WooCommerce Shipping Calculator [Ultimate Guide]

WooCommerce Shipping Calculator
Author Bartosz Gajewski
Updated:
2022-01-31
Reading time:
6 minutes read

Almost every store owner encounters the challenge of setting the shipping cost. It’s not the easiest task, but with the right tool, it becomes much easier. In this article, I’ll show you how to create and implement a WooCommerce shipping calculator in your store. 

How WooCommerce calculate shipping costs?

Probably your first question will be – can’t I do this using WooCommerce itself? Unfortunately, WooCommerce is limited when it comes to shipping. It’s just a framework with all the core features. The fewer features the standard WooCommerce has built-in, the faster it works. There are a lot of e-commerce stores selling just one kind of product, eg. T-Shirts. They really don’t need a shipping calculator. In this case, the default shipping methods (Flat Rate, Local Pickup or Free shipping) available in WooCommerce will do the job. If you want to learn more, check out our extensive guide on shipping methods in WooCommerce.

There's no 'shipping calculator' option

And you can always add the features you need, even the shipping calculator. There are many plugins on the market that will allow you to accurately determine your shipping cost and set conditional shipping. These types of plugins are usually categorized as WooCommerce table rate shipping plugins in response to the flat rate shipping option.

Want to know more? Read our article about what is the table rate shipping.

WooCommerce shipping calculator plugins

There are many WooCommerce shipping solutions on the market. Best WooCommerce Shipping Calculator Plugins are mentioned in many articles.  One constant in such listings is the Flexible Shipping plugin. This is not surprising, it is the most popular WooCommerce plugin of this type in the WordPress repository. It has more than 100,000 active installations and all the time gains new users. The free version will work great as a basic shipping calculator. It allows you to set shipping based on weight and cart total. Additionally, it has advanced free shipping over amount options. In the case of more advanced shipping scenarios, it is worth reaching for the PRO version, which significantly extends the capabilities of the basic version.  

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: 2022-09-20
Works with WooCommerce 6.5 - 6.8.x

How to calculate shipping costs for your WooCommerce store?

Now that we have the right tool, it’s time to move on. Before I show you how to implement a shipping calculator in WooCommerce, it’s worth considering how to calculate shipping rates in your ecommerce store. Without this, it will be difficult to configure the plugin. 

Key factors affecting the cost of shipping:

  • weight of the package
  • size of the package
  • cost of shipped products
  • distance
  • shipment volume and a contract with couriers
  • delivery times

Weight of the package

Each shipping carrier has its own specific terms to describe weight and size limitations. In many cases, the weight of the parcel is considered the most important factor, and it is based on the weight of the parcel that the courier service price list is created. No wonder, weight based shipping is such a popular solution for WooCommerce. It is simply a shipping cost calculator, where it is the weight of all the products in the cart that affects the shipping charge. This is one of the simpler solutions that can be created without much trouble using the free version of the Flexible Shipping plugin.

Size of the package

In some situations, however, weight alone is not sufficient. This solution will not be good for light products with large dimensions or products with highly irregular shapes. Therefore, another solution that many courier companies use is the dimensional weight, known also as DIM weight or volumetric weight. It reflects package density, which is the amount of space a package occupies in relation to its actual weight. It is calculated according to the following formula:

(Lenght x Width x Height) / DIM Factor = Dimensional weight

So the package volume obtained by multiplying its length by width and height is then divided by the DIM Factor used by the carrier giving the Dimensional weight as a result.

Value of shipped products

The price of the products being shipped can also be an additional factor in calculating shipping costs. Valuable items may need additional insurance or simply result in duties or additional costs being imposed. A declared value is the amount you tell your chosen shipping carrier as your shipment’s worth. This is usually based on the declared value of the shipment. For instance, both UPS and FedEx offer a per package maximum liability limit of $100, any declared value above that will incur additional costs. 

Distance

This factor seems the most obvious of all. The more distance a package has to travel, the higher the shipping cost should be. In WooCommerce, you can set up separate shipping methods for each shipping zone, so you can adjust your prices according to the distance. If you want to learn more about Shipping Zones in WooCommerce check out our extensive tutorial

Shipment volume and a contract with couriers

For larger ecommerce stores, shipping charge can be negotiated individually. A great example here is UPS, which provides an option to negotiate rates, which depend on the shipment volume. Rates can be negotiated similarly in other shipping carriers.

Delivery Times

Depending on the country of origin and destination, carriers will usually offer a range of standard and express service times. The service names may vary per carrier, but the time frames typically offer three types of delivery: standard, express and time-specific. Each type has its own pricing, so it is important to show different shipping options in WooCommerce due to delivery time. Shorter transit times cost more, but customers are willing to pay more for that. In this case, it can be essential to show or hide shipping method based on time. Fast weekend shipments should show only a short while before the weekend, and same-day delivery only by 12. 

I hope the factors I mentioned above that affect shipping cost will help you determine your own shipping calculator that should be implemented in your store. 

Create shipping cost calculator

When implementing our customers’ shipping scenarios, we are often asked to describe the exact shipping method. That’s why it’s a good idea to write down how our shipping calculator should look like before implementing it yourself or with the help of technical support. I hope the factors mentioned earlier will be helpful to you. 

You need to write down the shipping rates calculation formula. Keep an eye out for unique products – large, valuable or those that require a special delivery method. In that case you can use WooCommerce shipping class.

A very important part of creating a WooCommerce shipping calculator is properly configuring the products in your store. If you want to use weight-based shipping, make sure that all products have the weight field completed in their settings. The same applies when the shipping cost is affected by the size of the products. You can find this data by editing a specific product in the Product Data element and the Shipping tab. You’ll find it in your WooCommerce settings.  

WooCommerce product options - shipping

Let me give you an example for better understanding.

WooCommerce shipping calculator examples

Let’s say you want to charge your customers:

  • $10 as a base shipping cost up to 1lbs
  • $2 for each additional lbs
  • additional 1% of a total order cost for shipping insurance
  • also, $5 for each nondimensional item
  • maximum shipping cost is $50
  • free shipping for orders over $1000

Sounds reasonable? Well, it depends on the store and what it sells. However, that’s the complete formula.

It may look complex a little at first. But remember that it’s just an example.

You’re the boss. Set your own shipping cost calculation formula. It may be much simpler:

  • $5 as a base shipping cost up to 1lbs
  • $1 for each additional lbs up to 5lbs
  • free shipping over 5lbs

So, we’ll use these two examples next in this article.

Implement shipping calculator in WooCommerce

Now, we’ll write down the shipping cost calculation formula in a table rate (using shipping rules ). Using this method, you can easily configure:

It won’t work out of the box. You need Flexible Shipping.

Flexible Shipping WooCommerce

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

Once you install the plugin, you can start configuring it.

This video tutorial will help you for sure:

For some advanced options, you may need to upgrade to the PRO version.

However, I just want to show you the table rate configuration of shipping calculator examples. The ones from the earlier part of this article.

First shipping calculator example

Remember the rules? Quick reminder:

  • $10 as a base shipping cost up to 1lbs
  • $2 for each additional lbs
  • additional 1% of a total order cost for shipping insurance
  • also, $5 for each nondimensional item
  • maximum shipping cost is $50
  • free shipping for orders over $1000

Now check out the table rate configuration:

Flexible Shipping calculator

The second example of a shipping calculator

Now we have the easier one:

  • $5 as a base shipping cost up to 1lbs
  • 1$ for each additional lbs up to 5lbs
  • free shipping over 5lbs

The easier the rules, the easier is the table rate configuration. Look:

Second example of a shipping calculator in WooCommerce

Afterword

Although WooCommerce doesn’t let you create a shipping calculator, you can still make it. Now you know that Flexible Shipping can help you extend your WooCommerce’s shipping settings.

I hope you find this article useful. Let me know in the comments section below!

Comments
Subscribe
Notify of
guest
0 Comments
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

Check out our case studies

Dream Home Story
Dream Home’s Story

Read Octolize Case Study about Dream Home – a provider of furniture and products for the home and office.

2 minutes read
Vitrek’s Story

Read Octolize Case Study about Vitrek – a provider of innovative global solutions for High Voltage Test and Measurement.

2 minutes read
EnglishSpeakingMum’s Story

Read Octolize Case Study about EnglishSpeakingMum – Polish dedicated and involved parenting blogger.

2 minutes read

Join over 10,000 subscribers

Stay up to date and get WooCommerce tips & Octolize news right to your inbox!