A Guide to Calculate your Shipping Cost

Trying to figure out shipping costs can drive any eCommerce business owner insane and make them want to give up. This, however, does not have to be the case. Do your research and if you’re looking to ship internationally look for a worldwide courier, alternatively if you’re shipping locally you can go for a same day courier. If you need to know how much it will cost to ship a parcel internationally or how to estimate shipping costs to distribute products to thousands of clients around the world via a packing company, we have great news for you.

In this post, we'll go over the details you'll need to generate an estimate, as well as additional services and requirements that may affect the price of your shipment. We'll also show you how to calculate shipping costs in just a few clicks using a few handy tools.

Factors that help calculate shipping costs

A Guide to Calculate your Shipping Cost

Shipping costs can be tough to calculate because there are so many variables that might influence the ultimate cost. When estimating shipping costs for a box, though, there are four key pieces of information that you'll need every time. You should be able to get an accurate quote if you have this information. Here are the four variables to keep in mind at all times:


The rule of thumbs is, greater the weight of the package, the higher the shipping cost. However, there is also a dimensional weight to consider. This becomes more complicated and is determined by the dimensions of the package used to ship the goods.


The length, width, and height of the package are the dimensions. Packages come in a variety of sizes, so e-commerce businesses must understand how this affects pricing. Especially since couriers charge volumetric weight as well. This is the amount of space that a package occupies on the delivery vehicle. Couriers calculate the dimensional weight by multiplying the length, width, and height of your package by a cubic divisor.

Points of Origin and Destination of the shipment

The distance traveled by a shipment from its point of origin to its shipping destination is a significant factor in determining the cost of shipping. As basic as it may seem, you must first determine where you are shipping from and where the goods will be delivered before you can begin calculating prices.  Shipping zones are used by couriers to calculate the distance a shipment travels from its origin to its final destination. There are currently eight shipping zones in the United States, divided by zip code.  USPS, UPS, FedEx, and DHL, for example, base their pricing on shipping zones, which may be found on their websites.

Estimated Delivery Dates

When a package or shipment is being shipped, the estimated delivery date indicates when it will arrive at its destination. Depending on the distance the shipment is traveling, this can range from overnight to over a month, with price ranges in between. It will cost substantially more to get a parcel sent overnight than if you choose a typical 3-7 day ground service. Before you decide on a shipping cost estimate, you'll need to determine how quickly you want your products delivered. Some customers would want a cost-effective shipping option whereas some might want a quick shipment and wouldn’t mind spending a little extra for it.

Other factors that might affect shipping rates

Shipping process

Because of the various extra taxes based on the destination country, the size and weight of the shipment, and the delivery duration, international shipping can be complicated. It's critical to undertake thorough research and accurately calculate shipping prices so that your customers aren't surprised by unexpected charges, which is one of the leading causes of cart abandonment in eCommerce.

The following are the three main conditions that influence the cost of your shipment:

Handling fee

A handling fee is an additional charge added to a customer's purchase subtotal and delivery costs. It covers costs associated with fulfillment, such as warehouse storage, shipping, and packing. Handling fees apply to each order as a whole, not to each product. Shipping, packaging materials, and labor costs all factor into the price of each product without handling fees. Simplify the pricing method for individual items by including handling charges as a subtotal line.

Duties and taxes

Your country's customs department may determine that you owe a duty or tax based on the things you purchase. Almost every shipment that crosses an international border is subject to duty and tax assessments. Shipping duty and tax assessments are different in each country. Before your shipment delivers to another country, you or the recipient of your package may be asked to pay additional customs and taxes. They may charge duties and taxes depending on what you're shipping and how much it costs.


If you're shipping pricey items, consider obtaining shipping insurance to protect against items being lost, stolen, or sustaining damage during transit. The majority of shipments arrive safely, but mistakes do happen. If you're delivering high-value items, replacement inventory will cut into your profits, so it's important to have insurance. Couriers normally charge a little fee for this service - about 3% of the declaration value of your shipment on average. Another option is to acquire shipping insurance from a third-party vendor, which is usually less expensive.

Using a Shipping Cost Calculator

An intelligent software platform, not an exhausted team member, should calculate your shipping costs. Many businesses use a shipping calculator for these and other reasons: one that records and analyses shipping data to automatically find the most cost-effective packaging, one that taps into a massive multi-carrier platform to choose the best shipping partner for every delivery.

We recommend you to take a look at the ELEX WooCommerce Shipping Calculator, Purchase Shipping Label & Tracking for Customers plugin for FedEx, UPS, USPS, and Canada Post. It uses a variety of shipping automation features to streamline your shipping infrastructure and save shipping expenses. This plugin enables you to set up a shipping calculator platform for your end-customers to select or create packages, calculate shipping costs based on the shipper and receiver's zip codes and addresses, and print labels without having to log into the backend dashboard. It will also generate tracking links and send the label and tracking information to both the sender and the receiver through email.

Shipping calculator


  • Calculate shipping charges and delivery dates quickly and easily.
  • Check the pricing and delivery dates of the available shipping carriers to get the most convenient shipping option.
  • Choose the most efficient packing option from the packages selection.
  • Custom Packaging options
  • Multiple packages generation
  • Print Shipping Labels and obtain Tracking Links
  • To display on the Shipping Calculator platform, select the shipping carriers and services.
  • Create a specific page for the shipping calculator.
  • Assign User Role Access
  • Send a custom email that contains the shipping label and tracking information.
  • When an order is complete, send consumers personal text messages.

You can use a variety of ways to calculate shipping costs and maintain them competitive, as above. This will significantly boost your sales figures as well as your company's reputation. You will be able to create a rapport with your clients if you are honest with your prices and let them know everything you have on hand. This will only benefit your store in the long term.

If you have any questions about calculating shipping costs, please leave them in the comments section below.

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