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GLOSSARY

Carrier account

The account you need to configure in order to connect to a specific shipping carrier service


When you use a third-party service to ship your items, there’s some key information you need. Rates when you manage a shipment. Tracking info of the shipment itself in real-time, to eventually show them to the user. Within Commerce Layer, you can take advantage of this opportunity, as long as you have one or more carrier accounts configured.

The setup of a Commerce Layer’s carrier account is quite easy. All you need to do is:

  • to select the carrier type (among the ones available)
  • to choose a Market
  • to provide all the credentials needed by the selected shipping service.

The list of shipping carriers you can connect to includes:

  • UPS
  • DHL
  • GLS
  • United States Postal Service
  • FedEx

And more to come. If you can’t find your preferred carrier in this list, feel free to contact us, so that we can add it as soon as possible. As you can imagine, each of these services requires different credentials. For example, you have to provide only three pieces of data to connect to DHL:

  • name
  • account number
  • country

While the list required by US Postal Service is much longer:

  • name
  • company name
  • address street
  • address city
  • address state
  • address zip
  • phone
  • shipper

Configuring one of these carrier accounts is optional. However, it’s recommended. Especially in case you want to enable some useful functionalities such as:

  • real-time shipping rates
  • order tracking
  • postage labels printing

and handle them from Commerce Layer’s backend.

Examples

As mentioned above, setting up a carrier account is not mandatory to manage your online business with Commerce Layer. The choice is up to you and is based on your needs and on how you’ve decided to handle your shipments. On one side, there could be some situations where you don’t need to configure a Commerce Layer’s carrier account. On the other side, doing it can often be quite helpful.

Let’s see a couple of examples related to both these cases.

Warehouse Management Systems

If you decide not to set up any carrier account within Commerce Layer, you won’t be able to connect to any shipping service. In this case, to print the shipping labels, or track the delivery of the orders in real time, you need an external service, unless you decide to do it manually.

A typical scenario is to use a Warehouse Management System (WMS). A WMS is a software application designed to support the day-to-day operations within a warehouse. In a nutshell, it is used to control and track the transfer and storage of materials in a warehouse. In general, a WMS handles all the warehouse operations, including:

  • inventory management,
  • picking processes,
  • auditing

from the time goods or materials enter a warehouse until they move out.

If you use a tool like this, it might be that you are not interested in having a carrier account configured within Commerce Layer. All you need is to update the status of your shipments through integration with your WMS.

Multiple carrier accounts

Setting up multiple carrier accounts within Commerce Layer could be a useful way to cut the shipment costs. That’s because, in this case, the system compares the available shipping carriers rates. The best (less expensive) option for each shipment shows first. For more details, please see Shipments.