Beginner’s Guide: ELEX WooCommerce Australia Post Shipping Plugin with Print Label & Tracking

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In this article, you’ll get an insight into Australia Post services and their availability that are offered by ELEX WooCommerce Australia Post Shipping Plugin with Print Label & Tracking. It is quite necessary to know the type of services and efficiency. Selecting the most efficient packing option saves a lot of funds. So just before you start using our ELEX WooCommerce Australia Post Shipping Plugin, here is everything you need to know.

Pricing for shipping is quite unique with Australia Post. Unlike USPS, you have to pay for the satchels and the boxes you avail from Australia Post. But you can also use your custom boxes and just pay for the postage. So in case you use an Australia Post packing option, the ELEX WooCommerce Australia Post Plugin adds the cost of the satchel, envelop or box with the postage charge to show the correct and total shipping charge that you’ll pay to Australia Post. Since billing is online, you can keep track of your postage and box usage through your Australia Post account, and then you can print shipping labels for the packages from within WooCommerce. You should keep in mind that you need to have the right Australia Post account to print shipping labels with our plugin.

Types of Account supported:

Although Australia Post offers lots of account services, with the ELEX WooCommerce Australia Post Shipping Plugin, you can access only three types of them:

  1. Australia Post Non-contracted account
  2. Australia Post eParcel contracted account
  3. Australia Post StarTrack account

1. Australia Post Non-contracted account

If you wish to access only real-time rates from Australia Post, this is the right choice for you. You only need to signup for a regular Australia Post account and use the provided API key in the plugin settings to access live rates. With this account, you cannot create shipping labels or track shipments but can configure parcel packaging options.

2. Australia Post eParcel contracted account

If you are a bulk supplier and your weekly packages fulfill Freight criteria, this account type suits you best. Taking of number, if your yearly sending is more than 1000 parcels you should upgrade your business account to eParcel Account. You can print shipment labels with this account too.

eParcel Contract has become a great tool for the management of your shipping consignment. Labels printed with eParcel Contract have barcodes and you can generate and send tracking and delivery notification for both sender and receiver automatically. As the usage volume increases, you get access to user specific pricing. If you are looking to ensure the packages you need to have an eParcel account. Australia Post provides you with a cover of up to $5000 with few terms and conditions. Having this account offers flexible pricing, which can save you from extra shipping expenses.

With respect to the plugin, you can access contracted eParcel services, print eParcel shipping labels, track shipments, and configure parcel packaging options.

3. Australia Post StarTrack contracted account

StarTrack courier service is one of the modules of Australia Post shipping service. It caters only to domestic regions of Australia like CBD (Central Business District) of Melbourne and metropolitan areas of Australia’s major capital cities. If your store is located in Australia and you ship only within Australia, then StarTrack service can be suitable for you. Unlike Australia Post eParcel services, StarTrack does not have complexities for domestic shipping service. The services are relatively faster and unambiguous.

With our ELEX WooCommerce Australia Post Plugin, you can access StarTrack real-time rates, print StarTrack shipping labels, track shipments, and configure parcel packaging options.

Note: From version 2.3.6, you can use eParcel and StarTrack accounts together. You can access both the rates and services simultaneously. 

Opening an Australia Post Account

When you signup for your eParcel account, you get an online parcel shipping solution in which you can upload orders, print labels and send the orders to your customers from outside WooCommerce. But ELEX WooCommerce Australia Post Shipping Plugin provides you with a one point solution for showing live shipping rates, printing labels and tracking your shipment from within WooCommerce. You need to make sure that your store is located in Australia and store currency is the Australian Dollar.

To know how to signup and obtain Australia Post credentials and use it in our plugin, read the respective documentation.

Did you know?

Australia Post provides you with a CSV file template, which you can fill with required details and upload to create orders and fill other details to ship the items manually.

Adding WooCommerce Orders through the Australia Post website directly can be a cumbersome task. Instead, you can use our plugin to print shipping labels from within WooCommerce.

Our plugin works best when you have an eParcel or Startrack Contracted account for accessing real-time rates, printing shipping labels, and shipment tracking facilities. If you want to access only real-time rates from Australia Post, you can do so with a non-contracted account. The rates provided by a non-contracted account may differ from a contracted account.

Shipping Services

Australia Post eParcel offers services to both domestic and international locations, while StarTrack offers only domestic services. However, the non-contracted account allows you to access both domestic and international shipping services.

1. Services offered for Australia Post non-contracted account

The following are the domestic and international services offered for Australia Post non-contracted account, by the plugin.

  • Regular / Parcel Post (with respective Satchel & Letter services)
  • Express Post (with respective Satchel & Letter services)
  • Courier-Post (with respective Satchel & Letter services)
  • PARCEL POST W/SIGNATURE
  • EXPRESS POST W/SIGNATURE
  • REGISTERED POST INTL 6
  • PARCEL POST + SIGNATURE
  • EXPRESS POST + SIGNATURE
  • REGISTERED POST INT’L 8
  • EXPRESS COURIER INT’L MERCH 8Z
  • INTERNATIONAL AIRMAIL 8Z
  • EXPRESS COURIER INT’L DOC 8
  • EXPRESS POST SATCHELS
  • NATIONAL FULL RATE
  • EXPRESS NATIONAL FULL RATE
  • PACK & TRACK INT’L 8
  • International Post Courier
  • International Post Express
  • International Post Standard
  • International Post Economy Air
  • International Letter Courier
  • International Letter Express
  • International Letter Registered Post DL
  • International Letter Registered Post B4
  • International Letter Economy Air (with respective Satchel & Letter services)

In addition to this, the plugin offers Extra Cover (Insurance), Authority to Leave, Signature Required, Satchel & Letter services.

2. Services offered for Australia Post eParcel contracted account

To use Australia Post eParcel contracted services, you need to purchase those services from Australia Post. The plugin will then dynamically list the same services in the plugin. Once purchased and enabled, the following services can be accessed using Australia Post eParcel contracted account.

Australia Post Domestic Services:

  • Regular / Parcel Post
  • Express Post
  • Courier-Post
  • EXPRESS POST
  • PARCEL POST W/SIGNATURE
  • EXPRESS POST W/SIGNATURE
  • PARCEL POST + SIGNATURE
  • EXPRESS POST + SIGNATURE
  • EXPRESS POST SATCHELS
  • PARCEL POST + SIGNATURE
  • EXPRESS POST + SIGNATURE
  • NATIONAL FULL RATE
  • EXPRESS NATIONAL FULL RATE

Australia Post International Services:

  • PACK & TRACK INT’L 8
  • International Post Courier
  • International Post Express
  • International Post Standard
  • International Post Economy Air
  • International Letter Courier
  • International Letter Express
  • International Letter Registered Post DL
  • International Letter Registered Post B4
  • International Letter Economy Air
  • REGISTERED POST INT’L 8
  • EXPRESS COURIER INT’L MERCH 8Z
  • INTERNATIONAL AIRMAIL 8Z
  • EXPRESS COURIER INT’L DOC 8

Not to mention, the plugin offers the same additional services like Extra Cover (Insurance), Authority to Leave, and Signature Required for eParcel as well.

2. Services offered for Australia Post StarTrack contracted account

StarTrack offers only domestic service. Some of the services that are returned by the plugin are:

  • PREMIUM
  • 1,3 & 5KG FIXED PRICE PREMIUM
  • EXPRESS

Understanding Australia Post Services in detail

Domestic Services

Letter ServicesParcel Services
Regular letters & cardParcel Post
Priority lettersExpress Post
Express Post lettersCourier-Post
Registered Post lettersStarTrack Courier
Bulk mail

Compare the Domestic Service for yourself.

Domestic Optional Extras

Apart from shipping services you can offer extra optional services to your customers with the addition of minimal charges. These extra services include:

  • Extra Insurance Cover up to $5000 by paying @1.5% of the cost of the item and $2.95 for Signature on Delivery in case the product costs more than $300.
  • Signature on Delivery costs your customers $2.95. This is already included in the case of Courier-Post Services.

Domestic Coverage

ServiceSpeedCoverage
Courier-PostSame DayMetro to Metro in the same state only
Express Post parcels and Express Post lettersNext Business Day80% of recognized addresses

and post offices in Australia

All capitals except Darwin and Perth CBD

Parcel PostState Metro: up to 2 Business Days

Country, same state: up to 5 Business Days

Interstate: up to 6 Business Days

All of Australia
Priority LettersState Metro: 1 Business Day

Country, same state: up to 2 Business Days

Interstate: up to 3-4 Business Days

All Australia
Regular LetterState Metro – 3 business day

Country, same state – up to 4 business days

Interstate:  up to 5-6 business days

All Australia

Each of these services has a different set of requirements in size and weight. Refer to the complete Domestic Parcel Guide by Australia Post.

International Parcel Services

International shipping services are available to most countries of the world. But some services are restricted to a few specific countries too. Also, there are products that are import restricted by different countries, so you won’t be able to ship such items with Australia Post International Services. The services offered are:

Courier: This is suitable for urgent packages and comes with tracking services.
Express: With a maximum weight of 20kg, express services have an estimated delivery time of 5 business days.
Standard: 20kg is the limit with this service too and takes 10 business days for completion of delivery.
Economy Air: Providing the most cost-effective service, it offers a maximum weight of 2kg and takes up to 12 business days to deliver the product.Packing Solutions

ServiceEconomy Standard

Express

Courier

Registered Post International
Estimated delivery timeAir: 10 Business days

Sea: 30 Business Days

6+ Business Days2-4 Business Days in Major metro areas1-2 Business days for select areas10+ Business Days
Weightup to 2 kg parcels and 500g letterup to 20kg parcelsup to 20kg parcels and 500g letterup to 20kg Parcel and 500g letter500g documents
Optional ExtraInsurance Cover

Signature on Delivery

No Tracking Services

Insurance Cover

Signature on Delivery

SMS Tracking Notification

Insurance coverInsurance CoverInsurance Cover of $100

Signature on Delivery

No Tracking Services

Forms RequiredCN22 OR CN23 Customs FormCN23 Customs FormCN23 Customs FormInternational Courier Declaration and Courier Airway billNA
Posting PointsPost Office

Red Street Posting Box

Post Office

Red Street Posting Box

Post Offices

Yellow Street Posting Box

Select Post Offices by 2 pmPost Offices

Red Street Posting Box

Prices Start at$2.10 for documents

$10.67 for parcels

$17.76$25.35 for documents

$28.17 for parcels

$70.21$19.00-$110.00
Available for Countries All CountriesAll CountriesAll Countries25 Countries$16.10

International Optional Extras

Most of the Optional Extras with international shipping services are associated with some sort of extra charges. Yet offering these features will ensure peace of mind and sense of security to the customers.

  • Extra Insurance Cover up to $5000 by paying @9.6% of the first $100 and an additional 2.5% for the next $100 of the value of the item.
  • Signature on Delivery costs your customers $5.45 in case of Standard and Economy Parcels.

Label Printing with Australia Post

As mentioned earlier, you cannot generate shipping labels with a non-contracted account with our plugin. You can only do it using eParcel and StarTrack accounts. You can also customize label sizes, configure default services for bulk shipments, choose the type of customer address, enable email tracking and so on.

Since eParcel and StarTrack can be used simultaneously, the plugin will show an option to choose the type of service for each package. You can generate some shipments with eParcel and the rest with StarTrack from a single order.

The plugin can also generate Order Manifest/Summary. We also offer add-ons for bulk label printing and autogenerate & email shipping labels.

Shipment Tracking with Australia Post

Once the shipment is created, a shipment tracking ID is returned for each order from Australia Post. You can use this ID to track the current status of the package. With the “Email Tracking” feature, you can send shipment tracking IDs to your customers’ email address to help them track their package themselves.

Parcel Packing Services

With price calculator, you get real-time postage rates for domestic, as well as international shipping. Real-time rates are calculated based on product dimensions and weight, and the best-fitted box rates are returned from Australia Post. This rates will depend on the method used for packing the parcel. Our ELEX  WooCommerce Australia Post Plugin offers three types of parcel packing methods.

  1. Individual Packing
  2. Pack into boxes with weight and dimensions
  3. Order Total Weight

To understand these packing methods in detail, read the Parcel Packaging section of the product documentation.

Satchel and Letter services are automatically returned for a non-contracted account, whereas for a contracted account (both eParcel and StarTrack), you need to configure custom box sizes in the plugin settings.

Australia post provides a wide range of packing services and alternate shipping options. You can use Australia Post Satchels to custom boxes for packing of items. You can either choose to pack items individually, pack items into custom boxes or use the weight of the items to fill boxes.

Here are some of the packaging available:

Australia Post Satchels

Australia Post offers a wide variety of satchels and envelopes. These can be used whenever you are ready to send. These satchels come in two types when selling with WooCommerce. These are available in four capacities.

  • 500g Satchel (220 x 355mm)
  • 1kg Satchel (265 x 385mm)
  • 3kg Satchel (310 x 405mm)
  • 5kg Satchel (435 x 510mm)

Prepaid Satchels and Envelopes

These satchels are can be purchased on any Australia Post Post Office or online. Their prices are fixed for domestic shipping. For international shipping, prices vary according to global shipping zones.

Prepaid Satchels for Domestic Shipping– Available in two categories, namely Express Post Satchels (Next Day) and Parcel Post Satchels (2+ Business Days)

Prepaid Satchels for Overseas Shipping– Also available in two categories, namely International Express (2-4  Business Days) and International Standard (6+ Business Days).

Prepaid Domestic Envelopes- Available in three categories based on the estimated time of delivery.

Prepaid International Envelopes- Available in three categories based on the estimated time of delivery.

Buy Australia Post Satchels

Flat Rate Satchels

You can buy Flat Rate satchels in a pack of 10. These come in three sizes and their rates consist of satchels price and postage equivalent to what the satchel can carry. Small Satchel can carry a max weight of 500g, Medium Satchels are for a 3kg package and the Large one can carry a maximum of 5kg.

You can print labels and paste them on these flat rate satchels. In the context of the WooCommerce Australia Post Shipping Plugin, you can get rates of any of these flat rate satchels and print labels for them from within WooCommerce. With flat rate satchels, you can also offer the available optional extra services like insurance cover and signature on delivery.

Mailing Boxes

Mailing boxes provide safe packing option for fragile items. There are 9 different types of mailing boxes available with Australia Post, each has different dimensions and prices. Our plugin finds the correct box and packs the items in the most efficient way. By efficient I mean all the items will be packed in the minimum volume and the have the least cost offered by Australia Post. There are many items that have to be packed in boxes only.  Stack First Algorithm assures that efficiency in packing is maintained. Buy Australia Post Mailing Boxes.

Padded Bag

These bags are similar to Australia Post satchels but are padded from inside. These bags provide extra safety to products that are fragile and can’t withstand external loads on them. As many as 7 different such bags are available with Australia Post. You can either buy just the bag or go for a flat rate which includes the postage rates too.

Custom Boxes

The plugin lets you create custom boxes, which can be of any dimension. You can assign boxes of dimension your products are going to fit. And Australia Post will return rates based on the item dimension and weight.

Other Packing Options

  • Padded Mailers
  • Tough Bags
  • Tube Mailers and Wine Boxes
  • Tape, Bubble Wraps and Liners

How  WooCommerce Australia Post Shipping Plugin Works?

Once you install and activate the plugin with a valid API key, you need to enable live rate in the general settings tab. If you have an eParcel contract account, you can enter the credentials in the boxes that appear. This allows you to print shipping labels. When you have the contracted account enabled, you are left with few selected shipping services, where you are required to print your own shipping labels. Clearly, an eParcel account is for such shipments that can’t be accommodated in boxes provided by Australia Post.

If you want to use all the services offered by Australia Post you need to disable the contracted account. Once you disable this, your customers will see all the available rates. You can also choose to hide any alternate services offered. Find a complete Setup Guide in our documentation. For more information on the functionalities of the plugin visit our Product Page.

Closing Comments

Australia Post has been a customer friendly shipping service. It offers the very popular Australia Post Satchels which has been used widely. If you are a small business and have less number of shipment, Australia Post Satchels can be a useful choice. But as you grow in volume, you might feel the need of using your own packages and printing your own labels. ELEX WooCommerce Australia Post Shipping Plugin with Print Label and Tracking finds use in both the cases. To save time and increase your productivity, you can use our add-ons for bulk label printing and autogenerating & emailing shipping labels.

When you are not printing labels, the plugin works with your non-contracted account to show rates based on the weight and dimensions of the items in the cart. And if you have an eParcel contract, you can print your own postage-paid label to be pasted on your shipment boxes. I hope you got enough insights on Australia Post and are ready to use the plugin. For any queries feel free to contact our online support. Happy selling!

 


To explore more details about the plugins, go check out ELEX WooCommerce Australia Post Shipping Plugin with Print Label & Tracking.

Read the product setting up article to understand the plugin, in detail. Or check out the product documentation section for more related articles. For setting up StarTrack, read its respective documentation.

You can also check out other WooCommerce and WordPress plugins in ELEX.

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