Calculation shipping and freight costs based on the postcode of a buyer is a quite accurate way of segmenting the cost by region. Picking a cluster of postcodes lets us assign costs based on that region and so this doubles as a way of determining the approximate distance of the buyer from the seller.

Creating Shipping Zones

We’re using the Table Rate Shipping extension for woocommerce mentioned in our more general outline on postcodes and freight costs.

First we need to setup the shipping zones, these are the collections of postcodes, from the WordPress Dashboard we need Woocommerce > Shipping Zones.

1. Adding a shipping zone, we name it something sensible

2. Select This shipping zone is based on one of more postcodes/zips

3. Select Australia>New South Wales from the dropdown list

4. Paste in the set of postcodes for the zone

5. Press the Add Shipping Zone button

Repeat that process for as many zones as we need.

Configuring Shipping Methods and Costs

Now that we have zones created we can setup the price for shipping to each zone.

1. Hover the cursor over the name of the shipping method you want to setup and click on the link for Configure Shipping Methods.

2. The configure page will be empty to start with before any shipping costs are setup.

3. Select from the dropdown menu at the top of the page Table Rates and click Add To Zone.

4. For this example we’ll setup a flat rate fee that covers any buyer that is in this zone (set of postcodes). When you first look at the page it should be mostly empty. The options are reasonably self evident and there are onscreen tips.

5. Click on the button +Add Shipping Rate.

6. The default settings for the row are usually fine, to set a flat rate fee put a price in the Cost column.

7. Suggest you also change the Method Title on the top of the page to something more customer friendly like ‘Delivery by Courier’ or ‘Express Post’ or whatever makes sense for the method being used to deliver the items.

8. Click Save Shipping Method.

9. Once you are happy with what is set then go back to the Delivery Zones page with the link at the top of the page and repeat the process for as many zones as you have.