UPS Negotiated Rates in Magento

Posted by: Karen Tuesday, January 24th, 2012

Setting up XML Rates

In Magento there are 2 choices around displaying UPS Rates:

  • CGI – No requirement for user details, just displays standard rates. EASY but rubbish
  • XML – Need a login, password XML Access Key. Can display negotiated rates. HARD but accurate

Basically the CGI is good for playing around, but when you go live you want the XML rates. There is a lot more going on, and if your store is outside the States then you can’t live without.

To get setup for XML Rates is not straightforward.  You need to go to their Developer Kit page, register, login, and request an access key.

With a bit of luck at some point you will get an email containing you XML Access Key.  So in total you should have a UPS Login, Password, and Access Key.
In Magento enter your UPS login details.
Make sure you highlight all the allowed methods you need – this is a common mistake and if you don’t select some you won’t see any rates.
If you aren’t running SSL you might also want to switch to developer mode in the UPS shipping config, then switch to live afterwards.
All being well you should now see rates on the frontend in Magento.

Negotiated Rates

So now you have XML Rates. But what about those rates you obtained from your UPS representative, how do you display them?  Well, for some sites you don’t want to display the negotiated rates, as you don’t want to pass the savings onto your customer. But for others keeping the shipping costs as low as possible is a key part of your competitiveness in the market, and you need those negotiated rates.
In theory you should be able to just switch on negotiated rates in admin and add in your shipper number you obtained from your rep.
But, and here is the catch, we have seen a number of customers that do this and negotiated rates are not returned.
It turns out that in order to switch on Negotiated Rates you must be authenticated on the UPS site. This can be done manually by ringing UPS, or via the My UPS, under ‘Maintain Your UPS Account’.

8 Responses to “UPS Negotiated Rates in Magento”

  1. Chris says:

    What is the advantage of using XML rates over CGI rates?

  2. Mike Key says:

    If only this solution worked, even still I can’t get the negotiated rates to display. This is one of the most frustrating challenges of Magento that frustrates us developers and clients get mad about. Getting UPS to pass on that information is at times impossible. Some people seem to have luck, while others don’t.

  3. Karen says:

    We have significant numbers of customers who have negotiated rates working. If you can’t get it going check the ups logs. We can provide paid support to assist if required. Contact us via website.

  4. Karen says:

    You can get negotiated rates, which you can’t get with CGI. You also get a lot more switches and options, plus support for Dimensional shipping if you add in an appropriate extension.

  5. dean says:

    Wow – it’s been a wild ride to get negotiated rates to work. The key was getting the access code and requesting that it be in production mode. I had a XLM key but again, didnt know or couldnt see whether it was in test or production, but even if you have a access key…request another….on THAT page you will see whether rates is in test or production. If it’s in test…there is a link on that page to request it to be put in production. Go to tab/technology support. in tools and resources, go to UPS Developer kit link.
    If you are already logged in and have an account number…..choose request access key

  6. Paul Foster says:

    If I get negotiated rates to work, which sounds difficult. Is there a way to add a handling charge. We add specific amounts onto all our orders to cover the cost of packaging which is quiote expensive for us. i.e. Just say we wanted to add £3 for packaging and the cost for a particular delivery was £20, instead of showing the negotiated rate iof £20 Id want it to show the customer £23.

  7. Karen says:

    Yes you can do this, if not with negotiated rates then just don’t put in the shipper number and add as a handling fee. If with negotiated ensure shipping number there.

  8. Russ says:

    Thanks! Worked as expected for me. Now to figure out how to get it to work in a custom shipping method…

Leave a Reply