Price calculations for additional shipping options
The function Additional Rates allows you to offer your customers other payment-based shipping options. These can include “Express Shipping” and others. The input format for these is as follows:
Name of the shipping option | Price in the format x.xx | Basis for calculation
, whereby the basis for calculation order (one-time calculation of surcharges per order), class (calculation on the basis of shipping classes), or item (calculation per item) can be specified. The price can furthermore be expanded to include a percentage component; in that case, the input format would be
x.xx + x.x% or x.xx – x.x% (for more information please read the relevant WooCommerce documentation)
You can add more rows if you want to offer several different shipping options. Here is a little example to demonstrate the use of this function: The shop customer will see the following options in the cart if the information
is entered as “Additional Rates”:
In both cases, the shipping flat rate will be added to the actual cost of the shipping option. The amount for “Airmail” would increase accordingly every time an item is added to the cart, as the calculation basis here is “Item”.
Extended cost calculation based on shipping classes
The WooCommerce shipping classes (also known as “Shipping Groups”) offer an additional option for charging shipping costs on top of a shipping flat rate. These can be specified for each product via the detailed product information under Shipping -> Shipping class:
In the example shown here, the product was associated with the sample shipping class “Bulky Goods”. You can create new shipping classes via your WordPress dashboard under Products -> Shipping Classes (which is where you can modify them at any time as well):
Just like in the product categories, you can map hierarchies here by selecting the option “Parent”. If you now return to the settings for the shipping flat rate and Additional Costs (instead of the previously discussed option “Additional Rates”) you will now see the way the shipping classes work:
You can therefore use the option Costs added… to calculate additional shipping costs, e.g.
- Cost per Order: The highest additional price of all classes contained in the cart will be added just once, no matter how many products are being purchased.
- Cost per Item: A surcharge will be added for each price on the basis of the relevantly assigned shipping class. The same applies if several units of one product are ordered.
- Cost per Class: A surcharge will be added for each price, but only once for each included shipping class.
The additional shipping prices can be specified for each class in the section Costs. Simply enter the Cost per class in the table, exclusive of any applicable tax.
Optional: Costs for shipping processing
You can additionally define a Handling Fee, which the customer will be charged for processing the shipping. This handling fee can be a fixed amount (example: 2.50) or a percentage (example: 3.8%). The handling fee will be calculated on the basis of the net sales total in the cart. You can enter an amount for your Minimum Handling Fee (right after the table); any handling fees below that amount will be relevantly adjusted to reflect the minimum.
You can furthermore specify a price and optionally a handling fee via the table row Any Class, which will be charged if no specific shipping class was selected and priced. Inversely that means: The costs for “Any Class” will not be included if other rows are populated and assigned to shipping classes.
Advanced options of the Table Rate Shipping plugin
WooCommerce’s own shipping cost calculations are not as detailed as for example the very extensive control settings. The (license-based) WooCommerce plugin Table Rate Shipping allows a more advanced differentiation of the shipping options, including functions like:
- More exact definitions of shipping regions via the individual selection of specific countries or ZIP codes
- Price tables for each individual shipping region
- The option to add rules based on the weight, quantity of products, number of products by class and price
- Cost breakdown by weight class
The exact scope of the plugin is described in this WooCommerce documentation. The plugin Table Rates for WooCommerce comes with another free plugin by an external developer, which, however, offers similar options only in the license-based Pro Version. (Note: We haven’t actually tried the plugin ourselves.)