What could cause this scenario
It might happen at times that no shipping rates are shown to a customer during checkout. There are many reasons why this may occur. It some cases, it could be a configuration problem on your side (e.g. you configured a certain shipping provider to only show a specific shipping option that is not available for delivery to the address that the customer entered). In other cases, a shipping provider’s server may be unavailable to respond to the shopping cart’s request for rates.
The message that is shown to the customer when no shipping rates are found can be edited by modifying a text string in the file includes/languages_ship.asp. See Editing Text in your Storefront for more information.
Here is a list of reasons that may trigger a “No shipping rates returned” scenario, and suggestion as to what you can do to fix the problem (they mainly apply to dynamic shipping rates):
- The product that is being ordered does not have a weight assigned to it. Shipping companies can only provide a rate when they know the weight of the shipment so make sure that all of your products have a proper weight assigned to them.
- The XML Parser on your Web server is no longer accessible (this is how ProductCart communicates with the shipping companies). With newer versions of ProductCart, you can verify this under the Troubleshooting Utility (Help > Troubleshooting Utility). You should always designate XML v3 as the Parser used by ProductCart.
- The Ship From address has not been set up properly. Select Shipping Options/Shipping Settings to enter the address from which orders will be shipped. The ZIP code should be 5 digits only, do not add the extra 4 digits (US stores).
- The shipping module requires a valid address from both the Store and from the Customer to be able to return valid shipping rates. Make sure the Ship From address has been configured properly (see above), and that the customer is entering a valid address.
- For the dynamic shipping calculator to work properly your Web server (hosting your online store) must have the Microsoft's XML Parser 3.0 SP2 or greater installed. Confirm with your hosting company that your Web server has these settings. For more information on how to detect and reset the XML Parser used by ProductCart, see the corresponding Note in the Adding Shipping Options section.
- The order may be exceeding a weight limit. Shipping options are not shown when the weight exceeds the following limits:
- UPS: 150 Lbs for shipments within the US and Canada (70kg elsewhere). The weight limit is 70 Lbs for oversized items. An item is oversized when the length+girth > 108 inches. More about shipping oversized packages with UPS.
- FedEx: 130 Lbs.
- The service(s) you have set up are not available for the delivery address entered by the customer. For example, make sure to select both FedEx Ground and FedEx Home Delivery, since the former is used for rates to commercial addresses, and the latter to obtain rates for residential deliveries.
- The pickup/delivery method that you have selected is not compatible with one or more of the selected services. For example, if you selected UPS Store/UPS Retail Location as the Pickup Type, you will need to change to UPS Customer Counter for UPS Ground Rates to be shown.
- The packaging type that you have selected is not compatible with one or more of the selected services. For example, UPS Packs can only be used for Next Day and Second Day services, not for Ground.
- The Web server that returns rates to the shopping cart is not responding. For example, UPS or FedEx may be performing scheduled maintenance on their servers. If this is true, the downtime is normally very limited, and rates should start showing again soon.
- The shopping cart content (total weight, total quantity, total order amount) does not fall into any of the brackets that you have created when you configured any of your custom shipping options. For example, if you are shipping based on quantity, the quantity level in the customer’s order could exceed the quantity specified in your shipping option configuration. The same might be true for the order’s weight, if you have setup options that are based on the weight, and for the order’s total amount, if you have setup options that are based on that value.
What happens in the storefront
Even if for any of the reasons mentioned above (or any other reason) no shipping rates are returned to the customer, ProductCart will allow customers to continue the checkout process when the Allow customers to complete order if no shipping rates are returned is turned on. For more information on this feature, see the corresponding section under Shipping Settings. The customer is informed that shipping options will be added to the order after it has been received.
The order details page, in the Shipping line, includes a similar message, which can also easily be edited. Once the order has been placed, the store administrator can use the Edit Order feature to add shipping charges and handling fees to the order. Please refer to that section of this document for more information about how to edit orders in the Control Panel.