

Okay, on to the next part in answering the question of, “How does shipping work on Shopify?” Here, we’ll break down the pros and cons of each shipping carrier within the United States. That way, you can determine which carrier will work best for the needs of your store and customers. This guide will help you streamline your search for a shipping carrier. First, we’ll take a look at the United States Postal Service. 

Shipping with the United States Postal Service

For orders within the US, the USPS is the most affordable and economical way to ship products. Shipping lightweight orders without much urgency are ideal for the postal service. You’ll want to limit the products you ship to items that can fit in mailboxes or parcel lockers. 

You don’t want to ship heavy products through the USPS, as they won’t fit. 

If you have products that your customers need in a few days, the USPS isn’t the best option. 

Yet, if you have lightweight items that your customer can wait a few days for, the USPS is ideal. Thousands of Shopify stores ship through the mail every day, and they find great success through it. Everyday items that you can send through the mail include:

  • Print items like business cards, posters, and flyers
  • Cosmetics
  • Contact lenses and glasses
  • Video games
  • Handmade jewelry

Smaller items such as these are best for the USPS. The post office will grant you tracking information for most mail classes. That will allow you to update your customers on the status of their package. Being able to provide your customers with updates will do a lot for your user experience. 

Do you have an international order to fill through your store? Then you can still use the USPS. They offer domestic and international shipping, which is a plus if you score orders outside the US. 

Benefits of shipping through the USPS include:

  • Economical and affordable
  • Six mail classes to use
  • Perfect for lightweight items under 70lbs
  • Domestic and international shipping
  • Detailed tracking information for most mail classes

You’ll be able to choose from six mailing classes, so let’s take a look at the domestic options. 

First-Class Package Service

The average delivery time is 2-5 business days. This class is the most cost-effective way to ship small products.

Priority Mail 

If you need fast domestic delivery, this is the class to use. Your customers will receive their packages within 1-3 business days. 

First-Class Mail 

That is the ideal class for print items. If you’re shipping business cards, postcards, and stickers, use First-Class Mail. The delivery time is 2-3 business days. 

Priority Mail Express 

That is the fastest domestic delivery option, with a guaranteed delivery time of 1-2 business days. Of course, it’s also the most expensive. 

Parcel Select Ground 

If you have some hefty packages to deliver, then this is the class for you. The delivery time is 2-8 business days depending on the weight of the box. 

Media Mail

As the name implies, this class is for shipping media. You can send items like video games, CDs, books, and more. The delivery time is 2 business days. 

United Parcel Service and DHS Express

CHICAGO – JUNE 27: UPS driver delivers packages on June 27, 2013 in Chicago. UPS is one of largest package delivery companies worldwide with 397,100 employees and USD 54.1 billion revenue (2012).

Okay, so your other two options are UPS and DHS Express. UPS is ideal for shipping time-sensitive packages. They have guaranteed delivery, insurance coverage, tracking information, and more. You can also ship domestically and internationally. 

You can ship heavier items through UPS without any issues. Since they deliver packages to your customers’ door, you won’t have to worry about fitting into a mailbox. 

UPS’s mailing classes include:

  • UPS Ground. With a 1-5 business day delivery, this is the most affordable option. 
  • UPS 3-Day Select. A 3 business day delivery for orders that need quick shipping. 
  • UPS 2nd Day Air. A quick 2 day delivery for shipments that need to arrive as soon as possible. 
  • UPS Next Day Air Saver. Your order will arrive the very next day. 

For DHS, you should only ship premium orders. You can send both lightweight and heavy items. International shipping is also available, so no worries there. 

DHS Express Worldwide is its only mail class. Yet, it’s still able to offer very flexible options for its users. The maximum weight for your order is 150lbs. Beyond that, you get quick delivery times, detailed tracking information, and much more. 

So that’s an overview of all the shipping carriers you can use on Shopify within the United States. As you can see, there are viable options for every type of shipping. You can ship lightweight items through the USPS and heavier items through UPS and DHS Express. 


Now that you know all about Shopify Shipping let’s look at an app that will enhance your experience. Shippo is an app you can find in Shopify’s App Store. It will build upon and enhance Shopify Shipping’s features. Let’s take a look at what the app can do for you. 

  • Amazing shipping rates. Shippo will compound upon the already discounted rates from Shopify. You’ll enjoy 90% off USPS, 55% off UPS, and 75% off DHL Express. These rates will translate into some serious savings for your store. 
  • Bulk printing shipping labels. You can print up to 100 labels at once using Shippo. Not only that, but your orders will also sync automatically with Shopify. 
  • Superior shipping tools. Shippo provides you with automation tools, transparent tracking, and professional support. 

Combining Shippo with Shopify Shipping is what we recommend you should do. It will help you maximize your savings, improve efficiency, and automate workflows. Shippo will help you save both time and money, so it’s well worth the download. To get access to this great service, visit Shippo at this link.

Shopify’s 14-Day Free Trial

Do you not have a Shopify storefront yet? Then you need to take advantage of their 14-day free trial. With it, you can design a fully functional online store. You’ll be able to enjoy the complete fleet of features from Shopify without paying a dime. 

You don’t even have to enter any payment information until the trial has finished. Simply go to Shopify’s website and hit one of the ‘Free 14-day trial buttons’ to get started. To get your free trial of Shopify follow this link.

How Does Shipping Work On Shopify? ( quick video )

Final Thoughts

Now we’ve answered the question, “How does shipping work on Shopify?” By using a combination of Shopify Shipping and Shippo, you can create a shipping experience that’s:

  • Lightning-fast for your customers
  • Affordable for you
  • Easy to manage and maintain
  • Perfectly suited to your budget level 

Remember, you don’t need to limit yourself to only one carrier. For each product that you sell, ask yourself which carrier would be best for it. For your lighter items, you can save money by using the USPS. For bulkier items, it’s best to use DHS Express or UPS. We wish you luck in your future shipping endeavors and hope you can use this guide to find success.To see a guide on how to create a shipping label follow this link here.

If you want to see a list of our top recommended Shopify apps visit this link here.

Davon Wilson

I'm a certified Shopify expert, you can usually find me on my computer coding, or thinking about business ideas. I'm an avid Ravens fan and an overall nice guy.

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