Flat Rate Box Shipping

Flat Rate Box Shipping makes it possible for you to create shipping rules for boxes.

Boxes have a fixed size, and items are packed volumetrically. You can define multiple rates based on the package destination, have multiple box sizes per zone, and add costs based on box, box weight and box content cost.

Flat Rate Box is a shipping method that can be added to your Shipping Zones as of WooCommerce 2.6. Please see our Shipping Zones guide and create some zones to get started.

How it Works ↑ Back to top

When a customer checks out with items in their basket, the plugin reviews the destination of items, matches this to a zone, and then uses the rates in that zone for the calculation. Each destination and rate can have its own box sizes and multiple sets of box sizes, based on your shipping requirements. Items are packed into boxes to get a rate.

To calculate shipping correctly, you need to create your Shipping Zones and box size rates. The plugin does all calculations for you.

Box-Packing ↑ Back to top

The box packer included with this shipping method lets you group items into packages for which you define height, width, length, weight and max-weight. Packing is mainly volume based, but also considers item sizes too.

The box packer is volume based. This will in most cases provide good results but will never be as accurate as a real person packing a box (see BIN Packing Problem). Therefore it is important to understand that packing results are as accurate as possible and any anomalies should be accepted.

Getting Started ↑ Back to top

Setting up Flat Rate Box Shipping requires some thought and planning on your part. Before getting started with the plugin, you need to:

  1. Determine your shipping zones
  2. Find out the dimensions of the box sizes you want to offer
  3. Ensure your products have dimensions set. See http://docs.woocommerce.com/document/adding-dimensions-and-weights-to-products-for-shipping/

Setting up Shipping Zones ↑ Back to top

A Shipping Zone is a geographic region where a certain set of shipping methods and rates apply. You can add different tables of rates to each zone to charge different customers different amounts.

From WooCommerce 2.6 onwards, zones are part of core. Please see Setting Up Shipping Zones. If you’re still using a version of WooCommerce lower than 2.6, the old zones (“legacy”) interface is covered at the end of this guide.

Add Flat Rate Boxes method to a zone ↑ Back to top

To use Flat Rate Box Shipping, it must be added to a Shipping Zone.

1. Go toWooCommerce > Settings > Shipping.

2. Select the name of the Shipping Zone you wish to add rates for.

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3. Select the + icon on the right side of the row to Add shipping method. This opens a modal window.


4. Select Flat Rate Boxes from the dropdown, and Add shipping method.

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5. Save changes.

Setting up Flat Rate Boxes ↑ Back to top

After the shipping method has been added to the shipping zone, settings for Flat Rate Boxes need to be applied.

1. Select the name of the Shipping Zone. This takes you to a different screen.


2. Select Settings for Flat Rate Boxes.

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This opens a Settings screen for you to configure.

3. Enter your preferences for this shipping method.


  • Method Title – Name shipping method displayed to customers.
  • Tax Status – Define whether or not tax is applied to the shipping amount.
  • Handling Fee – A fee added to shipping cost for this method. Can be fixed amount (10) or a percentage (10%). Percentage is based on the cost of the items.
  • Un-packable Item Cost – If an item won’t fit into any of your boxes, charge this amount. Leave blank if the shipping method should be disabled when item can’t be packed.
  • Boxes – See below.

5. Save changes.

Adding boxes ↑ Back to top

1. Click Add Box. Add as many as you wish for packing; the most relevant box will be calculated for you.


Dimensions and weights will use units you defined in WooCommerce > Settings > Catalog.

2. Enter properties for all boxes.

  • Box Length – Length of the box. We recommend using the largest dimension.
  • Box Width – Width of the box.
  • Box Height – Height of the box. We recommend using the smallest dimension.
  • Box Weight – Overall box weight limit.
  • Box Cost – How much the box costs to ship. This is a flat value per box.
  • Cost per <weight unit> – A cost multiplied by the weight. E.g. if you had a 10lb box and charged £1 per lb, the cost would be £10.
  • Cost % – A cost added based on the value of the items packed in your box. E.g. if you had £10 of items, and a 10% cost, an extra £1 would be added to the shipping cost.

3. Save changes.

WooCommerce 2.5 and below ↑ Back to top

Before WooCommerce 2.6, Shipping Zones were not part of core and included in Flat Rate Box Shipping.

WooCommerce 2.6 will handle the migration process from “legacy” former zones to core zones. There are new table names, where the data will be moved across. Your flat rate boxes will continue to function after updating.

If you’re still using a version lower than 2.6, it’s possible to continue using the Flat Rate Box Shipping version of shipping zones by following the below instructions.

Creating shipping zones ↑ Back to top

Shipping Zones are different geographical regions that your products are shipped to. These are different, depending on where you are in the world. If you’re based in the UK, for example, you may set up your zones as follows:

  • Zone 1: UK and Northern Ireland
  • Zone 2: EU Countries
  • Zone 3: Rest of the World

Once zones have been defined, Flat Rate Box rates can be created for each. To set up zones:

1. Go toWooCommerce > Shipping Zones.

2. Name the Shipping Zone.

3. Select the Type of zone. Options are:

  • One or more countries
  • One or more states or countries
  • One or more zip or post codes. This field accepts wildcards so that you can include a postcode region. For example, SW* would include the south-west London region, while NE* would include the Newcastle-upon-Tyne region. You can also use ranges. An example for zipcodes would be 451-459. Each range or wildcard needs to be on its own line.

4. Click Add Shipping Zone.

5. Save changes.

Create as many shipping zones as you need. A table of Shipping Zones will look similar to this:

a screenshot of the table of zones

Add a shipping method ↑ Back to top

To add a shipping method to a Shipping Zone:

1. Select Configure shipping methods for the Shipping Zone you wish to add rates for.

a screenshot of the table of zones

2. Select Flat Rate Boxes.

Adding Flat Rate Box to Shipping Zone

3. Select Add to Zone.

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