Working with Multiple Shipping Groups

Example Products

For these scenarios three products will be used with two shipping groups.

A bed is assigned to group “Alpha” with a weight of 50lb at $250.
A desk is assigned to group “Beta” with a weight of 25lb at $150.
A phone is not assigned to a shipping group, weighs 1.4lb and is $35.

The CSV file used is very basic:


General Settings

Filtering on the subtotal price/weight

By default Product Matrix will use the price and weight of individual shipping groups. So, the bed will look for a rate using the weight of 50 and a price of 250, the desk will look for a rate of 25 and a price of 150 and so on.

To enable Product Matrix to use the subtotal price and weight of the products select “Filter on subtotal price/weight” in the Advanced Options.

With this option selected the bed, desk and phone will each look for a weight of 76.4 and a price of 435 in the CSV when they are in the cart together.

Adding * shipping group rates

An explanation of the role of the * shipping group is detailed in the shipping groups article.

When “Apply Shipping Group ‘*’ to All Items in Cart” is set to “Yes” then the shipping price of the * shipping group in the CSV will surcharge shipping groups that have the same delivery type if the other fields are the same (price, weight, destination, etc).

In the example above, when the bed is on its own in the cart then it will have a rate of $25 because they both have the same delivery type.

Also, the * shipping group acts as a “catch-all” for the other shipping groups. If, for example, the weight for “Alpha” was 100 and three beds were added to the cart then only the * shipping group rule will be used as no weight limit is defined.

Appending * shipping group rates

It is also possible to show the * shipping group rates in addition to the other shipping methods. If, for example, the * group’s delivery type was in-store collection then this rule will be displayed in addition to “Shipping”.

To do this, set “Append * shipping group rates” in the extension’s configuration section.

Per Package Totalling

For full details of what “Per Package Totalling” does see the totalling algorithms article.

If the delivery method differs between the shipping groups then the extension will not display a rate unless the alt= algorithm is used. If, for example, the delivery type “Alpha” is “Next Day” but the delivery type for “Beta” is “Two-day” then the extension needs to be told which of those shipping methods to use.

Highest Price Totalling

For full details of what “Highest Price Totalling” does see the totalling algorithms article.

Note that when using Highest Price Totalling this is not the highest overall price, rather the highest price delivery type for each shipping group. Therefore, it’s generally a good idea to use a much smaller quantity of delivery types. Try and stick to one or two at most to avoid complication.

Using the alt= Algorithm

In this example there are four lots of shipping groups: Alpha, Beta, Gamma and the ‘*’ shipping group. Each of these groups have multiple shipping methods, some of which differ between the shipping groups.

“Apply Shipping Group ‘*’ to All Items in Cart” has been set to “No”.

“Alpha” products should receive: “Next Day”, “Standard” and “Economy”.
“Beta” products should receive: “2-day” and “Economy”.
“Gamma” products should receive only “Free Shipping”.
Products not assigned to a shipping group should receive only “Standard”.

Without using the alt= algorithm no shipping methods would be displayed if products from the “Gamma” shipping group are in the cart with any other shipping group because there are no common delivery methods between them. If products from the “Alpha” and “Beta” shipping groups are in the cart together then the “Economy” shipping method will be displayed because it is a common delivery method between the two groups.


In this CSV file common delivery methods have been defined. So, the following methods will be displayed with a combination of shipping groups in the cart:

Shipping Group Combination Shipping Methods Displayed
Alpha + Beta Standard, Economy
Alpha + Gamma Next Day, Standard, Economy
Alpha + * Standard
Alpha + Beta + Gamma Standard, Economy
Alpha + Beta + Gamma + * Standard, Economy
Alpha + Gamma + * Standard
Beta + Gamma Economy
Beta + * Standard
Beta + Gamma + * Standard
Gamma + * Standard

Note that when using “Per Package Totalling” the shipping rates will be added together. So, if the 2-day method had “alt=Standard,Next Day” then the $5.50 rate would be added to both the “Next Day” and “Standard” methods.

Splitting the Checkout

Product Matrix does not split each shipping group into its own rates.  So, if products from the “Alpha” and “Beta” shipping groups are in the cart together only the common delivery methods (“Standard and “Economy” from the above example) will be displayed.

If the checkout should display all of the shipping methods from their respective shipping groups Dropship can split these out at the checkout.

With Dropship, if products from the “Alpha” shipping group are assigned to one Dropship warehouse and “Beta” to another then the checkout will show “Next Day”, “Standard” and “Economy” for the products assigned to the “Alpha” warehouse and “2-day” and “Economy” from the “Beta” warehouse.

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