shipping costs

How to Calculate Your Shipping Costs in Minutes

How can you assist your customers in choosing the right shipping option at affordable rates in your store? You may lose a lot of time if you have to always work around facts and figures to find out the shipping rates manually. When you know your customers demand the best-in-class shipping options, you have to find ways to manage it effortlessly. To help you find out the best way to calculate the shipping costs and not to end up overcharging your customers, we have listed out the basic things you need, to arrive at a workable cost. Here we look at a few things that will help you calculate the shipping cost easily.

Information You Need to Calculate Shipping Costs

So many factors play a role when it comes to finding the shipping costs for a shipment. Here we look at a few important factors that will affect the overall shipping charges. They are:

Shipping Point of Origin and Destination: The distance between the shipment’s origin and destination is a key point you need to consider while calculating the shipping cost. The further the location, the higher the price will be.

The Weight of the Package: The weight of the package is yet another factor that directly affects the shipping cost. You need to find the dimensional weight and the deadweight of the package to find the accurate shipping cost. The heavier the package, the higher the shipping cost will be.

Package Dimensions: The dimensions are the length, width, and height of the package, which is also used to determine the cost of shipping an item. You need to find an economical way to pack the items and ship so that it does not affect your shipping cost too much.

Delivery Times for Shipping: If you want the shipment to arrive in a short span of time, then naturally, the delivery charges will be higher. You can see some of the shipping companies charge the rates as per the time taken for delivery, like same-day shipping, overnight shipping, etc. Ground shipping is an economic option that is preferred for shipping all over US locations.

Shipping Cost Comparison

Here is a brief comparison of the shipping cost for a shipment that weighs 4 lbs with box dimensions of 8 11/16″ x 5 7/16″ x 1 3/4″.

CourierServiceDelivery TimeShipping Cost
UPSGround4 days$9.25
UPS2nd Day Air2 days$21.25
FedExGround4 days$18.19
FedEx2 Day2 days$52.62
USPSGround3-5 days$20.85
USPSPriority Mail 2nd Day2 days$23.15

Factors that Affect Shipping Costs

Many factors affect the shipping cost. When you are shipping internationally, the cost is determined by factors like the duties and taxes, the variety of fees added to the cost of the shipment, its delivery time frame, etc. It is important to conduct careful research when you are shipping, to determine what factors influence the cost. It is better to find out all the reasons that can impact the cost of shipping. Once you find out, you can work on it, to arrive at an economical option for shipping.

Here are some reasons that influence the price of your shipment.

1. Shipping insurance

Shipping insurance is a requisite factor to protect your merchandise from any loss or damage caused during shipping and handling. Though most of the shipping companies ensure the packages are shipped and delivered to the customers securely, certain errors can happen and create issues with the packages. The replacement inventory, especially of high-value products, can eat into your profits. Hence, it is ideal to be insured when you are shipping.

You can either go for shipping insurances offered by shipping carriers or even go for third-party shipping insurances like Shipsurance.

2. Shipping-related charges

In certain scenarios, the shipping companies will charge additional fees. There are many variables that are decided upon factors like delivery locations, the time of delivery, the type of goods shipped, etc., which determine the shipping cost. Apart from these, there are certain additional charges along with the shipping charges which affect the shipping cost. Here are some common charges that are added to the shipping cost.

Pickup location charge: Certain shipments need to be picked up from locations that are not regularly serviced by the carrier. These charges are referred to as a “remote area surcharge” or “extended area surcharge,” which are added to the shipping cost at times.

Fuel surcharges: Fuel surcharges are added to the shipping cost, especially for express shipping services. These vary from country to country, week to week, and month to month. These charges are subjected to change and can add up quickly to the shipping cost.

Fees for mistakes: Some additional fees, like “address correction fee”, “delivery reattempt fee”, or “return fees” are added to the shipping cost.

3. Parcel handling-related charges

For those shipments that need extra special handling, like shipping with dry ice, shipping CBD oil that needs special packing, or shipping wine, etc., a parcel handling charge gets added to the shipping cost. These charges are mainly because of the contents that are being shipped.

Dangerous Goods: Items like chemicals, lithium batteries, guns, needles, etc, fall under the category of the dangerous item. These are classified as dangerous because of the way they are to be handled during shipping. As per IATA, these items require special handling while shipping.

If the package dimensions or weight exceeds a prescribed limit as per the shipping rules and regulations, an additional charge is imposed on the goods. Again, if the packaging materials are made of wood, metal, etc., the charges vary. You can check the prices of the packaging material before deciding on that, or you can go for cheap packaging materials to cut the cost of shipping.

4. Duties and taxes

Whenever you are shipping cross-country, you are bound to pay certain duties and taxes. The vendor or the recipient must pay the additional duties and taxes on the shipment before it gets delivered to the recipient. The duties and taxes for the shipment completely depend on the items you are shipping. These change with the country. The duties and taxes are of two types: Delivery Duty Unpaid (DDU) and Delivery Duty Paid (DDP). 

Know more about DDU and DDP here.

Finding Shipping Cost Using a Shipping Cost Calculator

If you still find it difficult to find the shipping cost, the quickest way to get it done is using a simple shipping calculator. Now you might find plenty of them in the market, but here we look at one of the best shipping calculator plugins for your WooCommerce store: ELEX WooCommerce Shipping Calculator, Purchase Shipping Label & Tracking for Customers plugin.

The plugin helps you find the shipping cost for a shipment instantly. It helps to choose the packaging options and also lets you print shipping labels for your packages. You get the tracking details too, for your shipment. All in one place. 

Sounds interesting, doesn’t it?

Let’s get to know how we can do it.

For example, let’s look at how we can find the shipping cost if you want to calculate the shipping cost for shipping from an address in New York to another one in Los Angeles. 

To make this happen, you need to choose a package option according to the product’s weight and dimensions, and then choose a suitable shipping service to fulfill the order. 

To get this done, we go to the shipping calculator page after installing the shipping calculator plugin on your WooCommerce store. The page looks like as shown in the image below:

shipping costs

Here you need to enter the sender and receiver’s zip code, country, sender/receiver name, address, city, state, email, and contact number. Once done, click NEXT. It will redirect you to the Packages page.

shipping costs

Here, enter the custom packaging option or a carrier packaging option for each product with specific dimensions and weight. Make sure you are entering the same dimensions for the product as per the details in the product settings on your WooCommerce store. Here you can choose the required packaging options offered by EasyPost shipping services, which are integrated into the shipping calculator plugin.

shipping costs

If you want to generate a shipping label, you can do it and then save the template. Finally, upload it after editing it for further usage.

shipping costs

Now click the NEXT button, it will navigate you to the SERVICES tab in the plugin.

shipping costs

Here you can choose the right shipping option that suits you. As you can see in the above image, you get to see the estimated delivery date too, alongside the shipping services listed. Since we have integrated the EasyPost Shipping services, you get to see USPS, UPS, and FedEx shipping options here. Once you choose the shipping service, you can proceed to checkout. You can simply track the shipment directly from the shipping calculator plugin itself. 

So, all you need are just three things to find the shipping cost using a shipping calculator.

  • Shipping origin and postal code
  • Shipping destination
  • Weight/dimension of your item

To Conclude:

Being able to calculate the shipping cost eases the decision-making part for your customers to decide upon a flexible shipping choice that matches their business needs. With proper knowledge of the shipping cost that is incurred for shipping, it becomes effortless to choose the right one they need to fulfill the orders and reduce the shipping costs effectively. 

Further Reading:

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