What is Table Rate Shipping on WordPress? – short guide with examples for easier understanding

What is Table Rate Shipping
Author Bartosz Gajewski
Updated:
2017-10-16
Reading time:
4 minutes read

Most stores sell products of different sizes and weights. Therefore, fixed shipping rate is just not good enough for them. They need a solution for advanced shipping cost calculation. The solution is table rate shipping – easy way in which a store can set rules to calculate advanced shipping cost. In this article, I’ll show you how it works.

What is Flat Rates shipping?

To begin with, let’s look at the fixed shipping rate. In eCommerce, that kind of shipping method is called Flat Rate shipping. It means that the shipping cost is fixed, regardless of the content of the products in the shopping cart. This solution works for some stores, but it can cause the actual shipping fee to be higher than what the customer paid for it. I’m convinced that most store owners want to avoid such a solution. Ideally, the shipping price in a WooCommerce store should be as close as possible to the actual rate, of course, leaving aside such cases as a handling fee.

An alternative solution is the shipping cost calculator, which, like in WooCommerce, is called table rate shipping.

What is Table Rate shipping?

It’s a solution that allows you to determine and calculate shipping cost based on various conditions. The most popular of these are weight and price. The most popular of these is the order’s weight. The idea is that the shipping cost increases with the weight of all the products in the shopping cart. The calculations, as the name implies, take place in a table with rules and conditions.

Rules and conditions in calculations

Basic calculations for shipping cost, a store would consist in charging a customer depending on the weight of their order. For example, 1-5 lbs: $5, 5-10 lbs: $8, 10-20 lbs: $15 and so on. It seems pretty easy, so what’s advanced about that? When you combine such rules with shipping classes and other conditions, you can set virtually any shipping cost for an order.

Every rule can add some cost to the total cost or subtract a cost from it. A rule can use different conditions, such as:

  • if all items from the order weight from 1 lbs to 5 lbs, then add $10 to the shipping cost,
  • if items from shipping class XYZ appears in the cart, then subtract $3 from the shipping cost,
  • if there are more than 5 items in the order, then add $8 to the shipping cost.

Use a table to configure shipping costs

Table Rate Shipping as a method uses a table to establish such rules. Let’s try to write down the conditions we talked about above.

You see? If you use the table, then it seems much easier! Especially when you have a lot of rules and conditions.

Table Rate shipping plugin

You can use a Table Rate Shipping method to set shipping cost rules in your WooCommerce store. The best way is to use a WooCommerce shipping plugin. We are the authors of the Flexible Shipping plugin. It is a really simple and easy to use plugin which is used by more than 100.000 WooCommerce shops worldwide. It is so easy that even people who don’t know what table rate shipping is can use it with ease. Flexible Shipping supports WooCommerce shipping zones and, what is more, you can download this plugin for free.

Flexible Shipping WooCommerce

The best Table Rate Shipping for WooCommerce. Period. Create shipping rules based on weight, order totals or item count.

Download for free or Go to WordPress.org
100,000+ Active Installations
Last Updated: 2022-11-24
Works with WooCommerce 6.8 - 7.2.x

 

Table Rate shipping example

Mark runs a shop with car parts. Most customers buy only a few products per order. One package can contain as much as 10 lbs of items. The base cost of the shipment is $10. He needs to add an additional $1 for every 3 lbs above the 1st lb.

Mark pays for the shipping insurance for the orders above $100. The insurance costs $5 for a package, and Mark wants to charge the customer for it.

How would the rules in the Flexible Shipping look like?

Table rate Flexible Shipping rules

Let’s talk through the rules one by one:

  1. If items in an order weight up to 10 lbs, add $10 to the shipping cost;
  2. If items in an order weight from 1 to 3,999 lbs, add additional $1 to the shipping cost or
  3. If items in an order weight from 4 to 6,999 lbs, add additional $2 to the shipping cost or
  4. If items in an order weight from 7 to 10 lbs, add additional $3 to the shipping cost;
  5. If the total cost of an order is more than $100, add additional $5 to the shipping cost (for the insurance).

As you can see, each shipping rule has its application. Easy-peasy!

You can also watch our video about setting up shipping cost based on product weight.

WooCommerce advanced shipping

Determining the cost of shipping based on weight, however, is a fairly simple solution. In the free version of the Flexible Shipping plugin, you will still find an option to determine the shipping cost based on cart total. If you need more advanced calculations, it’s worth using the paid version of the WooCommerce table rate shipping.

With Flexible Shipping PRO you can use multiple shipping options to determine shipping fee. Here’s a list of all the possibilities, with links to detailed tutorials on how to use them in your WooCommerce store:

Summary

In this article, you learned the answer to the question: what is the Table Rate Shipping method. You have also learned how to set rules in Flexible Shipping. You can use the Table Rate Shipping method in your WooCommerce shop now!

Do you want to learn more about shipping in WooCommerce? Check out The Ultimate Guide to WooCommerce Shipping → for free!

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Hansje vd Tillaert
Hansje vd Tillaert
3 years ago

Hi,

Imagine that you want to know what the shipping costs are for a couch.
A couch is large and weight relative light.
How you going to handle this?

Looking forward to your response.

Hans

Łukasz Spryszak
Łukasz Spryszak
Reply to  Hansje vd Tillaert
3 years ago

Hi Hans, to be honest it could be handled in many ways – it depends how you want to ship it. You can use e.g. our UPS PRO plugin which displays the live rates based on the product’s weight, dimensions and shipper/recipient’s addresses or define the shipping costs precisely on your own, setting a pair of rules based e.g. on weight using our Flexible Shipping PRO. It’s up to you which method better suits your needs. No matter which one you choose, we always offer a piece of advice and provide the comprehensive support for all of our plugins.

Last edited 7 months ago by Bartosz Gajewski
Marcus Rich
Marcus Rich
1 year ago

My supplier has given me the following shipping matrix, which I have tried to use in WooCommerce and the flexible shipping plugin, however, I can only configure the amounts, not percentages of a price range, is there a way to do this…

If the price is between £0.01 and £60 then £8.40
If the price is between £60.01 and £120 then £13.20
If the price is between £120.01 and £180 then £15
If the price is between £180.01 and £600 then 17%
If the price is between £600.01 and £1200 then 15%
If the price is between £1200.01 and £6000 then 13%

Otherwise, is there a formula for this in WooCommerce.

Been fighting with this for hours!

Please help,

Marcus.

Łukasz Spryszak
Łukasz Spryszak
Reply to  Marcus Rich
1 year ago

Hi Marcus, the scenario you’ve described can be easily handled by our Flexible Shipping PRO plugin using the Additional Cost option. Here you can find some more information how to configure the shipping cost to be the percentage of order’s value: https://docs.flexibleshipping.com/article/39-flexible-shipping-cost-as-a-percentage-of-orders-value

Farhad Nateghian
Farhad Nateghian
1 year ago

Hi,
I have an Error ,when i use flexible shipping ,but when i use Flat rate there is no Error.
That Error is No shipping method has been selected.
till yesterday fleexible shipping was working perfectly.
how can i fix it?
Looking forward to your response.
Thank you
Farhad

Łukasz Spryszak
Łukasz Spryszak
Reply to  Farhad Nateghian
11 months ago

Hi Farhad, it seems that there might be something wrong with the shipping method configuration. Please contact us directly at https://octolize.com/support/ and we’ll take a look at the situation.

MICHAIL MARKETAKIS
MICHAIL MARKETAKIS
1 year ago
can i make a rule based on the packaging cubic?

and charge per prefecture (54)
with different metaphorical physics

e.g

0.016 * 63 = 1.008 * 5 = € 50.40

So much for transportation

where 0.016 which is an example there is some
shortcode that passes the packaging cubic for all products

and per item in the cart to increase the amount.

I have over 4000 products
Łukasz Spryszak
Łukasz Spryszak
Reply to  MICHAIL MARKETAKIS
11 months ago

Hi Michail, I believe that Flexible Shipping PRO‘s shipping cost calculation rules’ conditions such as Volume, Dimensional weight or both of them combined might be useful to configure the scenario you’ve described. You can try it for free using our DEMO site and check if suits your needs.

Last edited 7 months ago by Bartosz Gajewski
Christopher
Christopher
9 months ago

Hello!

Would your product be helpful for this scenario? An online shop offers products from two separate distributors and each distributor has it’s own shipping table rates based on monetary value / product class.

Example: Customer adds two widgets to their cart. One widget from Distributor A, and the other from Distributor B.

At the end of their purchase, they will be charged two shipping fee’s because the products they chose are from completely different companies.

Can your product facilitate this?

Łukasz Spryszak
Łukasz Spryszak
Reply to  Christopher
9 months ago

Hi Christopher, yes, I believe that the scenario you’ve described could be handled by our Flexible Shipping PRO plugin using either WooCommerce shipping classes or combined with Multi Vendor Shipping and Shipping Packages plugins. Which option is better in such case depends on the products specifics and the way how it should be presented to your customers. Please contact us directly at https://octolize.com/support/ and we will provide you with the more detailed information on how it could be solved.

Last edited 7 months ago by Bartosz Gajewski
Kostas
Kostas
4 months ago

Hallo.
I have a trouble with some prices in my shipping zones. we ship products worldwide, so I have alot of shipping zones. We use flexible shipping based on weight.
The problem is that the rules I put in some countries work perfectly and in some others do not. I have double checked the regions to be correct.
Could you please help me?

Łukasz Spryszak
Łukasz Spryszak
Admin
Reply to  Kostas
3 months ago

Hi Kostas, from what you have written the problem you’ve encountered might require taking a closer look on the plugin’s and WooCommerce shipping zones’ configuration. Could you please contact us directly using the dedicated support form for further troubleshooting?

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