Shipmate for Merchants
The Shipmate Web Portal for Merchants allows you to quickly and easily set up your Shipmate account to start sending Shipments.
You can configure your Carriers, Delivery Services and Routing Rules using our simple interface as well as start sending Shipments via the new Parcel form or by importing a CSV of orders from your Order Management Software.
Within Shipmate you can track the status of all of your Shipments with our unified tracking events as well as receive proactive notifications when there is a problem with a delivery.
This help guide explains how to configure your account and start sending Shipments with Shipmate.
Shipments may be created directly from the Shipmate web portal. This is ideal for processing ad-hoc deliveries, or in situations where volume is low and a direct link to another system is not required.
Using the Shipment form, you are able to send multi-parcel Shipments to both domestic and international destinations, with all the details necessary to ensure a successful delivery.
To create a new Shipment, click the ‘New’ menu from the top bar, then select Shipment. You can also click the New Shipment button on the Shipments list page, or press the N key while on the Shipments list page.
The Shipment form is split into three key sections:
- Collection & Recipient Details
- Parcel Contents
Collection & Recipient Details
In this section you can supply details about how you are despatching this Shipment, together with all recipient details needed to ensure a successful delivery.
If you have multiple Locations set up on your account, choose the Location you are sending this Shipment from. Your account's default Location will be selected automatically.
Next, choose your Despatch Date. This will be pre-selected to today's date.
You can then add your recipient's name, address and contact details. If you have Contacts saved in your Contacts Directory, you can simply start typing their name and they will be suggested in a drop-down menu to populate the rest of this section.
Otherwise, for UK addresses you can start typing the address, or enter the post code into the Address Line 1 input box, and Shipmate will carry out a lookup to help speed up your data entry. If you prefer to enter the address manually, or you are sending to a non-UK address, simply type out the address into the given input boxes.
Below the address entry area, you can provide additional contact information including a company name, telephone number and email address. When provided, these will be passed on to the carrier to assist with the delivery or, where available and activated, facilitate recipient notifications via email, SMS or app.
Finally you are able to provide an Order Reference and Delivery Instructions. The Order Reference can make finding this Shipment easier later on, and also acts as a useful reference for your recipient. The Delivery Instructions will inform the delivery driver how to complete the delivery successfully, or what to do if the recipient isn't available at the time of delivery.
In this section you define the number and size of Parcels you are sending in your Shipment. If you have configured Packaging Types on your account, the initial Parcel will be set to your default Packaging Type, but you are able to change the Packaging, or override the dimensions and weight if your parcel is a different size or weight.
You can add as many Parcels as you require for your Shipment, either by adding a new Parcel, which will apply your default Packaging Type each time, or by using the Duplicate Parcel button, which will copy over details from the last Parcel in the list you have created so far.
Parcels - Adding SKUs
You can add SKUs to your parcels by using the SKU search facility, or scan in products using their barcode.
The parcel's weight and value will be automatically updated when you select the SKU. You can adjust SKU quantity, split items and drag them between parcels.
If you are shipping to an international destination, all corresponding SKU customs data will be automatically applied to the shipment and passed on to the carrier.
Parcels - Adding Unlisted Items
If you wish to add an item that is not in your SKU Inventory, you can add an Unlisted Item.
Click the Add unlisted item link next to the SKU search box. A pop-up will appear allowing you to enter the details manually.
If you are shipping to an international destination, you will need to supply an HS Code and Country of Origin.
Once the unlisted item has been added to a parcel, it behaves in the same way other items do - you can amend the quantity, split it and move it between parcels.
Selecting a Carrier & Service
As you supply details about your Shipment, Shipmate will automatically check through your active Routing Rules and Delivery Service Conditions and select the best Carrier and Delivery Service for your Shipment, with the cheapest matching service highlighted as being the Recommended Service for this Shipment.
The most suitable delivery service will be shown on the right-hand side of the screen, alongside a quote for using the service, based on costs applied in Settings.
If you wish to change the service, simply click the Delivery Service drop-down menu.
All Delivery Services matching the criteria of your Shipment will be available to choose from by selecting the Carrier and Service drop-down menus.
Simply choose the service you wish to use, then click Generate Labels.
If you have the Desktop Printer App running, there will also be a Generate and Print Labels option. This will automatically print the labels upon creation.
To generate the labels, simply click the Generate Labels button and you will be taken to a screen where you can see an overview of the newly created Shipment's details.
If you have the Desktop Printer App running, there will also be a Generate and Print Labels option. This will automatically print the labels upon creation.
Importing Order Files
You can upload an order file from almost any platform to import your parcels into Shipmate. Simply download a file extract from your order processing system, choosing options that include a header row and output as a comma separated text, or CSV file.
To access the upload area, click the ‘Import’ button from the New drop-down menu in the top right of the screen then simply upload your file by dragging it to the drop-zone area or by clicking the ‘Choose File’ button to find the file on your computer.
Your file will be checked to ensure it can be processed, then you can select the file type from a list of file mapping presets you have previously configured, or set up a new mapping.
Selecting a mapping preset gives you a preview of the first few rows so you are able to make sure the correct format has been selected, ready for processing. Click Import & Continue to import the file.
Once your file has been processed, you can confirm the Carrier and Delivery Service for each parcel, then click the Generate Labels button to process your import.
Create New CSV Mapping
To create a new CSV mapping, first select the Import option from the New drop-down menu in the top right of the screen.
Then upload your file by dragging it to the drop-zone area or by clicking the Choose File button to find the file on your computer.
Once your file has been checked for compatibility, select the Create New Mapping option, then click Import & Continue.
You will then be able to match columns from your CSV file to data required inside the Shipmate platform.
Make sure each of the fields marked with a blue asterisk (*) are matched to a column from your file. For any measurement values, double-check the units that your import will be in match your selection so Shipmate knows how to handle them.
Finally, give the mapping a name so you can easily select this type of file next time you use it. A good example might be “eBay Order File” or “Amazon Orders”.
Choose CSV Mapping Icon
To help make selecting the correct CSV mapping easier, you can choose from a selection of CSV icons, showing different colours alongside commonly used sources of CSV files, including eBay and Amazon.
To update an Order File Mapping icon, click Settings then choose the Order File Mappings option.
A list of all the available Order File Mappings will be shown - click the ⋮ adjustment menu button and select the Edit option.
Choose from the selection of available icons, then click the Save option.
Set Account Default Mapping
If your organisation imports CSV files primarily from the same source, it is possible to reduce the number of clicks required to import files by setting a Default CSV Mapping.
To choose your organisation's default CSV mapping, click Settings then choose the Order File Mappings option.
A list of all the available Order File Mappings will be shown - simply check the Default tickbox for the mapping you wish to make default.
This change will apply to all users on your account. This can be overridden at user level by Setting a User Default Mapping.
Set User Default Mapping
If you import CSV files primarily from the same source, it is possible to reduce the number of clicks required to import files by setting a Default CSV Mapping for your user account.
To choose your personal default CSV mapping, click My Profile from the profile menu in the top-right of the screen, then select a Default Order Mapping from the drop-down menu then click Save.
This will override any organisation account-level default, so is ideal for scenarios where different despatch stations are used to process orders from different sources, too.
Windows Directory CSV Polling
Using the Shipmate Windows companion application it is possible to continually poll a directory on a local computer or network drive for CSV files for processing.
Searching for Shipments
To quickly find an individual Shipment, you can use Quick Search in the top menu. Simply start typing a key detail of the Shipment, such as the post code, name, order number or tracking number and a short list of matching Shipments will be shown.
If the Shipment you are looking for is displayed, simply click on it or use your keyboard's up and down arrow keys to highlight it, then press Enter on the keyboard.
If you are looking for another Shipment, click the View all link, which will also show the total number of matching Shipments.
The Shipments List is where you can see all Shipments that have already been generated on the Shipmate platform.
This is ideal for tracking the progress of your Shipments, while providing insightful Management Information and all the details necessary to provide proactive customer service.
To access the Shipments List, click the Shipments button in the main menu on the left-hand side of the screen. This will show all your recent Shipments, with the newest shown at the top of the screen.
Using the Filters Bar along the top of the Shipments List, you can narrow down your Shipments based on a wide range of criteria, including:
- Name or address using the free text filter
- Despatch Date range
- Tracking Status
- Despatch Location
- Favourite Shipments
- Service Performance
- Custom Attributes
You can add multiple filters, each one narrowing down your search further. This is ideal for searching for all Shipments in a given date range for a particular carrier, for instance.
You can quickly access commonly used filters and table options with just one click using Saved Views. These appear just above the Shipments table and help you quickly access data you need as part of your daily routine.
You can save any combination of filters and pagination options – once you have the view how you like it, click the Save View button and give it a name. There are a few examples in your account to get you started.
You can re-order, rename and remove your Saved Views using the Edit button. You can even give each of your Saved Views a different colour from one of twelve ready-made themes, making identifying your views even easier.
You can choose which Saved View you want to load by default when viewing Shipments, using Pinned Views. When your favourite Saved View is selected, click the Pin icon. This will pin your chosen view and load it automatically from now on.
To edit a Shipment, you can use the menu button on the right side of the row of the Shipment in the Shipments List and select Edit Shipment.
Alernatively, navigate to the individual Shipment, then select Edit Shipment from the Actions drop-down menu.
The Shipment details will be shown in the Shipment Form, regardless of how the Shipment was originally created, allowing you to correct any mistakes or make any amendments, then go through the process of choosing a Carrier and Delivery Service, before re-generating the label(s).
This will create a new Shipment with the edited details, and cancel the previous Shipment. You should therefore print the new label(s) and ensure these are applied to the parcels, covering up any original labels if previously applied.
Note also this will not update the original system with the new tracking details - you may need to communicate this directly with your customer, or update the system manually.
To cancel a Shipment, you can use multi-select on the Shipments List section as described above and select Cancel Shipment.
Alernatively, navigate to the individual Shipment, then select Cancel Shipment from the Actions drop-down menu.
If you wish to copy all the details from a previous Shipment as a starting point for a new one, you can use the Replicate Shipment feature.
This clones all details from the original Shipment, apart from the Despatch Date and Order Reference.
Make any changes you wish to make, as you would using the New Shipment or Edit Shipment process, then generate your label(s).
This time saving feature is ideal when sending regularly to the same recipients, such as in subscription or B2B scenarios.
Shipmate regularly polls carriers integrated with your account for tracking updates of your Shipments in transit.
The Shipments will automatically update their status so you can easily keep track of your parcels as they make their way to the customer.
Shipmate Tracking Stages
Shipmate shows six different tracking stages in the Shipment Details screen. You can access this by clicking on the menu to the right of the Shipment from the Shipments List and selecting View Shipment, or clicking the Reference number.
The tracking status section shows the six different tracking statuses:
- Label Created
- In Transit
- Out For Delivery
- Delivered (or Delivery Failed)
On the Shipment Details screen, you can see a full narrative of the tracking status, including whether the Shipment is running late, when we last received a tracking update, and when the Shipment is expected to be delivered by.
The tracking bar on the Shipments list, and the tracking wheel on the Shipment Details screen will change colour according to the state of the Shipment:
- Blue - this Shipment is happily transiting, on time
- Yellow - this Shipment is in transit, but running late
- Green - this Shipment has been delivered
- Red - there is a problem with this Shipment
Viewing Detailed Tracking Events
Detailed tracking events are available to view by clicking on each individual Parcel within a Shipment.
This opens a panel showing all of the tracking events we have received from the carrier, against each of the six tracking status steps. Each has the full narrative and a time stamp.
If you send to regular recipients, the Contacts Directory can save you time by storing delivery details, including the delivery address, contact details and even delivery instructions such as a safe place to leave parcels if the recipient is not available at the time of delivery.
Sending Shipments to your Contacts can then be as simple as searching the first few letters of their name or a reference number then clicking the Send Shipment button - ideal for B2B and subscription scenarios.
To access the Contacts Directory, click the Contacts icon from the main menu.
The Contacts Directory shows a list of your contacts, ordered alphabetically by first name. You can use the on-screen filter to search your contacts, then simply click on their name to view them and send a Shipment.
Adding a Contact
To add a new Contact, from the Contacts list, click the New Contact button, or press the N key on your keyboard.
This will load the New Contact form, where you can enter your recipient's details. There's a UK postcode and address lookup on the Address Line 1 input box, and you can enter additional contact details such as their email address, telephone number and even delivery instructions that will be given for each shipment you send.
You can also add statutory details including the company's registered number, VAT number and EORI number, together with your own reference number - perhaps a customer account number, to assist search and provide details to carriers where necessary.
Once you are happy with the details you have entered, click the Save button. Shipmate will attempt to look up a profile picture online using the email address you supplied - if one is found this will be automatically assigned to the contact, however feel free to change this or add your own from the individual Contact screen by clicking the profile image.
If you have a large number of Contacts to add to Shipmate, we offer a time-saving Import feature. This allows you to create a CSV file of all the Contacts you wish to add, then import them in one batch rather than having to key in the details of each Contact.
This is ideal if you already have your Contacts in another system and can export them, reformat them to the structure Shipmate requires using a spreadsheet application such as MS Excel, then import them into Shipmate.
Shipmate has a fixed CSV format for importing Contacts - a template can be downloaded from the Import Contacts screen, which can either be blank, or contain all existing Contacts in case you wish to update them.
To import Contacts, click the Import Contacts button on the Contacts page, or press the I key on your keyboard, then either drag and drop a CSV file onto the upload area, or click to find the CSV file on your computer.
Shipmate will then screen the file to make sure it is in the correct format, then allow you to process the import.
The Contacts will then be imported and a list shown of all the newly added Contacts. They are then available immediately for use across the platform.
There are three ways you can access your Contacts:
- Contacts Directory
- Quick Search
- New Shipment Form
In addition to using the Contacts Directory as outlined in this section, it is also possible to search for Contacts using Quick Search, or when creating new Shipments.
Using Quick Search, simply click into the Quick Search box then start typing the Contact's name. Recent Shipments will be displayed first, then matching Contacts. Either click the Contact, or use the arrow up and down keys on your keyboard to navigate to the Contact you wish to view or send a Shipment to, then press enter.
You can also search for Contacts when creating New Shipments. In the Recipient Name input box, start typing the Contact's name and matching results will start to show. Simply click the Contact's name to populate all details into the New Shipment form.
The SKU Inventory allows you to keep an accurate record of the products you sell, from a shipping perspective. This is particularly helpful when sending internationally, when you have to supply customs declaration details such as accurate values, weights, tariff codes and country of origin.
Once SKUs are added to your Inventory, you can then easily search for them by code or name, and Shipmate will automatically populate the relevant details for your Shipment.
The SKU Inventory can also be used by the API and CSV uploader, enriching details from other applications by matching the SKU number. Any missing details from your API request or CSV file are then populated from the details held on the Inventory, meaning Shipmate can act as your source of truth when shipping your orders.
This is especially beneficial if the eCommerce platform or Order Management System you use cannot hold customs declaration details, as Shipmate can simply add these details from the Inventory on the fly.
Details from the SKU Inventory can also be used to generate Despatch Notes and Picking Lists, with the ability to store picking locations and print integrated shipping labels using the companion Desktop Printer App.
Adding a SKU
To add a new SKU, from the SKU Inventory list, click the New SKU button, or press the N key on your keyboard.
This will load the New SKU form, where you can enter the product details. It is possible to switch between basic and advanced modes, allowing you to enter essential or all details respectively.
Once you are happy with the details you have entered, click the Save button. The SKU will then be available immediately across the platform, and you will be taken to the SKU page, where you can upload an image of the product if you wish.
If you have a large number of SKUs to add to Shipmate, we offer a time-saving Import feature. This allows you to create a CSV file of all the SKUs you wish to add, then import them in one batch rather than having to key in the details of each Contact.
This is ideal if you already have your SKUs in another system and can export them, reformat them to the structure Shipmate requires using a spreadsheet application such as MS Excel, then import them into Shipmate.
Shipmate has a fixed CSV format for importing SKUs - a template can be downloaded from the Import SKUs screen, which can either be blank, or contain all existing SKUs in case you wish to update them.
To import SKUs, click the Import SKUs button on the SKU Inventory page, or press the I key on your keyboard, then either drag and drop a CSV file onto the upload area, or click to find the CSV file on your computer.
Shipmate will then screen the file to make sure it is in the correct format, then allow you to process the import.
The SKUs will then be imported and a list shown of all the newly added SKUs. They are then available immediately for use across the platform.
Uploading SKU Images
Images help identify your SKUs, and with forthcoming updates to Shipmate, we will be making greater use of SKUs across the platform. You can upload your SKU images in bulk using the SKU Image Uploader.
First of all, prepare a Zip file containing each of your SKU images, either in JPEG or PNG format, each with the file name being the SKU number. For example, if you have a SKU number of 12345, the image should be called 12345.jpg or 12345.png. The Zip file can be called anything you like.
The Zip file may be up to 200MB in size, and contain as many images as possible within that file size limitation. Images are best if they have a white background and in a square format, but Shipmate will automatically process and optimise the images for display in the platform during the upload process.
There are several ways you can populate Shipments with details from your SKUs:
- New Shipment Form
- Shipment CSV Importer
- Shopify & WooCommerce plugins
When adding Parcel Contents details to your Shipments, you can search by SKU number or name and a list will pop up showing matching products to select from. Clicking the SKU will populate the form with the SKU details, including the Item Description, HS Code or Tariff Code, Country of Origin and Value. The SKU's dimensions will also be compared to the parcel dimensions and a warning shown if the item is too large to fit the packaging.
Using the Shipment CSV Importer, you may map one of the CSV columns to a SKU List. This can be a comma-separated list of SKU numbers to enrich the CSV data with when producing the Shipment. Each SKU is treated as having a quantity of one, so for multiple items of the same SKU, simply supply the SKU number the amount of times it is required for the parcel.
Using the Shipmate API, Item details can be enriched with details held on the SKU Inventory, removing the need for the integrating system to carry full product and customs details. Full details of how SKUs are treated in API requests can be found in the Shipmate API Guide.
Additionally, the WooCommerce and Shopify plugins can work by solely providing the SKU numbers if other details are not present on the products on those platforms. Shipmate will add the relevant details to the Shipment as it is being processed.
To access your account's Settings, click on the Profile Menu in the right hand side of the Top Menu and selecting Settings.
Alternatively, click the Settings Cog icon in the lower-left of the screen, at the bottom of the Main Menu.
The Settings screen is organised into five sections, as follows:
In Account Settings, you are able to amend key details about your Shipmate account, such as your company name, contact details, account currency and other aspects used across the platform, such as the logo printed on Despatch Notes or Picking Lists.
To access your Account Settings, from the Settings screen, select the Account Settings option.
Using the Account Settings form, make any changes you need to make, then click the Save button. The changes you make will be applied immediately on your account.
Shipmate supports multi-location despatch with Locations.
You can configure multiple locations on your account, for instance if you have several warehouses, or a network of store outlets you send orders from.
Your account must have at least one Location, with your main despatch location set as the account's Default Location.
Each user may be assigned to their own Location, ensuring the collection address is set correctly and applying any Routing Rules you have configured, such as the Carrier account being used.
You can access Locations from the General section of the Settings page.
Adding a Location
From the Locations list, click the Create New Location button. This will open the New Location form on which you can supply details of the location you wish to add.
You may give the Location both a Name and a Code. The Name may be the full name of the Location e.g., Distribution Centre A, with the Code perhaps being a shorthand version, e.g., DC-A, or the store number.
You may then select the type of Location this is - this will simply show the relevant icon, but may be used for future routing capabilities.
The Location's contact details and address may then be provided. These will be applied as the returns address and contact details on the shipping label.
Finally, you can choose if this Location will become the account's Default Location by selecting the checkbox at the bottom of the form.
Once you are happy with the details you have entered, click the Save button. The newly created Location will be available immediately across your account.
Editing a Location
From the Locations list, click the Edit button for the Location you wish to edit.
This will open the Location form, populated with all the details of the Location, as per adding a new Location, ready for editing.
Once you are happy with the details you have entered, click the Save button. The updated Location will be available immediately across your account.
Setting the Default Location
From the Locations list, click the Edit button for the Location you wish to set as the account's Default Location.
This will open the Location form, populated with all the details of the Location, as per adding a new Location. Scroll down to the bottom of the page and check the Set as Default Location option.
Click the Save button. This Location will now be applied as the default across the account. Note that any users with their own Location saved will not have their Location updated - this will need to be done separately.
Updating your own Location
There are two ways to update your Location on Shipmate:
- Using My Profile
- Using the Desktop Printer App
From the My Profile page, accessed by clicking the Profile menu in the top-right of the Shipmate web portal then selecting My Profile, you can choose from all the available Locations on your account, then click Update Location. Shipments will then be created from your newly selected Location.
Using the Desktop Printer App click the Shipmate icon to open the main app panel, click the Profile menu then select Preferences.... You can then choose from all the available Locations on your account, then click OK on Windows, or Save on macOS. Shipments will then be created from your newly selected Location.
Updating Another User's Location
To update another user's Location, first navigate to the Users list from Settings > Users.
On the row of the User you wish to change, click the user's name or the View button.
From the User's Profile page, click the Edit button.
Scroll down to the Location option and choose the new Location you wish to apply.
Once you are happy with your selection, click the Save button. The user will now be allocated to the selected Location immediately.
Shipmate is a multi-user platform. You are able to grant access to each of your team members, and they can generate and print labels to their own workstation and printer using our Desktop Printer App.
You can access User Settings from the General section of the Settings page.
To add a new User, click the New User button on the User Settings page.
Fill out the New User form, and choose which Location the User will be working from. You should also decide whether this user will require full Administrator access to the platform, or act as a General User.
Administrators have access to the Settings area, while General Users may access the platform to perform operational tasks such as generating shipments and printing labels.
Once added, the new User will receive an invitation by email to set their password and access their account.
To edit a User, click the Edit option from the pop-up menu accessed from the User Settings page.
The User's current details will be displayed in the Edit form, which is the same as the form used to originally create them. Simply make the amendments you wish to carry out, then click the Save button.
To delete a User, click the Delete option from the pop-up menu accessed from the User Settings page.
A confirmation box will be displayed asking you to confirm you wish to delete the User. Click Confirm to delete the User.
Access to the platform will be revoked and the User will no longer be able to log in.
Note that the User is not notified - you will need to inform them that their access has been revoked.
If you need to restore a previously deleted User, this can be done by first applying a Deactivated Users filter, then selecting the Restore button from the pop-up menu on the User you wish to restore.
Note that the User is not notified - you will need to inform them that their access has been restored.
You can access Carrier Accounts from the Carriers section of the Settings page.
Shipmate allows you to bring all your carrier accounts into one place, offering a unified labeling and tracking platform for your business. You are able to add multiple accounts with the same carrier, and we support all mainstream UK carriers, and most popular carriers in the Republic of Ireland.
A current list of our supported carriers can be found on our main website on our Integrations page.
Adding a Carrier Account
From the Carriers list, click the New Carrier button at the top of the page, or the large Add a New Carrier panel at the end of your list of Carrier accounts.
You will then be able to provide a name for this account, and set the Location it will be used from. Typical names used include Primary Account, Secondary Account etc, or name it after the location or purpose you are using it.
Once you are happy with the details provided, click the Add Carrier button.
In most cases, the link between your Carrier account and Shipmate will be carried out by our on-boarding team, working in partnership with the Carrier's IT Integrations team. We are notified as soon as you request a carrier integration, and will be in touch to request further details to start the on-boarding process. You may be required to print out test packs and send them to the carriers, depending on the carrier's on-boarding and testing policy.
We are introducing self carrier on-boarding, allowing you to set up carrier accounts directly in your account. Each carrier will request different information to link your account - follow the on-screen instructions to complete this process.
Viewing a Carrier Account
Simply click on the Carrier account you wish to view. From here you can view more details about the account as well as set up and manage Delivery Services for that account.
Shipmate automatically manifests your shipment data with carriers, however some carriers require a paper manifest to be provided when they collect your parcels.
If you have a Carrier Account that requires paper manifests, you will notice a Carrier Manifests option in the Quick Links area on the right of the Dashboard.
From here you can select the date to generate the manifest for, which will be set to the current date when the page loads. Click Download Manifest to download a PDF manifest for printing.
Adding A Delivery Service
Delivery Services can be found inside each of your Carrier Accounts. To add a Delivery Service, first choose the Carrier Account, then click the New Service button.
This will open the New Delivery Service page, where the service may be selected and configured.
Delivery Service Conditions
Delivery Service Conditions give Shipmate the intelligence to know when a particular Delivery Service is suitable for any given Shipment.
Here you list out the conditions that have to be met in order for the service to be used, and effectively state the limits of the service. You can also add conditions to set business logic as to when this service should be made available, such as the current day of the week and time.
You can add multiple conditions for each service - they will ALL need to be met in order for the service to be available for use.
Condition criteria available include parcel metrics including weight and dimensions, contents attributes such as SKU list, perishable, fragile etc, as well as operational criteria such as current day and time.
Performance / SLA Targets
If you wish to monitor carrier performance, you can enter an SLA target while setting up each Delivery Service.
This will then be used as a target for on-time first delivery attempts.
By entering the Delivery Cost associated with the Delivery Service, Shipmate is able to select the most cost effective service that matches all the criteria for a given shipment.
When setting up a new Delivery Service, you can supply the base cost of the service. You can apply this cost to every parcel within a shipment, or just the first parcel, with a separate additional parcel rate, according to the pricing policy of the carrier.
You are able to configure Surcharges once the Delivery Service has been added.
Service Keys are used on CSV imports and API calls to state the specific Delivery Service required, instead of using Routing Rules.
Service Keys can be anything you like, but each must be unique on your account. They effectively act the same way as SKU codes but for your Delivery Services.
Editing a Delivery Service
To edit a Delivery Service, simply choose the Edit Service option from the pop-up menu of the service you wish to change.
This will open the Delivery Service in an editable form similar to when you originally added it. Simply make your changes then click the Save Service button.
Deleting a Delivery Service
To delete a Delivery Service, simply choose the Archive Service option from the pop-up menu of the service you wish to remove.
You can reinstate a previously archived service by selecting the Archived Services tab, then selecting the Restore option from the pop-up menu of the service you wish to restore.
Custom Parcel Attributes
Custom Parcel Attribute Data Types
If you wish to create a parcel attribute that isn’t already defined in Shipmate, then you can add your own custom parcel attributes for use on your parcels. Accessing this can be done by clicking on the Profile Menu in the right hand side of the Top Menu, selecting the settings option and navigating to ‘Custom Parcel Attributes’ in the right hand menu.
Custom Parcel Attributes are used to supply custom information to invoke specific Routing Rules.
There are several different data types for custom attributes:
- Boolean (True or False)
- Boolean (Yes or No)
- Boolean (0 or 1)
These describe how you will use the attribute when creating a parcel.
Adding Custom Parcel Attributes
To add a custom parcel attribute, select ‘Create Custom Parcel Attribute’ in the ‘Custom Parcel Attributes’ section of the Settings menu. Here you can assign a name and a data type to the attribute and save it for use on parcels.
Editing Custom Parcel Attributes
If you wish to edit a custom parcel attribute, click on ‘View’ next to the attribute you wish to edit then select the ‘Edit’ button. This will take you to an area where you can edit the Name and the Data Type of the attribute and save your changes.
Deleting Custom Parcel Attributes
To delete a custom parcel attribute, click on ‘View’ next to the attribute you wish to delete then select the ‘Delete’ button. A prompt will ask you to confirm the deletion of the attribute and upon confirmation it will then be removed from the available list of attributes.
Packaging Types allow you to set up details of the packaging you commonly use to pack your orders. When creating Shipments you can then select from a list of Packaging Types, filling in weight and dimensions for you automatically.
You can also apply a default Packaging Type to pre-fill weight and dimension values if you send most your orders in the same packaging, or have agreed these with the carrier(s) you ship your orders with.
To access Packaging Types, first click the Settings button, then choose the Packaging Types option.
Adding Packaging Types
To add a new Packaging Type, click the New Packaging Type button, or press the N key on your keyboard.
The Packaging Type form will then be shown, where you can enter details of your packaging. Give the Packaging Type a name - this will be shown in drop-down lists throughout Shipmate and plugins or integrations, so keep it simple and something your colleagues will be able to cross-reference with the physical packaging in your despatch process.
"Key" should be a unique reference, sometimes refered to as a "code", "slug" or "SKU", to help Shipmate uniquely identify this Packaging Type.
If you use the Shipmate API or CSV uploader, this is the value you will need to provide so Shipmate knows which Packaging Type to reference. Usually you will give this a less user-friendly, more system-friendly value - for example, if you are adding a Small Box, perhaps the key will be SMALL_BOX. If your 3rd party system such as an eCommerce platform, Order Management System or Warehouse Management System has packaging codes, you should replicate these as the key.
Then simply provide the packaging dimensions, maximum weight this can accept, a default weight you would like to appear when creating Shipments, and finally the weight of the packaging itself. This is used for calculating the net and gross weight of your parcels.
Once you are happy with your selections, click the Save button. Your newly created Packaging Type is then immediately available for use across the platform.
Setting a Default Packaging Type
To choose which Packaging Type is selected by default throughout the platform, simply click the tickbox on the row of your preferred Packaging Type. The setting is automatically applied and a green pop-up message will appear confirming the change.
When using the CSV uploader or API, having a default Packaging Type means you don't have to supply packaging dimensions and weight for each parcel - the default values will be automatically applied.
Editing Packaging Types
To edit details of existing Packaging Types, simply click the name of the Packaging Type you wish to change. This will take you to the Packaging Type form with all details able to be changed.
Once you are happy with your selections, click the Save button. Your updated Packaging Type is then immediately available for use across the platform.
Deleting Packaging Types
If a Packaging Type is no longer required, you can easily remove it by first clicking the adjustment icon in the right-most column of the Packaging Types table, then select Delete Packaging Type. A confirmation box will appear to make sure you wish to delete the Packaging Type permanently.
If you are happy to proceed, click the red Delete button. The change is then made immediately across the platform.
Packaging Types Options
Shipmate offers two additional options to choose how the platform handles your packaging. You may choose how Shipmate calculates your parcel weights, either Gross or Net, according to your requirements.
Gross adds the packaging weight to the contents weight. Net ignores the packaging weight.
You may also choose whether users may override dimensions across the platform. Switching this off means the dimensions will be fixed and cannot be edited when creating Shipments, and any values supplied in CSV files or using the API will be ignored. Allowing the override will enable you to use the Packaging Types as a starting point, and are free to change metrics when creating your Shipments.
Changes are applied immediately and you will see a green pop-up confirmation once your selection has been saved.
How Routing Rules Work
Routing Rules are a way of automating your parcel labelling. Shipmate will choose the most appropriate carrier and delivery service based upon rules chosen by you. If you have multiple rules, Shipmate will evaluate each consignment against each rule and then determine the most suitable service automatically, meaning you no longer have to select a service for each individual parcel.
The rules must be active for Shipmate to be able to evaluate them, so make sure to turn on any rules you wish to use. By default, any new rules you create will be inactive until you are happy that they are correct.
Creating Routing Rules
The Routing Rules menu can be accessed by clicking on the Profile Menu in the right hand side of the Top Menu and navigating to the ‘Settings’ option. On the right hand side you will find a menu with several different options. To create a Routing Rule, select ‘Routing Rules’ from the side menu then click ‘Create New Rule’.
Here you can name your rule, give it a description and choose criteria that the parcel needs to adhere to.
Using Custom Routing Rule Criteria
If you don’t want the rule to apply to every parcel, you can create a rule which only applies to parcels of a specific criteria. Similar to creating Service Condition Criteria, you can specify rules for parcels of different dimensions, weights and values as well as special parcels that could be fragile or perishable. If you have already configured Custom Parcel Attributes, you may also select the values for these attributes required to match your criteria.
VAT & Customs Options
If you send internationally and need to apply customs declaration labels to your parcels, you can enable this using VAT & Customs Options.
From the Shipments section of the Settings screen, select VAT & Customs.
This opens the VAT & Customs Options form. On this simple form, you can provide your VAT number, choose how Shipmate handles VAT for key regions, enable CN22 labels, and select your default CN22 Consignment Purpose, such as Sale of Goods. This will be automatically ticked on any CN22 labels that subsequently get generated.
Finally you can also add your EORI number.
Once you are happy with the details you have entered, click the Save button. The changes will be applied immediately across your account.
Order File Mappings
If you have previously saved CSV File Mappings when Importing Shipments, the mappings can be viewed in the Order File Mappings section of Settings.
From here you can view and delete existing mappings. To create a new Order File Mapping, follow the process for Importing Shipments.
You cannot edit mappings - instead, create a new Order File Mapping, then delete the original from this area.
There are two types of reports that Shipmate can generate - a Parcels report and a Carrier Performance report. You can access the reports from the ‘Reports’ section in the header.
The parcels report allows you to see parcels that fit a specific search criteria. You can search for parcels using the Parcel Reference, Recipient Name, City, Postcode or a specific Date Range or any combination of the 5 options.
Shipmate searches for any parcels meeting all of the criteria that is set, so if you provide a surname and a postal code, Shipmate will return a list of all parcels with the given surname and postal code. This helps you narrow down potentially large results.
Carrier Performance Report
The carrier performance report is filtered on a month-by-month basis. The main dashboard for the carrier performance page will show you each carrier and an overview of the current SLA they have with you, how many days the SLA has been met and the overall performance.
If you click the ‘View’ menu for a carrier you can look at All Parcels and parcels both in and out of SLA. Once in this view, you can apply filters to the reports allowing you to broaden and narrow your search as you see fit.
The carrier-specific view gives a more detailed look into the performance of the carrier. You can see information such as how many parcels have been sent with the carrier, how many of these were within or outside of the SLA and what the longest and shortest delivery times have been.
CSV File Imports
You can upload a CSV file from almost any platform to import your parcels into Shipmate. Simply download a file extract from your order processing system, choosing options that include a header row and output as a comma separated text, or CSV file.
To access the upload area, click the ‘Import’ button in the top right of the Main Menu, then simply upload your file by dragging it to the drop-zone area or by clicking the ‘Choose File’ button to find the file on your computer.
Your file will be checked to ensure it can be processed, then you can select the file type from a list of presets you have previously configured, or set up a new one.
The Shipmate Windows App allows you to quickly and easily integrate your Warehouse or Order Management System and your label printer with Shipmate. This companion app works in the background and has a number of useful features to help you get the most out of Shipmate and easily generate labels in a fast-paced despatch environment.
If you wish to learn how to use the Shipmate Windows app, there is a dedicated guide to help you through this. You can find this at shipmate.co.uk/guides/windows-application
API and SDKs
If you wish to use the Shipmate API, you can find the official documents at shipmate.co.uk/guides/api.
Webhooks are outbound requests made by Shipmate when certain events have triggered inside the platform, such as tracking events or when a shipment is cancelled.
Find out how to set up and use Webhooks in our Webhooks Guide.